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Friday, May 10, 2013

My Body - Apparently Up for Debate

Let me tell you about my body: it. has. changed.

I wrote about my body here. I reposted it here. The repost was interesting, to say the least. It turned into something very different than what I had actually written. And my regular Zen Parents commented in ways that proved the point of the post so beautifully, it was almost serendipitous...almost. See screen shots of the thread below.

Though I weigh many, many pounds LESS than I did before pregnancy, my body has changed, my weight has shifted and rearranged - I am in a bigger size now than I was when I weighed much more. My weight used to be much more evenly proportioned. Now, my legs and arms are thinner, my butt is smaller, the area where my c-section scar can be found is much bigger, my middle is thicker. It just is.

Shocking though it apparently is to some, I do not sit on the couch all day eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. And I exercise every day. I don't know any mother who doesn't! Running around after a toddler all day is a butt-kicking workout for anyone.

I was, at one point, in incredible shape. I used to work out about 8 hours a week. I had sculpted muscles, no detectable body fat, and I was STILL bigger than society would want me to be, still would never make it in Hollywood. My hips have always been high (I have never had a waist - all boob and hip) and wide, making for good curves, in my opinion, but too big, nevertheless, in society's eyes. My butt has always been non-existent. No matter how much I killed myself with trainers, I am just the female Hank Hill. So be it. My boobs have always been quite large. At one point, in high school, I considered a reduction, but decided against it. They are now not as perky as they once were and that's OK with me. Despite all the imperfections, I still had a hot little body. I didn't have anyone commenting to me that I should exercise, that I should stop eating junk, that I should set a better example, that I was unhealthy. Let me write that again: I had several imperfections according to society and I was beautiful.

Now, I'm not that body anymore, but I'm more happy. I know...shocking! It's true. I can actually look different than society, the media, many of you want me to look and be as happy as a clam. I have the same imperfections now, tacked on with a couple extra, and I'm happier now. What's the difference? I have experience, different priorities, different values, and a healthier self-esteem. Here's the math: me + imperfections - head noises as a result of society's static = me. Yup. Still me. I'm the same person regardless of the gray hair, regardless of whether or not I've "let myself go" (according to the comments), regardless of a couple extra pounds. And guess what: I'm a better version of me now than I was then. I never would've been the mom I am now when I was the old me.

Am I asking you to be like me? Never. Am I happy, healthy, safe, and a dang good mom? Yup. Does it look the way you want it to look? Evidently not. That's something for those who dislike it to come to terms with, not me. I have my own business to worry about.

To reiterate the point of this and the former post, the point is that loving oneself is a far more important lesson for me to teach my son than is fitting in to a mold set forth by, well, who cares who.


  1. Wow... those comments are pretty special. But hey, as we know, everything is up for debate if you're a woman. Recently this even included my choice of care provider during a miscarriage. Of course when I got upset about it I was just being "over emotional" and "hormonal".

    1. Wow, indeed, you silly, silly woman. Ugh. I'm sorry. That's just pathetic of them.

  2. You are brave. You are beautiful. You go Zen Mama! It is shocking to me to see some of these thoughtless comments but I love that you rise above it, proving your original message so well. I can only hope to get to that zen place about my changed body. As a mom of two, I am now a yoga instructor, eating better than ever, was able to get off all prescription meds through homeopathic medicine but weigh more than I ever have and realize I won't ever be fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans. As a mom of two daughters, it is important to me to set a positive example of self-acceptance (not just for my body but for everything including all imperfections) for them. Thank you for reminding me it is possible!

  3. The problem is that someone else has decided what is beautiful, and we must all live with their decision. It's not right, and it never has been. We are all beautiful in our own way, and nothing is more beautiful than a kind soul.

    I always enjoy your posts despite the ignorant comments.

    Thank you!

  4. Ugh. Sometimes I hate being a woman. Rarely do men have to field comments like above. I've fought with my weight my whole life but only recently - after my fifth child - begun to feel somewhat comfortable in my own skin. Until, of course, I flip through a fashion mag or some such, which is why I try to avoid doing so.

    Please don't listen to others. What is important is your health and that includes your mental and emotional health. Focus on being happy and loving yourself and your kids. Those are truly what matter in life.

  5. Ok this is a perfect example of why I can barely stand Zen Parenting anymore despite being a lactavist/intactivist/feminist/etc. YOU bring your body up for discussion in a PUBLIC blog and FB page then are surprised ppl discuss it and think it's "up for debate"? You started the debate! Someone asked if you exercised which may or may not be their business BUT you brought it up, making it their business! It wasn't a question out of nowhere! Get over yourself and realize if you're going to put stuff like this out there ppl ARE going to talk!

  6. Dear Anonymous,
    I did not bring my body up for discussion - ever. I brought up a post about loving myself and seeing myself through the eyes of my son. I brought up a post about the idiocy and small-mindedness of society. That you and so many others have chosen to hone in on body issues and make the post about something it never was is proof of the need for and point of the post.
    Please, if you cannot stand me, feel free to go. Nobody is forced to be here. Everyone is welcome, but I certainly don't want anyone here who is unhappy.