All legs and arms.
Those were words and phrases I heard all my life. I was always the tall, thin, awkward one. I grew up but never out. Which, of course, was perfectly fine with me...except for the awkward part anyway. I happily remained a size zero through high school until I got pregnant and gained just under one hundred pounds! Yes, I packed on 97 total pounds during my first pregnancy.
I thought for sure that would all change after my first child was born. But when he was three months old people began asking me if I was sick because I was so thin. I had lost all of the weight. And that was great...except people started making odd comments about how I must have had an eating disorder and trying to shame me for being thin after having a baby. I quickly learned that when people asked me about my weight--and they did, a lot--I should just smile and change the subject because it brought out a strange passive hostility toward me.
I continued this for a while. Three more kids and I was still buying size two pants. My metabolism was just freakishly high and long and lean was my body type. I still got rude comments and people still tried to make me feel badly because I was thin after four kids...like thinness is the epitome of beauty. Trust me, I didn't need anyone to help me feel badly about myself...I had a horrible self-image already. My nose was too big. My complexion was awful. My hair was straw. I had no boobs or butt. My weight was the one thing I didn't have to hate about myself. It was as if people wished I would gain weight. I didn't get it.
Then two major things happened.
I quit a-not-so secret smoking habit and I turned 30.
That first year I gained around thirty pounds.
And then another twenty.
And, those who wished I would have gained weight all those years were suddenly giddy when the topic would come up. Like my extra weight was a big unspoken "told ya so". So my complexion still sucks. My nose is still too big. My hair is still straw. I still have no butt. Now, I get to add weight to the list--the one thing I thought I had going for me. (The bigger boobs are okay with me!)
My failure to be thin is another thing to figure out and I am slowly working on it. I am down from my heaviest weight. I don't want to be as thin as I was because, frankly, I hated how most people were passive aggressive toward me. I'm not ready for that again. Somewhere in the middle would be good.
I don't know how I'll end up. But I don't think that is the point really.
New words define me now...more important words like wife and mother and compassionate. I like those much better because no matter what, no matter what numbers pop up on my scale's display those kinder words will always be true.