This post is going to get a little personal, so please hang with me as I flesh out my thoughts.
I’ve always been fairly disordered in my eating. Not that I have an eating disorder, but I struggle with my body image and food in general. I remember in high school it became a sort of game for me to see how long I could go with little to no food. That switched in college when food became my comfort. I’ve always either binged and eaten everything in the general vicinity or starved myself for the heck of it. And I’ve always struggled with how I look. I have been overweight before and when I look in the mirror, no matter how thin I get, I will always see the fat preteen on prednisone or the hefty college girl who thought soda and ice cream could cure her depression. It’s pretty frustrating.
Even more frustrating is how I somehow have the ability to look in the mirror at my pregnant body and say, “Ugh, look at that fat cow.”
The only things “big” about me right now are my breasts as they are swollen from hormones, my stomach as my uterus is growing and shifting everything internally, and my thighs which are admittedly big because I haven’t worked out in a while. I’m not fat. I’m just pregnant.
Perhaps I’ve always thought of myself as fat because I’m voluptuous. After all, the fashion industry puts girls with smaller hips and breasts on display as beautiful while Hollywood casts chesty girls in more risqué roles. A heroine will be lithe and slender while a femme fatale will rock the curves I see in the mirror everyday. So that must make my type of body evil, right?
Perhaps I think of myself as fat because society trains girls and women to think about food in a very strange way. We diet before our proms, before our weddings, before summer, or before any major life event. I remember dieting before going to Disney World when I was fifteen, convinced that if I starved myself before I went on vacation, I would be able to better enjoy that delicious, evil, pound packing holiday food. Somehow we’ve grown to look at the blessing of sustenance as a curse. That one muffin will end up hiding my collar bone, after all. Better not eat it, no matter how good it smells or who made it for me.
Whatever the reason, I need to figure out a healthier way of looking at my body. It pained me to instinctively call the sweet little bump where my baby lives “fat” and look at it with disgust. I’ve definitely got to reorder how I think about food and how I eat before this little one comes along. It’s time to be an example. I don’t want my little one to grow up watching my current example of binging and starving. As for now, I would love to be able to appreciate that precious roundness of my tummy because that’s where my little one is resting. God is making a person in my body! That’s ridiculously cool and not something I should be disgruntled about.
I’m still growing. I can’t change the way society views food or the human form, but I can certainly change the way I treat it. I’m learning to eat in a healthy manner and actually ENJOY what I put in my mouth, not just look at the calories or shovel it in for comfort. Mostly I’m just trying to learn that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, so my body can’t be all that bad.
Here’s to eating healthily and learning to love the skin we’re in!