Feel Good in my Own Skin?

I feel good.

I bet you are singing the old James Brown tune right now, but all catchy tunes aside, it is true. I feel good.

Growing up, I was the fattest kid in my class. But before you feel bad for me, know that I didn’t know I was a fattie. Well, that’s not exactly true. I did know that I was the biggest girl in my class and now and then someone would let something slip that reminded me that I was big, but I didn’t feel fat. I played sports, made friends and generally felt good. I knew I was big, but I didn’t really worry about it. Oh sure, now and then I would freak out and go on a crazy diet or have a little confidence lag. I wore baggy clothes because they were comfortable and I thought they camouflage my rolly belly. I think you get the picture; I was fat but it didn’t stand in my way.

In University, my size stayed out of my way. I still managed to get good grades, to make friends and to even give a speech, in both English and French, to my graduating class. Sure, I wasn’t wearing a slinky, sexy little black dress to my grad, but even if I could have, it wasn’t really my style.

Being a plus size girl, I even managed to bag me a very good-looking man. Imagine, he even liked me the way I was! Sure, the two of us hit the gym and talked of losing weight and yada yada but that was our social thing. Our self-esteem did not hinge on weight. I love him because he is an amazingly patient dude and I think he loves me for my excellent sense of humour, or maybe it is my awesome intelligence. Or could it be my modesty?

After a few years together, I found out I was pregnant. That is when my body image really changed. Suddenly, the shirt that was a little tight was okay to wear. My mind would remind my judgemental eyes as I looked in the mirror, pregnancy meant clothes wouldn’t fit the same and no one could judge me! My wardrobe got a whole lot bigger! I felt amazing in everything I wore. “Hey, what are you looking at? My beautiful belly? Well of course you are! It is the home of my lovely little boy to be!” I was proud of every pound because they were the house that was helping my baby grow.

Now, I did have some weight issues. Midwives hassling me about BMIs…a bunch of stuff that is of no consequence. I gained 24 perfect pounds; 8 of which were my boy. Any time people would touch my belly, comment on my weight or anything of that nature, I thought it was awesome. At no time did it offend me…I was pregnant! I was supposed to gain weight.

 Before becoming pregnant, one of my colleagues was expecting and I had asked her how much she gained. I think my exact words were something like, “You’re huge! How much have you gained?” A male colleague chastised me as she responded, “A lot.” (I’m sorry, A.H.) At the time, I had no idea how impolite I was being. I was seriously impressed by her lovely glow, jealous of her impending motherhood and overjoyed at her healthy weight gain. I am not saying everyone should get pregnant and gain a zillion pounds, but I knew she was eating healthily and enjoying her pregnancy. Why wasn’t she proud of her appearance?

I just read a mommy forum about how rude people are when they see pregnant women.  They feel it necessary  and their right to comment on weight gain, or to touch the belly, or provide running commentary on food choices. (“I see the baby has a sweet tooth!”) Funny, I didn’t find it rude, I reveled in that experience. “Yes, I’ve gained twenty-four pounds.” ” Oh sure, touch him.”  “You are right, this baby is into hot sauce!”  Why did I love it so? I felt good and I wanted to share it with the world!

After the baby, the weight came off. The shape of my body has changed.  My shirt choices are a little less baggy as are my pants. Why? Because I feel good! I am not trying to camouflage anything anymore. I am not just friends with my body, I am best friends. Oh sure, she is a soft here and there and she’ll never be in a fitness magazine, but she gave me a son. She works for me!

I feel good.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chrystal Wilkeson
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 20:17:39

    I love this! Your writing is honest and impassioned. I am plus size, and I have a beautiful 13-yr old daughter. Thanks for writing this. It definitely made me feel good, too!


    • missateaches
      Oct 28, 2010 @ 21:26:45

      Thanks Chrystal! It is good to recognize that we are who we are, and being the best us includes loving ourselves, whatever size we are!!! Feel good, be healthy and love yoursel.! Thanks for reading Chrystal.


  2. Carolyn
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 16:14:18

    You are so great! Your writing and your personality just shine. A little bit of ‘to heck with you’ is a good thing too. Take good care.


    • missateaches
      Oct 31, 2010 @ 10:27:44

      Thanks Carolyn! I’m all about my grandmother’s old saying, “If they’re looking that hard for somthing, you better let them find it!” Honestly, I’m like Popeye: I yam what I yam!


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