Girl Talk Thursday – My body is a wonderland

I hated my body growing up. I was overweight from the time I was in elementary school. I can remember so clearly sitting in the car at the bank with my dad while he waited for the walk-up ATM to be available. A large woman walked by, and my dad uttered the phrase “thunder thighs” to my brother. I asked him what that meant.

“Well, it means that her thighs rub together when she walks.”

My thighs rub together when I walk, I thought. I was 7 years old.

I remained overweight until my third year of college. The freshman 15 were as unkind to me as anyone else, and one evening I noticed a tiny stretch mark on my stomach. I’d had them on my hips and thighs, some from growing, some not, but my stomach was smooth. I have no idea why, but that was the last straw. I decided to do something about it. I was 20 years old.

I guess I always thought being a skinny girl was a free pass to love and appreciate my body. But even at my smallest, a size 6, there was still plenty to focus negativity on — loose skin, wide hips, short legs. I have often joked that I felt like people could see my secret when I shopped for clothes — they’d know I didn’t BELONG in the size Smalls. I’d imagine them seeing the number on my jeans and rolling their eyes as I walked into the fitting room. I still feel that way, at 28 years old.

Having children has helped me to appreciate my body in a new way. It’s clichรฉ, I know, but it’s true. I grew two beautiful girls in this belly. I nourished them with these breasts. Rocked them with these arms and chased them with these legs.

It’s hard for me to focus on a single, specific part of my body and say that I love it. I’ve always been fond of my eyes, I suppose — green, with long lashes. I like my hands and their long slender fingers. I even love the three freckles on my left forearm that make a perfect, equilateral triangle. So no, there’s no favorite. But at least there’s no least-favorite either.

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It’s a bit late that I’m getting this posted, but today is National Delurking Day. If you’re out there, leave a comment, let me know you’re reading. You don’t even have to tell me your favorite body part. I’ll settle for your favorite ninja turtle.

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18 Comments

Filed under Girl Talk Thursdays, Probably too serious

18 responses to “Girl Talk Thursday – My body is a wonderland

  1. You’re gorgeous.

    I’m glad you wrote this.

  2. Isn’t terrible the thoughts we put ourselves through!?
    At least having kids puts everything in perspective!

  3. This is me, your husband, de-lurking ๐Ÿ˜›

    Also, I agree: I don’t have a favorite part of yours either. There are just too many good ones ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Brian

    In general, hands are my favorite body part. Especially the lurking kind!

  5. You’re lovely. And smart too!

  6. Damn-I have no favorite body parts or favorite ninja turtles. I can so relate to this. I have a husband who could probably rattle off a long list of things he loves about my overweight, stretch-marked, pasty looking body, but I can’t think of one thing. Like you, I am proud that I have had children and was able to use my breasts for their “God-given” purpose. Having two girls was a nice wake up call for me to deal with some of my self-esteem/image issues lest I pass on my craziness to the next generation. That’s my goal for this year-to get myself physically and mentally in a place where I am happy with myself (I have a bit of work to do).

  7. Ian

    Leonardo. Dude had katana. Though I also liked Donatello, because he was brainy. And because I can use a bo.

  8. I admire that you have (and continue to) tackle how you feel about your body. It is so important for our sanity and for our kids. Good for you … hottie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I love this post, especially after seeing the pics of your beautiful girls on facebook. Puts it in a whole different light. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think Raphael was my favourite Ninja Turtle.

  10. It is amazing isn’t it that having children can alter your perception of your own body so much? I feel the same way. My parts became different for my kids. And because of that I appreciate them differently – better – more. Nice post!

  11. I think you’re adorable!

    Your perspective about what your body has done for your children is really touching. Makes me think a little more.

  12. I love that your husband delurked haha! I wish mine would cause I know he reads it at work…..anyways that was a beautiful post! Too often we make comments like the one your father made to your brother about other people without realizing that it could have an effect on someone close to us. I’m glad you talked about that.

  13. I’ve seen pictures of you. You’re totally a hottie. I’d do ya.

  14. Sometimes I think we’d all be happier if the magazines would stop the damn photoshopping and everyone just decided that a size 4 or whatever was NOT the norm. Even as someone who’s been skinny most of my life, it’s a tough standard to be held to – especially after you have kids.

    Love your answer to this.

  15. great post! i have always been overweight too. although, i was not so overweight until after college – that first job, making all the money, eating out…but, my mom always told us we had weight problems growing up and i’ve always struggled with self image. today is the first day of going back to the gym for me and i’m going to focus on a part that i like and hope that list grows. thanks for the thought-invoking post!

  16. Bodies and our feelings about them – I hope girls and women won’t be as conflicted as us years from now.

  17. I feel like I love my body more the older I get. It is less about how it looks, and like you said, all the things it has done for me (like giving me my two boys). I know my body better now at 29 then I ever have. It does not look like it did 10 years ago (I am no size 4 these days) but, I feel like I have a much more positive body image now than I did then.

    Great post… thanks for sharing