How My Children Changed The Way I View My Weight

by Samantha Wassel
Originally Published: 

Today I feel fat.

Today I am plagued by toxic thinking.

Today my weight is my world. And I’m forced to carry it with me. I can feel it pressing down, threatening to crush me.

Today I am extra aware of the friction between my thighs, the spot where they touch when I walk.

Today none of the clothes I put on fit right. They’re too tight, and they hug me in all the wrong places…

…and today, all the places feel wrong.

Today I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I see her. The one who mocks me. The one who manipulates me. The one who tells me I’m not good enough.

Today, food is my enemy. Everything that touches my lips expands my belly, engorges my hips, and poisons my mind.

And, God, do I hate it. I hate recounting calories over and over and over in my head. I hate compulsively pinching the skin beneath my rib cage and analyzing it between my fingers. I hate getting dressed and—even more so—getting undressed. I hate feeling disgusting. I hate feeling inadequate.

Today I want to hide.

In the past, I would hide on days like today. I would allow my feelings to dictate my actions. I would refuse to eat. I would work out at least twice as long as usual. I would not face the day. I would not face myself.

I would lose myself in the darkness of my thoughts.

I would disappear.

But this is not the past. This is now. And now, I have you: my vibrant, charming, beautiful baby boys. I have you to remind me how precious every moment of every day is. I have you to pull me back from the lure of all-consuming shadow.

Now, I have light.

So today I will not hide.

I will throw on a pair of sweats and embrace the feel of the elastic waistband, pressed against the scar that spans the loose skin of my abdomen. I will thank God for that scar, and for the two precious angels that came out of it.

I will not starve myself. I will ask you to help me bake cookies, and I will giggle with you as we snitch the dough and lick the beaters. I will wipe the flour from your cheeks and chomp at your fingers as you feed me chocolate chips. And I will not let the sweet memory-in-the-making be tainted by the bitterness of unwarranted guilt.

I will look in the mirror and smile at the woman you call “Mama.” I will let her pride and worth shine through, shattering the shallow reflection of the woman who once stood there, taunting me.

I will bounce you up and down on my thighs and give you piggy back rides. I will toss you in the air and spin you around to our favorite song. I will dip you at the chorus and revel in your boisterous laughter and the way your hair tickles my face when I pull you back close to me. I will be grateful that my body is strong enough to play with you.

My weight? It’s meaningless. I carry it superficially.

But you? You are my world. I carry you in my heart. You are a weight I choose, a weight I embrace.

Today I will feel fat. Some days I do. I am still healing, and I still have moments of weakness.

But I will also feel happy. I will feel grateful. I will feel blessed. I will feel good enough.

Because I have you.

Thank you for showing me the light.

Related post: Having Kids Improved My Body Image

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