What happens when you don’t lose the baby weight?
Do you know what happens if you don’t lose the baby weight within the first year after you give birth? Or — I don’t know — ever?
Nothing happens. You just weigh more than you did before. Do you know what happens when that happens? Your old clothes are probably tighter and may not even fit, but besides that…
Nothing. Nothing happens. The earth doesn’t spin off its axis. Your friends don’t stop loving you. Your colleagues don’t stop respecting you. Absolutely nothing happens.
Where did the obsession with taking up less space come from?
I know where it came from for me. My desire to completely disappear in my teens so my weight would never be an “issue” in my house led me to an eating disorder that I would struggle with for nearly 25 years. Can you imagine? A decision I made when I was 14 years old would shape a huge part of my life and mental and physical health for damn near three decades. And the world didn’t care that I was starving myself or not allowing myself to actually digest food because every thing is A-ok when you’re thin. My ability to drop weight quickly, my never-ending trips to the bathroom — I was never called out on these things once. In 25 years.
I don’t know how it all stopped, just finally one day I decided I didn’t want to keep killing myself. And that if I actually did end up killing myself trying to maintain my weight, not a single person would ever stand up at my funeral and say “Maria was an amazing friend, sister, talent — if only she were 40 pounds lighter. Then she really would have been exceptional.”
This is not to say that everyone who struggles with their weight has an eating disorder — I know I’m the exception, not the rule. There’s nothing wrong with eating healthy and exercising.
But spending even one minute thinking there’s something wrong with you because of some extra pounds of flesh is just a waste. Think of all the things we could be conquering with the time we spend beating ourselves up over how we look.
The world is never going to tell you any of this because a hungry woman isn’t as dangerous as one who’s fed. A woman who feels shitty about herself isn’t as dangerous as one who doesn’t. We’re powerful beyond measure and we let ourselves be convinced that we need to be small. And when I say “small” it has nothing to do with size. Some of the thinnest women I know tear themselves apart over little details about their bodies that they don’t like, every day. What a waste of energy to carry around all of that self-doubt when we could be carrying the knowledge that we’re fucking incredible.
One day you just have to start loving yourself more than you hate your flaws. And then everything changes. Everything.
If you happen to be taking up more space than you’re used to — who cares? Nothing is going to happen.
Occupy your space. There’s nothing wrong with you.