I confess! From as young as I can remember, I allowed my self worth to be determined by societal expectations of what I should look like on the outside. Not gonna lie, I've always been...big boned, plump, chubby, fat, not-skinny, not good enough. I can remember following Weight Watchers with my mom when I was in grade 3. I vividly remember a conversation with my third grade teacher about my need for frequent washroom breaks because I was on a 'diet' and drinking a lot of water. Sad, very sad...but an experience that was merely foreshadowing what was to come!
After many, many years of tears, yoyo diets, self-hatred, and self-pity, I found myself laying on the floor in our spare bedroom balling my eyes out. Barry came to see what was going on and all I could muster out was "I just hate being me so much", "I want to just cut all the fat away and be normal". This episode arose shortly after I completed University where I gained the freshman 15lb and senior 15lb. When I started University at the age of 22, I weighed 200lbs (scary, I know but I kept convincing myself that I held my weight well). Upon completing my university degrees I weighed in at an astonishing 228lbs. It used to be very difficult to even say this to myself let alone share it in a blog but I choose not to hide anymore.
In 2009 I embarked on a real health kick and joined Herbal Magic. After a full year of major commitment, obsession with portion control, and THOUSANDS of dollars I found myself weighing only 174lbs and 75 inches smaller from all areas of my body. Now I could do things I never thought I could. I was playing volleyball, dodgeball and joined a running club. I made a promise to myself that I would never, ever see 228 on the scale again! The sad truth is that although I had lost 54lbs and seriously looked like a totally different person, I never did reach my goal of 160lbs so I felt like a failure.
When I got pregnant in the winter of 2010 I was up to 200 lbs and my biggest concern was "I'm going to get fat again". I did a lot of self talk about how weight gain will be a guarantee and I could always lose the weight after. As the weight started piling on I could feel the guilt, shame and disgust grow from the pit of my stomach. At Marleigh's birth I weighed 247lbs (gross, I kept thinking). I had broken the covenant promise I made to myself and here I was way over 228 lbs. Don't get me wrong, having Marleigh is sooooo worth the weight gain and body alterations but I couldn't help but feel ashamed.
After Marleigh's birth I tried Weight Watchers, HCG drops, went to the gym 4-5 days a week and managed to lose 25 lbs. You do the math. that put me at 222lbs (only a few pounds short of that dreaded 228).
So here I am again, pregnant and putting on weight, the only difference this time is that my starting weight is 22lbs more than it was when I got pregnant with Marleigh. I am concerned that I may be the size of a house before lil' girl arrives but honestly, I am dealing with the weight gain significantly better this time. I don't know if it's because I was already 'fat' that the change isn't as devastating or if I am finally realizing how worthwhile the weight gain is to have beautiful, healthy children. Either way, I am consciously trying to focus my energy on health and not weight (easier said than done).
As I embark on raising another beautiful girl I endeavour to invest some really hard work on teaching my girls that the value of self is found in your character not your reflection in a mirror. I will need to learn and buy into this truth myself!