I had my son in 2009, and I think when he was born I weighed 140 pounds or so. I gained about 18-20 pounds during the pregnancy.
Within three months of giving birth, I dropped to an unprecedented size zero. I had almost no fat, and almost no muscle for that matter, on my body.
Today, I am not sure what size I am. My wedding dress is a size two, but I buy pants in a size four. Who knows.
I do know that some days I miss my tiny pants, tiny shirts, miniscule breasts… Some days I feel like I have to run miles upon miles, drink only green smoothies, and never have a glass of wine (yeah, right) in order to get back to my tiny size.
I am constantly reminding myself, however, that the reasons I was a size zero were these:
My diet consisted of coffee, and sometimes a peanut butter sandwich. I was driving four hours a day to get to school, Harrison, then home. I was working from 5PM until midnight, then coming home to a baby who woke up during the wee hours of the morning.
I wasn’t eating, and I wasn’t sleeping. Of course I was tiny. It was probably the least-healthy time period of my life.
I have gained ten or fifteen pounds since that time. I’m told by friends, family, that this is a much healthier looking me. It doesn’t really matter what they say, though. I know I feel healthy today. I eat well. Not junk, not a lot, but I eat good, healthy, whole, fresh foods. And I eat when I want to. And I sleep! I get eight hours of glorious sleep every single night.
I drive half of what I used to. I don’t do everything myself, I have a partner.
I keep hearing about the goddamn bikini season and it makes me want to puke. Who gives a flying rats arse about what size or shape your body is, and whether or not you’re “worthy,” enough to wear a bikini. As many other women who are equally as fed up will say, “Tips for bikini season: 1) Have a body 2) Put a bikini on it. Fin.”
I have up and down days with how I feel about my body. I have complaints where things aren’t as taut as they used to be, where my hips are slightly wider than they used to be, where my quads aren’t as cut as they used to be, where my arms aren’t as toned. These are things I suppose I could change if I wanted to put work into it. Some days I am more motivated than others.
But the thing about my body today is that it is going to change again. Hopefully I will have another baby, hopefully I will start running half marathons. One is just as likely as the other. Just like everything else in life, the only constant for a body is change. And I think there are a lot of women out there who struggle with this.
When I was 21, I weighed 107 pounds. It’s not a healthy weight for someone my height and build. Today, I weigh around 120.
If I don’t pay attention to the media, do not concentrate on women in Hollywood, and do not stare enviously at the cover of my P90X DVDs, I feel good about my 120. My size four. I would feel good about a size six.
I can haul water buckets, and move a 200 pound bale of hay. I can pull a 120 pound sheep around. I can lift up my 40 pound son with ease. I can do pull ups and pushups and if I need to, I can do burpees, but I hate them. I can push a 1,000 pound horse around. My body is strong, useful, and beautiful. It is not stick-thin, it is not sickly, it is terrific and functional and beautiful.
Sometimes I need the reminder of acceptance from myself. Sometimes we all need the reminder, from all walks of fitness. Every woman and every man needs to remember how terrific their bodies are.
That’s my little soapbox for the day.