When Kim and I started talking the other day about getting personal again on this blog I started thinking up a list of personal non-kid ideas to share. Sharing fun things about our kids is easy and I wanted to get a little down and dirty I guess! But I came up pretty empty. My marriage is good, my kids are good, business (both of them) is good and I just couldn’t think of much to say (not to say they are all always good, but currently I can’t complain!).
Until I was getting dressed yesterday morning and paused to look in the mirror. Which I rarely do. Fully dressed. And never naked. Anymore.
And what I saw instantly changed my mood because what I saw staring back is a woman that looks fat. IS fat. And it was all I could think about. F.A.T. In places I’ve never been fat before. Looking like I’ve never looked before. As if I don’t recognize my own body, which I guess I really don’t.
And in that moment I didn’t care what I put on because no matter what clothes I chose there would still be that under lying truth I couldn’t hide from the world. I am Fat. Or, I should say, fat for ME. I FEEL fat. If there is a difference at all in that distinction?
So I left my bedroom in my long cotton dress, the one that makes me look pregnant but is so comfortable, and went about my morning with the kids. After getting them all dressed and breakfast on the table and backpacks packed and counters wiped and teeth brushed we were getting ready to leave when a thought popped into my head.
I am more than my fat.
I am MORE than my fat.
And I wanted to scream it so loud my throat would hurt from the effort.
I AM MORE THAN MY FAT.
For the first time, in a long time, I remembered that my body doesn’t define me. I am SO much more than the extra pounds I’ve packed on. And I know that my friends, family or strangers on the street don’t look at me and think, “wow! She’s really let herself go! She must eat and eat and eat to have gained so much weight!” so why do I assume they all think awful thoughts about me? Why do I assume people aren’t going to like me because of my weight or how I look everyday in general? Why do I make it such an issue in my life?
Because I’m ashamed. Because I know how to take care of myself. Because I hate to admit that I can’t do it all and I let exercising+eating right go first when life got too intense. Because I hate the way I look so i assume everyone else does too.
But where in the world will that get me? Hiding Oreos in my bedside table or something that’s where!
So today I decided that NO MORE will I let my body define who I am and how I feel about my life. NO MORE will I let it get me down. I am more than that. I am a good mother and wife. I’m an artist and friend. I’m a blogger and photographer. I’m a daughter and sister. I am ME and that should be enough! Extra weight or not. Make-up on or off. Hair frizzy or straight. ENOUGH!
So on the way to take Bailey to school I got an idea and called Kim, who was taking her herd to school too. And I asked her to come over afterward to take a few photos of me. When I told her why and what the photos would be of she just laughed! HA! But like a good friend, she came anyway.
And she captured me.
With stretch marks and cellulite and chub.
She captured my most insecure parts too.
My neck. I hate my neck. And I didn’t use to but now it’s nearly an obsession. That deep crease in the center that is my gauge on how much weight I’ve put on.
The part of my neck I have always hated because kids made fun of my moles. Moley moley moley (Austin Powers anyone?). Hate them and still think about them like a 13 year old girl.
And my no-make-up face. Which I am insecure about. Because I hate the feel of make-up but hate the way I look so tired and not-put-together without it. Usually I choose feeling good over looking good. But always feel bad anyway. And my birth mark. See that small red circle in between my eyes? It used to be a lot redder but it still the first thing I notice when I look at my face in the mirror. Even though I do like my freckles! I just never focus on the good, always the bad.
I stood on my back porch in a white tank top and underwear. While Kim photographed the backs of my thighs and the fat that is squished out on my back because of my bra, you know, “back fat” and even a full body shot. So trust me, I have a lot more photos, but out of respect to my husband, who thinks I’m over-sharing, I’ve decided to leave them off of here. But I’m not deleting them. Because to me it will represent the day I said I AM MORE THAN MY BODY.
Frankly, I am more than a lot of things! I am not defined by any one thing. I am a sum of the parts. My parts equal my whole. And what got me to this weight, well, I’m pretty darn proud of! Three kids in three years and two successful businesses aided in me gaining this weight. And how can I take any of that back?
I think all women are insecure about something, a lot of things actually. But I also bet that we all are insecure about our bodies. I was talking to my best friend about this today and she agreed that she’s insecure too. Which didn’t surprise me because of my belief that every woman does feel insecure, but shocked me b/c I’d DIE to look like her! She’s gotta be about 50lbs lighter than me which means she’s lighter than even my goal weight! And yet she feels the same way i do! She has bad days because of how she THINKS she looks too.
And I think universally we all need to get over it! Let’s not let our bodies, our FAT (or non-fat as the case may be), define us!
Today I am going for a run, if I have time. And I’m going to try to eat better because I do want to see a little change. But if I drink a Mnt Dew or skip a workout I won’t feel bad. And I’m going to get dressed today and know that I am beautiful. No matter what weight I am. AND I’m going to remind myself that I AM MORE THAN MY WEIGHT. And rest in the fact that others don’t judge me as harshly as I tend to judge myself. Today I’m going to photograph a one year old and a newborn and be proud of my work. I’ll welcome clients into my rental house and be proud of my home. I’m going to enjoy my family this morning before work and have a blast with our best friends tonight. I’m going to have a good day because I know my whole is the sum of all parts and that one tiny part of who I am does not define me!
Was it a bit crazy to show my chubby tummy on the internet? Maybe. Did some people tell me it was unprofessional and not blog-worthy? Totally. So why did I put it all out there?
Because I KNOW that if I feel this way than you do too. Or at least I’m assuming you do! HA! And like Kim and I decided the other day, our clients aren’t just hiring our work, they are hiring US. And this is who I am. My daily struggle to believe all that I just wrote. To live out the fact that I AM MORE THAN MY FAT even on days I want to crawl in a hole to hide! Our clients aren’t hiring perfectly thin, high-style women. They are hiring tired moms that do the best they can and who are going to start sharing more of themselves with the world. If that stops anyone from hiring us than so be it!
Happy weekend everyone! Let’s celebrate our bodies today! Good or bad! Let’s love them!
Lurker here from the birth experience forum. Just wanted to say a big thank you for this post. My post-partum body has been getting me down, but today I also claim, “i am more than my fat!” Love it! You are beautiful and awesomely honest! Have a wonderful weekend!
That’s crazy–I just took “before” pictures of myself two days ago. I wasn’t going to post them until I had some “after” pics to show (if I ever have after pics–haha). You are brave my friend. And you have nothing to feel shameful for! You live an amazing life and you do incredible work, and you are beautiful. I’ve alwys been envious of your perfect skin. As a 30 year old with acne like a teenaged boy, I hate that I feel like I cant leave the house without makeup on. There are a lot of days that I feel like I am defined by my imperfections. Thanks for the reminder that I am more than all of the lies and crap in my head! love this post! love you.
OK. Love it. After I read this I said to Josh, “she doesn’t even look bad. I look 1,000,000 worse.” Then he said, “did you not read the post. STOP IT!! I think you look great.” Love your attitude. If you ever need a chubby friend to run walk with give me a shout!!
that should be “1,000,000 times worse.”
Wow, that was beautiful…and I really needed to read that!
You amaze me, Jodie. I don’t know if you realize how much you have grown as a person in the last few months or so. You ARE beautiful – inside and out. Don’t ever doubt that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your photos. Brave. Transparent. Honest. Lovely.
Jodie…you rock girl! You are beautiful just the way God made you. Getting through the day focused on what truly matters is the way! Congrats on all you have accomplished and continue to work toward!
I came to the same conclusion a few months ago, when I was sweating the fact that I hadn’t lost the few post baby pounds that I’m holding on to. I said that I would love my fat and just wear bigger clothes, ha! I mean I’m eating better and exercising but I don’t mind a few sodas, chocolate, and cookies stuck in there too. Thanks for the post! I too am “I am more than my fat!”
Awesome post … beautiful inside and out!
Jodi, I just met you at the stl photographers shot party…I was the other KIM sitting in front of you. I love your post and I loved meeting the two of you earlier this past week. I just want to say that I am celebrating YOU with you! You sound like an amazing person who wears many, many hats and are doing it well. So here is a toast to you (pretend you have your fav.drink) CHEERS!
AMEN! 3 kids in 4 years and I’m feeling your pain. But I TOO am more than my fat! And what’s more…God loves me just the way I am. Chub and all. So I should love myself too!
Thank you for your bravery!
you’re awesome. and so inspiring. i need to hear this so badly sometimes. you’re not oversharing. you’re being honest. and brave! and i love that about you! ignore the rude comments. they are all BS. you’re looking great, and you are gorgeous.
Thanks for sharing. I look at what you call fat and wish I could be that slim! The person inside doesn’t change just because the outer skin changes. Even when you are old and grey-haired and wrinkly, you will still be the same person inside.
You are beautiful inside and out, Jodie! I admire your willingness to write about your personal life, and that’s what keeps me coming back to both of your blogs!
Let me tell you how perfect your timing is. I have been feeling very down in the dumps about my own weight issues lately and your post really resonates with me. I will not wake up having lost the 30+ pounds I’d like to (need to) loose. Instead I should be happy that this body, my body is what brought my two little loves into this world. It is the body that gives them hugs and kisses on their little fingers and toes. I can work to change myself but it will do me no good at all to hate myself in the process. Again, you lift me up Jodie! A million thanks!
Jodie, Thanks for the honesty. I too feel this way. 2 wonderful kids, a full time job and some chocolate and soda have left some pounds on me just like you. I needed to hear this as well. We are more than just our fat. Thanks again!!
As a 7-months-pregnant mother who never really lost all the weight from the first kid, and who is constantly thinking of the day I can start losing this weight that I am accumulating to have a second healthy baby, I can’t tell you enough how wonderful this is. I am also more than my fat. I am more than this baby weight and the weight that came before it. You are beautiful, and thank you for sharing yourself with us. Anyone who thinks this is TMI has obviously never felt like you or I, and has no idea the value of sharing your true self and helping others see themselves for who they really are.
Thank you for your sharing your beautiful heart! I love your honesty and am grateful for the risk you took in being transparent. So many people spend way too much time in fear: of their bodies, what others think about their bodies and how they bodies “should” look. Your children are blessed to have you as a mom modeling such authenticity and I only wish you lived closer so I could refer more people to you! Thanks for sharing your powerful voice and for the gift of this post. I look forward to encouraging others to check it out, too. 🙂
I am a frequent visitor to your site and this post made me stop and comment.
You are so right! You are more than your weight and people don’t judge as harshly as you may. While I know we are all our worst critics and we can all point out 100 things wrong with ourselves, this is what I see when I look at these images of you.
I see a mother with gorgeous, golden red curls, peachy freckled skin(I heart freckles!) a strong chin, full lips and beautiful blue green eyes. I don’t even know you and I can see these things!! Thanks for sharing you!
oh jodie….love this and love you! i’ve been pretty MIA lately…including staying up beat with blogland. loved catching up on you and kim’s work! you are a wonderful team…and dear God jodie.! i think you look damn good! one thing to make clear…i will NEVER post pics of my tummy on the internet…but to paint a picture, image an overstretched deflatted balloon and you’ll have my belly…with the two round hanging, empty salt sacks that were once perky ta-tas!
you two are a set of talented ladies!
hugs to you both!