“I reaaaaaallllly want to lose this extra baby weight.” said 25 year old me to a room full of mothers in a group I belonged to at the time.
We were sitting in someone’s living room; I don’t remember whose after all these years.Each of us holding our new bundles of joy. Some under a year, some older, some with multiple littles. I held my precious only son. Fear gripped my heart to admit this to a room of women who really didn’t have a whole lot of extra fat on their bodies. It was always the way back then; I found my way into circles of women who were drastically smaller than I.
And I stuck out like a sore thumb.
At least that’s how I felt at the time.
What I didn’t admit to the women I sat in a circle with; it wasn’t just baby weight. It was accumulated weight from a lifetime.
I wanted to fit in.
I envied their flat tummies that just birthed babies. They would stand, running their hands up and down their bellies, proudly exclaiming how in just a few weeks it had flattened back to its original state.
That just wasn’t me.
I would instantly deflate. This was approximately monthly gathering number 8 with these particular women. I had gotten to know them during their pregnancies, and now we shared time as moms of new babies.
A mom of 2 children sat near me. She was 42, the age I am as I write this, and had a newborn boy and a 4 year old girl. I could feel her looking at me.
I tore my wistful eyes from the latest display of a lifted shirt & flat tummy, and met her loving but fierce gaze.
With Wise Woman Wisdom she said, “Kim… have you considered the possibility that you are perfect exactly as you are? That you may never lose your baby weight, and this is just what your body is going to look like?… for the rest of your life?”
I was instantly ashamed.
I felt wrong.
Nooooooooo screamed my mind. No no no no no no no panicked my fearful heart.
My adorned mask did not reflect the shitstorm occuring inside of me. I smiled at her. “I haven’t. I will ponder this though. Thank you.”
“Cos…Kim. There’s nothing wrong with you…” she trailed off, pausing. “You know this right?” She asked softly.
Tears instantly welled up in my eyes from my still bleeding childhood fat girl wound. I hung my head in shame, shaking my head no. I quickly stood up, because these tears were not going to stop.
I knew the tsunami of emotion that was ready to come out. And to be the fat woman crying because she’s the only fat one in a room full of women who weren’t, just didn’t feel safe to me.
Stifling my sobs, I quietly excused myself from the circle to use the bathroom, and instead exited the home of my mother friend and circle of women, never to return again.
My fat story began around age 7. According to my parents I went from skinny to fat in a matter of nanoseconds. My 6 year old face is vastly different than my 7 year old one in old school pictures. I don’t know why. There’s no specific trauma that happened that year that I recall that had occurred in the previous years. I wasn’t being force fed massive amounts of food either. It was home cooked meals my mom created every day.What I do know, is when it happened my parents were anguished.
I felt ruined.
“It seemed to happen overnight. What’s wrong with her? Is she sick?!” said my father when they didn’t think I was listening. I heard a lot of what they didn’t know I could. None of it helped.
Each statement molding and shaping my fracturing psyche. Each statement a painful slash that grew the wound.
By the time I reached my 20’s I was a trainwreck. I couldn’t even think about the word fat without crying. Saying or hearing it was a trigger word of mass devastation.
I didn’t look into the mirror, ever. I ignored my body hoping it would just go away. I fed the gaping hole inside with anything and everything. I constantly sought validation from anyone to confirm my beauty and worth. But, the light started to filter in after my second son.
There was an awakening occuring. I started to consciously tend the wound and emotional eating patterns.
The years after we’re a slow undoing of all of this. I’ve been through the diets (diet has the word die in it), the stage of not calling them diets but calling them eating plans instead, then I rolled into not wanting to be skinny, but just healthy – working my body inside a gym to annihilate and obliterate the fat.
They were all just different ways of saying: I hate myself.
Acts performed in the energy of punishment and not enough-ness, never Love.
I have 3 daughters now. They truly were my wake up call. And yes, one of them has my body type. I knew it immediately when I saw her beautiful chubby cheeks and the telltale visibly thicker patch of skin on the back of her neck after her arrival Earthside.
From that second on, seeing her in all her newborn perfection, I knew I could never ever again hate myself for looking the way I do.
Because in doing this, I would also be projecting this hatred upon her.
So I stopped.
It really was that easy when doing it for her.
What I didn’t realize at the time, is I was doing it for that little girl inside me too.
It was several years of undoing the patterns after that, but the Portal to Unconditional Love was activated within. And once that happens, there truly is no going back.
So today, now, did loving every last inch of myself magically make me skinny? No. It did not. But I am happy in the skin I am in. I appreciate the body I have that looks eerily like the picture featured here, a statue of the ancient goddess.
My stomach, hips, thighs, and butt are amply padded. I have stretch marks that portray the topographic trail of divine creation to birth for each of my 7 children. My breasts are the sacred testament of a woman who nourished each child birthed with the milk that flowed from her body. Cellulite? Got this too.
And I spent time telling every chubby lump that i love it, and thanked it for being here until I believed it.
Until that little lump of fat believed it too.
All the lumps, all the chubs, all the marks, all the saggy spots. If I could take a magic pill and wake up with the body I dreamed of in my childhood, would I?
I finally feel what my friend from my mother’s group said. I have fully embraced that this is my given shape for this time around on the planet.
And I love it.
I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It is impossible to shame a woman who is unashamed.”