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.
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!