This post originally appeared as a “note” on my Fakebook page November 1, 2012. I think it bears weight, literally. To honor the social media trends of Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday, I bring you a little piece of my past in writing. Enjoy.
When I was seven I got to try on one of my friend’s cheerleading uniforms. At the time, I believed putting this uniform on would magically transform me into pretty and popular. It had that magical quality for all the other girls. To my dismay, the uniform did not zip. Anxiety, sadness, and finally the conclusion was made. I was fat. Thus began the battle.
Coming of age at 13, I asked the doctor if we could do something about my ribs. I had decided that all those ribs were unnecessary and if we removed a few of them, then I would be skinny. In my head, I thought we would just schedule some surgery and I would finally be little and lovable. His reply was “you have good birthing hips.” No surgery was ever scheduled. I still have all those ribs. As for the birthing hips, we are on the way to finding out if that is true.
As I entered my twenties, I stopped caring whether I was big or small. And for the first time in my life, I actually got big. I was fat. I gained well past the healthy recommended weight and when I visited the doctor this time, they wrote on the chart the horrifying word of “obese.” I began to hurt. I was in pain physically. Laying down caused back pain. My legs would tire easily after walking only a short distance. I had reached the point of not only being psychologically uncomfortable in my skin but physically I didn’t feel good. I had stretched my skin pasts its normal comfort zone and somewhere inside the elastic had broken.
It was time to change yet again. I had changed for the worse and it was time to bring about a change for the better. It started with a job at the local newspaper. In this new environment, there was a softball team. I went outside and played. Then at the same job, there was an employee discount for a ‘Y’ membership. And at the Y, there was a pool. Where there is water, there is swimming. I swam and swam and swam. Lap after lap, pounds melted into the distance. I felt physically and mentally stronger. I lost 100 pounds and even though, I wasn’t at that goal of ‘high school weight,’ I was happy and comfortable in my skin again. The last time I felt that way was the day before I tried on that cheerleading uniform.
Do you know what happens when you are a grown ass woman and you have lost a hundred pounds? You then proceed to get pregnant. I like to think that this is what makes God, Karma, and Mother Nature chuckle. Now, the body is changing in different ways.
When I was actually fat and unhealthy, do you know that no one never said a word. No one ever told me that I was fat. But being pregnant, people like to taunt you with how big you are. They say things like “wow, look at the belly” and “you have popped out.” Upon finding out my due date, the rudest people say “are you sure you are not having twins?” My favorite thing people do now is politely recommend that I need to eat healthier. I am a gestational diabetic, I have no other choice but to eat healthy or else I suffer the sickening consequences.
My husband and I play poker almost every Friday. Every Friday we have people over and I try to look nice because we are having company (even if the company is only a bunch of stinky boys, I still put on my face and look favorable.) As I came down the steps before last week’s poker game, I stop in front of the husband and ask one question.
“Do you like the way I look?”
I could tell by the look on his face, he thought I was asking if my outfit looked nice. He responded “it looked nice.” This wasn’t the question I was asking, I cared about the way my body looked, not about the clothing which was covering it.
“No, I mean do you like the way I look pregnant?” Circling the belly with my hands so he would understand that I am basically asking if as a man does he still find his wife attractive with her new shape.
Ten years can train a man to answer accordingly “you are the prettiest pregnant lady on the block.” He did like his women a bit on the thick side, so I tried to be settled with the answer but I wasn’t.
Then the boys arrive for the game. As I go into the kitchen for more Perrier and peppers, I say to one of them “yes, I am getting huge. People have felt the need to tell me this fact all week.” When you are a chubby, you make comforting jokes; same theory applies to being pregnant.
This boy answered “You should punch those people in the face.” He was right, I should. They probably wouldn’t hit a pregnant lady back.
Without incurring assault and battery charges, it is a question of not whether I am big or small. It is not about the fact that when I was deemed skinny by this society, I was hungry. When I was fat, I was uncomfortable and unhealthy. Big, small, round, straight, stick thin, adjective, adjective, descriptive words..it is about who I am. I am not small but I AM HAPPY. I am not fat, I am pregnant and I LOVE THE LITTLE BEING INSIDE OF ME and I AM HAPPY AND BLESSED TO HAVE HIM.
God didn’t make me small. He made me strong.
Hardly any of my clothes zip now. All my pants are made of elastic bands. And for the first time ever, I am not anxious. I am not fat. I am not scared. I am exactly where I am suppose to be. I am exactly who I am suppose to be, every damn inch of it.