Freak You In Your Snooter, Body Image.

{I’m trying to clean up the sailor-mouth, okay?}

{Play the song.  It’s good for a laugh, and if you were a teenager in the 90s you might remember it.}

I just stretched my arms as far as I could above my head and let out a loud sigh. No, more like an AHHHHHHHHHH. Because exasperated is the word to describe how I’m feeling as I sit down to write this post.

For years, and years and years and years, I had no weight problem. I just didn’t know it.

In my mind, I was always kind of fat. It wasn’t until after college when my thyroid hit the skids that my body started to catch up with it. And even then, not really…if I’m being rational and honest.

Still, if there was a crash diet, I’d probably tried it.  If there was a NON crash diet, I’d probably tried it.  I don’t even want to admit to some of the things I’ve done to get my waistline where I wanted it. 

And then I got pregnant. And I gained 80 lbs. And at over 200 lbs, more than sixty lbs heavier then I’d ever been before Dee was born, I finally realized how fucked up my body image had been.

It didn’t matter if I was 120lbs or 220lbs. What I saw in the mirror was essentially the same. Sure, my body felt different (worse) at 220lbs, but my mind still just looked in the mirror and saw “FAT”. 

ONE HUNDRED POUNDS and it was like my psyche literally couldn’t tell the difference.  (I’m not a professional psychiatrist, but I think that’s what they call Body Dysmorphia.)

And then it all came off.  All hundred pounds. And it was like the goggles had been removed and OH MY GOD, 120lbs LOOKS LIKE DEATH ON YOU, ME.

Suddenly I could see the difference. And it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t sexy. It was horrible. Embarrassing even.

I was told to gain weight, and eventually I did.  And then…like I’m so used to doing…I gained a little more. “No big deal.  Still not fat”  I told myself.  And I was right.  I had this.

And then I went to NY, and it was hot, and humid, and I started to retain water.  “No big deal.  Still not fat.”  I told myself.  And I was right.  I’ve got this.

So I did a cleanse. Because that’s a good thing to do when you’re retaining water and feeling bloat-y.  I want to be clear: I believe in metabolic cleansing.  Cleanses aren’t really a means of weight-loss.  At least not weight-loss that’s going to stick.  This isn’t even the first time I’ve done a cleanse since I had Dee.  But she’s getting bigger every day.  It’s not uncommon for her to  pick up stuff we talk about and integrate it into the little stories she weaves with her imagination.  So I don’t know why I was so surprised when she announced: “Tomorrow I’m going to go on a cleanse.”

It’s worth mentioning that I’m pretty sure she thinks “on a cleanse” is a place you go rather than a way of eating (or…not eating) but that didn’t stop the words from penetrating through my chest like a knife to the heart.

It wasn’t until my guts turned solid that I realized I’d been considering crash dieting again.  It wasn’t until I heard my not-quite-three-year-old talk about dieting (I know I just said cleansing isn’t dieting, but you know what I mean) that I realized how dangerously close I was to buying those HCG drops and whittling my way back down to a size four.

It also wasn’t until she uttered those words that I realized that I can never, ever tackle a get-thin-quick scheme ever again.  I can’t have my baby girl growing up in the sea of no-carb, low-sodium, diet-pill-popping mania I spent my pre-baby years wading through.

I’ve gained weight and I’m scared.  I want to stick to my fighting weight and not fluctuate.  I want to clean up the way I live so my baby girl doesn’t see this model of insecurity.  I’m not at all sure I know how.  But I’m gonna try.

Feed Me Seymour