Sunday, July 26, 2009

Failure to be Thin


String bean.

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 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.



Lisa said...

SO true! I love this post!

Anonymous said...

Great post... so true. Too bad we(me) don't realize this more often...

Army Strong Girl said...

Wonderful insight as usual Laurie! I was that skinny[but short] kid who was passive aggressively picked on. It took turning 30 to get to "failure to be thin" as well. After that the haters loved to throw my new poundage in my face. I am so glad you have come to a place of peace because you ARE beautiful!