Thursday, 8 August 2013

The skin I'm in

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!


  1. I get it! I know exactly what it feels like to want to cut it all off. And it's so hard to hold in the self hatred not just for my girl but for my boy too. But you are on the right track and you should be so proud of yourself. You're a beautiful person in so many ways and I'm behind you all the way.

  2. You are a great person Jod's. Your kids are luck to have you.