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on the round, round, squishiness…

April 27, 2012

lately i have been thinking about my baby.  and my weight.  and my baby weight.  and every woman who has had a baby (and even those who haven’t) know that after you give birth everything sortof settles differently.  even if you lose the pounds you put on during pregnancy, your clothes seem to fit differently.  a little looser here, a touch tighter there… it happens.  it is inevitable.  15 months ago my daughter was born and within the first three months of her life i shed all the baby weight that i had gained, plus another 30 pounds.  i was the slimmest i had been in years and years.  and it felt really great.  but… then i stopped breastfeeding and my appetite was still as voracious as it was during all those months of breastfeeding.  so i ate.  and i started to drink beer again.  and slowly, some of the weight has crept back on.  for the most part, i am not bothered that much by it, but some days the extra pounds weigh down my mind and i start thinking about how i should eat less and exercise more.  and it makes me feel bad about myself.  it makes me feel like i cannot believe i lost so much weight and then gained some back in such a short, but significant period of time.  i know beauty comes from the inside.  and i know my husband Loves me no matter what the number is that reflects back on the scale.  but some days i feel low.  and then i read this poem the other day and it made me think of things in a totally different way…

I am starting to get my mother’s body
in bits and pieces
my hands are her hands as I drive a car
peel potatoes
point at my children
it’s fine
I can handle hands
but her full thighs bother me
because I knew as a young adult that they were bad
because she told me so
she hated her body and she told me so
in all of the ways she tried to fight herself
in all of the frustration
she must have worn me down too
as now I recoil in the mirror
even though I loved her full softness
for a long time
back then
only she kept telling me how bad it was
her giant amazing breasts
like missiles
her creamy skin
her curves
she was the softest hug
the dreamiest one
and I couldn’t even hear
when she told me how beautiful I was
I couldn’t even hear the good above the bad
and wonder if I would have worn ear plugs
if I would have worn blinders
would I be running around the house now
naked
free
swaggering around town
like a cat
knowing I looked good
knowing I looked good
loving this big bad body
like you do
when you are free?

— amy turn sharp

this poem inspired me to (WRITE. BETTER. POETRY.) remember what the important things in my life are.  this poem made me think about how i have a daughter that i care for every single day.  and how i am one of the human beings that will most influence her life and how she feels about her own body.  this poem inspired me to take my blinders off sometimes and know that my daughter looks at me and doesn’t know whether i weigh 150 pounds or 250 pounds.  in fact, even if she did know, she wouldn’t care.  her Love for me overshadows what i weigh, and whether or not my belly is squishy, or if i have worn the same clothes for three solid days.  my daughter’s unconditional Love stems from the moments i spend with her reading books, and feeding her dinner, and chasing her around in circles until she falls over from laughing so hard.  this poem inspires me to remember that my child should look back at these moments in our lives and see me as someone who cared about being healthy, but not about being perfect.  this poem inspires me to remember that my baby needs to see me Love myself no matter what i weigh.  this poem inspires me to remember that one of the things i hope to teach my daughter in life is that everyone is different and should be admired for their uniqueness.  this poem reminds me that my daughter sees me as her “mama,” the one who holds her in bear-hugs a little too long, who tucks her into bed each night, who greets her every morning.  finally, this poem reminds me that what my daughter will recall about me (i hope she will recall about me) years down the road, is that i was made for her, curves and squish and all– and she was made for me; and the Love between us is not, and has never been, based upon an arbitrary number.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 27, 2012 4:11 pm

    I’ve had the same problem, weight wise: lost more than I gained after the birth, and am starting to gain more now that the breastfeeding is done. And I heard those same body insecurities from my mother. When I had my daughter I swore I would never talk about my own body in a negative tone, at least not where she could hear me. I don’t want her to have that voice in her head.

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