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/outhouse. But 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'.