Friday, April 10, 2009

Blechy Doodah Body Image Blog

I'm so sorry I'm writing this. I really really wish I didn't have to. But I've got to.

Is it me, or is there a grisly hiss of jealousy stewing just under the surface of every mommy gathering hole? A covetous glancing of eyes at other mothers' midsections while simultaneously scouting out her youngest child and calculating how long since she popped that last sucker out and got so fucking skinny? 

Body image is a bitch.
It's still up for me, if only in my most hidden and silenced judgmental thoughts.
I'm 40 now.
I thought this was so my 20's and 30's.
I wrote a book on it.
I travelled nationally speaking to girls about it. 
I broke through archaic layers of my own psychic sludge to supposedly free my poor body from my maniacal mind's reign of terror.

And yet here I am on the playground day after day finding at least one other mother's cute little flat belly to covet. Compare and despair. Such a useless pastime. I'm so embarrassed to admit this petty crap in writing, using the 'publish' button as my confessional/spittoon/outhouseBut this is the only way I know to rid myself of the torment and shame: out myself. 

FACT: I weighed a fit and muscular 150 pounds before pregnancy at age 37. I gained only 26 pounds the first time, lost it all immediately while breast feeding, then a repeat cycle for my last pregnancy a year later going down to 138 due to my skyrocketing metabolism ala one voracious nurser and one heinous case of PPD. 

FACT: Everyone commented on how thin I got with praise and envy. 

FACT: This made me even sicker in the head, obsessing about the inevitability of weight gain once N stopped nursing.

FACT: N stopped nursing and I am indeed gaining back the weight.

Moral of the story?: Hmmmm, is there a moral to this story? How about I'll make some up:
FIRST MORAL: Never ever comment praisingly on a woman's weight loss. You may very well be reinforcing an extremely negative behavior/thought pattern. They may be puking their guts out, starving themselves, over exercising, undergoing chemo, or in severe physical or mental pain.

SECOND MORAL: Other women's body sizes are not our business. Period. You can say she looks 'beautiful' or 'healthy' or 'glowing'. But please do not use the words 'thin' or 'skinny' or any of their derivatives. They just feed our society's obsession with thinness and our own volatile and highly conditional relationships with our bodies. 

THIRD MORAL: My own body size is not my business. If I make it my business, I'm fucked. Sure as that. My life will become as small, isolated, pathetic and insular as it was when I made both a professional and mental career out of taming and whipping it into shape. 

Sorry such a downer. But I feel my truth's got to be told in it's rawness or else I'm doomed to more of the same ole' same ole'. 


  1. It's crazy that you just wrote this...because my Blogversations tomorrow is all about your book!!!

    Perfect timing!

  2. What else is crazy is that I talked in my video about how I just told Taylor that he couldn't say skinny anymore....

    Love ya girl! You totally totally rock!

  3. Hi! I just heard about your blog on Summer's -- and she's right! I totally love it! Thank you for that last post -- body image is something that is so important -- even if it shouldn't be. I know I'll never forget feeling like I looked pretty good 8 weeks post baby and having my husband's aunt say how much better I looked with some extra weight (which was like, hello! I had a baby less than two months ago!). Now every time I see her I make sure to only wear outfits that make me look skinnier. It's sick. I'm going to keep your post in mind and try to get away from that whole mental-thing.


  4. Ok, here's the sick thing. You probably don't remember, but just after you got fixed, you showed us your little incision spot and when you lifted up your shirt, I thought, god! How sexy is a belly that is a little bit soft and round! I want to look like that! Can we ever be satisfied??!!

  5. P.S. Sorry for covertly checking you out! God! What a weirdo I sound like-- I swear I'm not always trying to catch a glimpse of your naked tummy!!

  6. I have yet to come to terms with my body after having babies... I really do miss my old tummy that I know I will never get back because I am not dedicated to going to the gym or eating as well as I should. I do sometimes look at other moms and wonder how they are SO FIT!

  7. Hey, I just found your blog through Summer at Le Musings of Moi. I haven't even watched the video she did about your book yet. I just clicked on the link to your blog first, and I can't believe I never ended up here sooner. What you have to say in this post alone is incredible. I love the transparency and honesty in your writing, and this really, really hit home for me. I just wrote a post on Thursday on my blog about my struggle with this very issue. It's like a yo-yo issue for me - this whole battle with weight loss/gain after having a baby. I'm really looking forward to reading more of your blog because I could really relate to a lot of what you just said. So, thanks for putting it out there and being so honest. I'm sure your words are impacting tons of other women, too.

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  9. amazing to see Noah and G. They are just beautiful!!! Amazing how they all look happy, so happy. So sometimes, just say "Fuck You" to the transient trash that clutters your mind and ruins your day. Because really, if we try (and it's hard), we can make the bad stuff last "less long" and the good stuff sick around longer.

  10. This is my first time I am reading your blog but will defiantly be back. I really liked this post.

  11. FIRST: We are responsible for our own feelings. Absolve the world of responsibility for your negative self-talk.

    SECOND: What are your unmet needs associated with your body? Acceptance? Touch? Movement? Respect?

    THIRD: What are your feelings? You mentioned jealousy of other mom's flat tummies, the despair of comparing, and embarrassment in admitting these things. Are you also angry with people who commented on your weight loss? Jealousy, despair, embarrassment, maybe anger. What else?

    FOURTH: Your request... For people to use the words 'beautiful' or 'healthy' or 'glowing' rather than 'thin' or 'skinny' or any of their derivatives when praising each other's bodies.

    When people praise on another person's weight, they are judging the other person, albeit in a seemingly positive way. Might that be in response to their own needs for inspiration and health?

    How do you feel after reading my comments?