Full disclosure: Body image and weight issues have been a life long problem for me. I was the fat sister. My two sisters were tall and fah-reaking gorgeous, my parents were strong and lean. I didn't fit. Once, when we were very young, me (or one of my sisters, my memory is fuzzy here) asked about an overweight woman with an overweight child that we saw outside. We were innocent and were just trying to figure out the hows and whys of the world, not calling anyone out to belittle them. My mother, however, did not mince words here.
"Because fat mommies make fat babies," she said.
Ouch. She could have said that they didn't get enough exercise, or ate unhealth foods, or had a glandular problem, but she didn't. The words, "Because fat mommies make fat babies," stuck with me to this day. This happened when I was around 5. I'm now 30. Because of what she said and the way she said it, I wondered what she thought about me, the one that doesn't fit.
When I was about 12, I shot straight up and got thin, but the negative speak, both internally and externally, was still there. I had no idea that I got thin and healthy during this time and only realized it years later when seeing the rare photos of me. Around the same time, a relative was in Germany and sent my sisters and I each a *small* box of chocolates. One day I was walking through the kitchen and took one of the small pieces of chocolate out of the box.
"Go ahead, have another hip pill," my stepfather said when he saw me. (My mother and father had divorced a few years earlier.) It's no wonder I still thought I was fat, even when I wasn't. Not knowing that I was in good health, the weight came back on without me ever even realizing it had come off.
I remained a little heavy, with my weight going up and down as much as 15 pounds year to year. Finally, one summer I was training to be a lifegaurd and shed several pounds due to all the swimming I was doing to prepare for the physical activity portion of the test. Around the same time my father came to visit.
"Look how much weight Kristina has lost!" was one of the first things my mother said to him.
A few years later I became pregnant with Philosopher Child. I had no concept of healthy eating (does anyone else think it's funny that my family, especially my mom and sisters, were obsessed with weight but never discussed healthy eating? I do), and at lots of junk food because that's what I craved. I gained around 50 pounds. A year after pregnancy, I tipped the scale at nearly 200 pounds. Enough was enough and I made the conscious decision to get healthy. Notice I didn't say thin. I said healthy.
I joined my local Curves (now closed, unfortunately) and paid more attention to what I was eating, but still didn't have a good concept of what foods I should be eating and how much. I dropped about 20 pounds then became pregnant with Little Viking. My midwife had a much better understanding of what foods were healthy and how much of what I should be eating. I owe her quite a bit. I gained very little weight during this pregnancy, but Little Viking was growing like a weed and when he was born was in the 90th percentile for weight and height.
I continued to struggle with my weight going up an down. To date, since I first decided with seriousness to get healthy, I have lost 35 pounds, and now weight around 165. For my height and bone structure (yes, bone structure), I'm shooting for 155 to be in the top end of the healthy range. I'd be happier with 140.
What was this post about...Oh, yes. Dang it all! I had some issues when I got stressed, depressed, and my hormones went all wonky and made me nauseous. Therefore, I missed several weeks worth of workouts and ate some very naughty foods. I support naughty foods now and again, but I had too many of them. Like, daily. I went from 160 to 165. Crap. Now I'm back on the ball, working out with a combination of walking (2 miles 5 days a week), body weight exercises (occasionally), yoga (occassionally), and Zumba (2 times a week), and eating right. I don't want to feel denied or overly strict with myself, I just want to be healthy. I will never be extremely thin like you see in the movies and magazines. The size of my bones (no kidding, I'm actually big boned!) make it a physical impossibility, and knowing that is very freeing.
At age 30, I'm finally starting to love me, who I am, where I am, without judgment. Yes, I have 10 pounds to go until I'm in the healthy range, and I'll get there. In the meantime, I'm loving my awesome, sexy self.