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I Remember… (Mary)

May 14, 2010

~Age: 27
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 birth by c-section
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 5 months

I remember being 4 and 5 years old and looking down at myself in the bathtub and thinking I was fat.
I remember being in 2nd grade and looking down at myself (in my too tight school uniform because we were too poor to get a new one) and feeling fat.
I remember being 10 and being the first one in my class to get boobs (and feeling fat.)
I remember being 13 and getting my 1st period (and new braces, and pimples, and a REALLY bad haircut) and feeling fat. I remember being in love with the cutest boy in class and finding out that he was in love with the skinniest and prettiest girl in class (and feeling fat.)
I remember being 14 and starting High School and not knowing anyone and hearing all the other girls talk about sex and cheerleading and how fat they all were (even though they really weren’t) and I thought, “wow if they think that they are fat then i must be REALLY fat”.
I remember being 15 and going to another High School and making only one friend who of course had curly red hair and sparkling smile and a great outgoing personality and all the boys loved her and didn’t even look at me me (and feeling fat.)
I remember the summer before i turned 16 when I was in love with another boy who toyed with me, and cheated on his girlfriend with me which i thought was his proof that he really wanted to be with me (and i let him kiss me and touch me because for the first time in my life my pants were falling off of me and i felt kinda pretty (even though i still kinda felt fat).
I remember being 16 and starting yet another new school and finding out from my doctor that the reason i was so skinny was because i was sick and they had to fix it and fixing it meant i would gain all that weight back which meant that i would be fat again (even though i never really felt skinny.)
I remember being at junior prom and looking up at my best friend and realizing i was in love with him and when he looked back i got nervous and paranoid and had to run to the bathroom to make sure that I still looked ok.
I remember being 17 and watching him date a tiny wisp of a girl instead of me.
I remember taking thyroid pills which made me go from 124 to 140 in less than 2 months and there was nothing i could do about it.
I remember starting college and not having time to eat right and just grabbing fast food whenever i could and gaining 15 lbs and being bigger than any of my friends.
I remember being proud of who i was and refused to diet bc I’d rather be fat and happy then thin and deprived (but i still felt fat.)
I remember starting a ballet class and looking around and seeing all the willowy waify girls with their slender backs and upper arms and long limbs and i was so short and squat with thick muscular legs and i thought “i’ll never be like that, why should i even bother to try” and i ate for comfort and gained even more weight and felt even more fat.
I remember summer came and i lost all the weight because there were too many other fun things to do besides eat and I went down to 143 and i thought i looked damn good and my pants started to fall off me again and my mother said i looked good but “5 more lbs and you’ll be perfect.”
I remember meeting a boy. A perfect boy (even though he plays too many video games and watches too many cartoons.) I remember falling in love with a new person for the first time since that not-so-fateful prom night back in junior year.
I remember having sex for the first time and being on top and praying that i wasn’t crushing him.
I remember him telling me he loved me and looking at me like i was the most beautiful person in the world.
I remember being terrified of getting pregnant and having to go on birth control.
I remember not realizing i was gaining weight until one day i couldn’t put my jeans on and i got on the scale and it said 161. I remember my mother telling me that i was starting to look like “a fat girl”.
I remember having to drive my boyfriend to live with his parents 60 miles away and not knowing if he was going to come back home eventually or if i had to go there just to be with him and i remember the long drive back without him and me crying all the way home and stopping at a McDonald’s in a service station and eating 2 double cheeseburgers and fries and super-sizing it then feeling too full and too fat.
I remember coming home to my grandma’s and she told me that she would help me do weight watchers and that ill probably loose all the weight really quickly.
I remember losing only 6 lbs.
I remember giving up because my doctor told me it would be really hard for me to lose the weight due to that f***ing birth control!
I remember the day my boyfriend proposed to me and my mom took pictures and when i saw them all i could think of was how fat my legs looked in my sundress.
I remember being ashamed because my fiance had a six pack and i didn’t.
I remember hating the fact that he was 35 lbs lighter than me.
I remember hating the fact that i wasn’t comfortable with him picking me up (even though he is strong and could do it easily.)
I remember moving in with my fiance and i was on my feet all day and
i remember how my feet hurt and when i told my mom, she said it was because i was too heavy.
I remember standing in my bathroom, straightening my hair and my calves started tingling and i told my doctor and she told me it was because i was too heavy.
I remember being at a funeral and my cousin told me “you have such a pretty face. It doesn’t matter that you’re a little overweight.”
I remember trying on a wedding dress and having it zip up on the first try and i didn’t have to struggle at all and i felt so happy.
I remember finding out that it was a size 14 and i felt so fat.
I remember looking in the mirror and thinking i looked really good because it covered so much of me up.
I remember my grandmother telling me i looked good (except for my back and arms.)
I remember wishing i had a prominent collarbone like the skinny bride-to-be in the next dressing room.
I remember my mother telling me that she would get that weight off of me “if she had to beat it off.”
I remember getting on my scale 2 weeks later and being shocked that it said 169.
(I remember thinking I was fat at 124.)
I remember looking at old pictures of myself and saying “wow, i wasn’t really fat at all.”
I remember getting married and wearing a corset underneath that squeezed me so tight i felt like i would faint.
I remember gaining and losing the same 15 lbs over and over again, never going below 160.
I remember getting pregnant.
I remember gaining 30 lbs in 30 weeks (which is pretty darn good) but then developing pre-eclampsia in the last week and gaining 15 lbs of so much water that i could press on my legs and the mark would stay.
I remember being 215 lbs on the night of my c-section. I remember not even being able to move (but barely since i was so high on magnesium.) I remember losing 30 lbs within 3 weeks and being so proud of myself, but then it stopped and i haven’t lost a thing since, even with the breastfeeding.
Now my son is 5 months old and I’m 20 lbs heavier than before i got pregnant. I look in my closet and see all the clothes i cant fit into anymore. I put on the only jeans i own that I can button and see my stretchmarked stomach hanging over the top of them. I cry as i pull on a pair of maternity pants. I hate dieting but i hate eating, looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I cry to my husband that i feel fat. Where before he would tell me that I’m perfect and beautiful and he loves me so much and he doesn’t want to see me unhappy, now he tells me, “well, work out.”
i should celebrate my body. I carried a human being! I had a difficult delivery and we came out healthy and happy and whole. I should be proud of what i have done and it shouldn’t matter what I look like. and i will do it all over again (and maybe even again after that.)
I’ve never been able to get into a bikini and it seems like I’ll still never be able to.
so I should get used to it.
and celebrate my body!
with a piece of cake…
haha ok maybe not…

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32 Responses to “I Remember… (Mary)”

  1. Quinchela Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    This is just beautifully written. AND you look terrific to me :)

  2. Pam Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    After reading your post, I thought you were going to look awful…but you really look fine. I am 7 months pp and still have 10 pounds to lose to get back to pr-epregnancy weight…which was 10 pounds over what I wanted to be.

    I’ve heard from multiple older and wiser people that 5 to 10 pounds hangs on if you are breastfeeding. Sure it comes of quickly at first, but your body keeps some weight in order to make good quality milk.

    I’m hoping that after I stop breastfeeding I’ll lose a little more…and then I can be a little more strict about eating without worrying about affecting my milk supply…and hopefully lose a little more.

    Buy yourself a couple pairs of pants that fit for the duration, but don’t get rid of the other ones yet. Also, my husband talks to me the same way.

  3. Bryana Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I think you just spoke the words of nearly every woman out there.
    Even when we are at our best, it is, in our minds, the “worst”. We never realize just how great we are until we fall below the bar that we have set so high for ourselves. It’s sad and causes us to feel shame. And why? Because we are not a size 0? Because we have a stretch mark here, there, and every where? Because we have a bit of a pooch, simply due to the fact that we carried a child within our bodies to nurture and grow and be healthy? Is it really shame we should be feeling? Or should it be joy and appreciation?
    Our minds are twisted and not well and our perception of ourselves in incredibly wrong. We will look at another woman that looks just like us. Maybe a size 14, 170 lbs, gorgeous face, beautiful breasts, stretch marks from here to every where and think to ourselves, “She is so beauitful!” than look at ourselves and feel disgusted and ashamed. When really, we looked at ourselves, just in another person, and think they are beautiful. Why is this ok?
    I think your body is beautiful. It reminds me alot of my own body. Yet, I think yours is even more beautiful then mine. Point proven.
    Keep your head up and love yourself. :)

  4. Apryl Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I know you probably won’t believe this. But you ARE NOT FAT. You are not a waif. But not even close to fat either. You are beautiful. And you look damn good for 5 months post partum.

    Your body is a lot more average than you think. Magazines and commercials and movies make women feel bad for not being a replica of the heavily made up, liposucked, breast implanted, airbrushed, altered, fake image of perfection that they want to portray. Those pictures are not real. Companies spend huge amounts of money to make them look that way. Your pictures are real. They show a beautiful, typical bodied woman. A strong woman who has brought another life into this world. Which is no easy task. We go through a lot to do that. And you had more issues than some.

    You should be damn proud of that wonderful body.

  5. Suzanne Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    i have a confession, as i was reading your post (you made yourself sound awful!!) i kept thinking ‘oh no, i’m going to have to lie loads here to make her feel better if she looks THAT bad) but i got to the bottom, saw the pics and.. felt kinda disapointed! :P your gorgeous, your definitely NOT fat! not even close, you look great, especially since it’s not very long since you had your baby! Really made me sad to read your post, how much people had put you down in your life.. especially your mother (i think that’s who it was?) but anyway, your beautiful and have absolutely nothing to worry about. Also if my partner ever said ‘well go work out’ i would physically hurt him.. but that’s just me ;) You should tell him how insecure your feeling, you can’t help saying your ‘fat’ all the time, it’s how your feeling right now, he needs to be giving you the confidence you need not telling you to work out…
    Your beautiful :)

  6. taiyo Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Beautiful post and beautiful girl.

  7. Mina Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you for writing this post. It really hit home with me. My mother pulled many of the tricks you describe your mother pulling with you, and I hear those comments of hers ringing in my ears every day of my life.

    As for your hubby’s comment…sometimes I don’t think men (even good ones like mine) know what to do with us when we’re distraught about something like this…something they can’t relate to…and they want to help us fix it…and his intentions may really be good (even though I know it doesn’t help). If it hurts you to hear him say “well, work out”…tell him it hurts.

    One thing I’ve learned in 13 years of marriage is that we often need to tell those men what we need…even though we’d rather they just “knew”.

    You are lovely. I wish I had a magic way to help you and me both get rid of the inside voice making us feel fat.

    Hugs to you.

  8. Liz Lich Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I think you look great! Honestly? I think every woman struggles with their weight and their own body image no matter what age she is (myself included). I’m still trying to lose my last 12 lbs from my pregnancy (almost a year and a half pp). I think you’re husband should’ve been a bit more sympathetic and shouldn’t have said that to you. But it goes to show that men just don’t comprehend what you went through with your pregnancy. If he’s willing to take care of your baby while you get a chance to work out then take advantage and go for it. You’ll be surprised how good you feel afterwards. But do it for yourself! Not for anyone else. Otherwise it’s not really worth doing.

    I’m really lucky, my husband still finds me sexy even though I have a muffin top and stretch marks. Mostly because he was there when our son was born and he saw everything I went through.

    It’s not easy, but I think you need to start small and then work your way up. Start going for walks with your baby, then cut out soda and drink water instead. There are a lot of little things you can do. I changed everything to whole grains, eating more vegetables and just trying to be healthier. I’m not trying to be skinny like the women on TV or in magazines because that’s just not real. The women that are on this website, THIS is what real women look like. All I’m trying to say is that I’m trying to set an example for my little boy. Show him what it really means to be healthy and active and to have a positive body image.

    I think you’re beautiful, and you should be incredibly proud of what you accomplished. You gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who is healthy and I’m sure a very happy baby with a mommy who loves him very very much. Hang in there, you’ll be ok.

    I have to agree with what the others are saying, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! LOVE YOURSELF! You did an amazing thing that not every woman can accomplish.

  9. Melissa Says:
    May 14th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Amazing post! Ditto what Liz said. I lost every bit of my baby weight in 30 days, then packed on 20 pounds in just a matter of months due to breast feeding/soy intolerance issues that my daughter had. She couldn’t handle soy, I can’t eat anything with milk or yeast. Until I learned to eat right, I kept gaining. I’m now at 210 lbs.

    But life goes on, and I’m blessed to be able to watch my daughter grow up.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. You’ve earned every one of those battle scars and they’re beautiful!

  10. Kath Says:
    May 15th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    From a mom that breastfed for 26 months, within 2 months of stopping I got my waist back. Our body knows that it is still responsible for the wellbeing of our baby that we are feeding so it keeps that waist fat to ensure if something happens our milk will still be everything it needs to be. Stop beating yourself up (so easy to say, so hard to do). Don’t think your husband doesn’t still find you beautiful (when was the last time you just accepted and thanked him for a compliment? I am very guilty of this). The more you hate yourself and stress about it all the harder a time you will have getting to where you can look in the mirror and not be hateful. Tell yourself that you are beautiful and wonderful and a fabulous mother every day of your life, they may feel like lies but you’ll start believing it someday. And stop your mothers/grandmothers/cousins/etc voices from being ones that you care to listen to; love is a weird thing but women are exceptionally bad about sharing their body image issues with their children. I am 7 months pregnant with my second child and I have actually gone from a 16 to a 12 but I still look at myself negatively, but then I look at my daughter and tell myself to shut up because there is no way I am giving her my baggage!

    The best of luck to you, keep your spirits up, enjoy your beautiful baby, love the time you get nurturing your lifelong bond. You are beautiful!

  11. David Says:
    May 15th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Great post!

    Your family is insane, I’m really sorry you had to go through all that.

    You look absolutely gorgeous. Your husband is a very lucky man.

    Congratulations on your baby boy!

  12. jesi Says:
    May 15th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    what a wonderfully written reflection of how most women feel all the time. I know it doesn’t help much, but you are beautiful. Not just beautiful because you just had a baby. You’d be beautiful even if you’d never been pregnant. There is no qualification to the statement. You just are! I know it’s hard when you sig other loses patience with self esteem issues. I think Mina is right. You need to tell him that even though you know he doesn’t know the right thing to say, what he IS saying is hurting your feelings. It’s so important after you have a baby to talk about your feelings together. It can be a very hard time for couples.
    Your body is a vessel that carries you from here to there, carried your child, and allows you to do the things you love to do. That’s all that it is. Try hard to celebrate what it does for you instead of what it looks like. That helped me a little.
    It’s easy for people to tell you to love yourself, and very hard to do. You’ve been programmed your whole life to see the negative about yourself. Time to do a little reprogramming :) It might take the help of a therapist. There is nothing weak about asking for help. In fact it is very brave. You don’t want your child to grow up watching you treat yourself that way. It will affect his/her self esteem among other things. If you can’t find it in you to take care of yourself, do it for your baby and your hubby; then eventually-do it for you!
    lots of love and squeezes
    Jesi

  13. dee Says:
    May 15th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you for your post. It is so familiar to hear the things you’ve said. And just so you know….when I saw your pictures I thought “If she thinks SHE’S fat then I must be REALLY fat”. And then I laughed at how ironic that is. Why must we degrade ourselves so much?! Lets be strong and healthy women instead of insecure and ashamed!!

  14. Chantelle Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    wow. im crying , this is so beautiful.

  15. Mary Says:
    May 22nd, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    thank you so much everyone!
    i’m tearing up as i read your comments.
    i guess i really do beat myself up more than i should but as we all know, the struggle of seeing ourselves the way other people do is almost as hard as losing the weight that makes up feel fat to begin with.
    i have to admit, i felt bad when i wrote this because my mom really does love me and i know she has her own issues with her own body which skews her view of me (i think she’s crazy – she’s smaller than me and 27 years older!)
    She thinks she’s helping with constructive criticism.

    and my husband is just a man. lol.

    he in no way, shape, or form makes me feel fat or ugly. he just doesn’t know how to react when i tell him how i feel.
    Like my mom, he thinks I want “encouragement” to lose weight. Of course i want to lose weight, but i want to do that at my own pace without comments from the peanut gallery.
    not to say i’m fishing for compliments. Lord knows, I have a hard time accepting them when they come by themselves. But sometimes when i complain to him that i feel fat i just wanna hear, “you look fine.”

  16. Jen Says:
    May 26th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Your husband is telling you that, not because he thinks you need to work out, but because men can’t stand hearing women that they love talk badly about their bodies. So he wants you to do something about it. so you’re happy, and see what he sees…a beautiful woman. Also, try reading Women, food, and god. GREAT book.

  17. Jen Says:
    May 26th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Also, do you really think you were out on this earth to lose the same 30 pounds over and over? Hell no. There is more to life then how big your ass is. lol Your eating to numb your feelings, and that book will really help you understand and break the habit

  18. Stacey Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I remember too.. *hugs* this is my story.. still is.

  19. RavenTears Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Beautiful post…it felt like I was reading a story about my life, too…well, except for the married part. You are not fat and I think your body is beautiful, for what it is worth.

  20. Michele Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    You put into words so much of how I felt growing up and now, after having my son two years ago. I was so called 30 pounds over weight when I got pregnant (160), lost it all within 3 weeks post partum, but then proceeded to gain 30 pounds in the last 18 months (now 190). I look back now and realize that I looked great at 150 when I thought I was fat, and in 10 years I am sure I will look back at me now and think I looked great. It is hard letting go of the image we want of ourselves and embracing the reality. And the reality is we all are beautiful:)

  21. Crystal Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Mary, this was beautifully written. I’m sure that there were points where every person reading this teared up because it sounds so familiar. When you recalled how proud you were dropping those 30 pounds and then how you didn’t lose anymore, I just starting crying. I know that disappointment well. My little one nursed for 22 months and just stopped and only now am I losing some weight. You look lovely, don’t beat yourself up and don’t let anyone else do it either. Tell your mother how it feels to be called fat by someone who is supposed to love you no matter what.

  22. Sue Annette Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    You are a very good looking, very beautiful young lady. Never ever think you are ” fat ” because you are not … congrats on your baby boy, and your hubby is one very special guy!!

  23. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Michelle, I LOVE how you worded that: “It is hard letting go of the image we want of ourselves and embracing the reality. And the reality is we all are beautiful.” Exactly. Exactly. Thank you!

  24. Christa Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I think you are beautiful! You spoke every word that was in my heart and it was so beautifully written and it took me back to every moment.
    Thank you.

  25. Lucia Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    You look absolutely beautiful, Mary. You look like a mother and as hard as it is to accept the changes our bodies go through, you will eventually. It helps when your toddler tells you, you are the most beautiful mama in the world and that your tummy makes the best pillow ever :) . Thank you for sharing your story.

  26. Michele Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks Bonnie:) Variety is beautiful and wonderful to see, all shapes and sizes. We women no matter how much we weigh are mother goddesses!! Only in the last 50 years has stick think been seen as sexy really (well except for a few years in the 20′s:P). It is shameful how the fashion industry has made us feel bad about ourselves when in fact WE are the beautiful ones!!!!! Embrace our curves!!!! Love our stretch marks from childbearing!!!! They are a badge of honour for brining precious life into the world:)

  27. kara Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Mary, you rock, and your body rocks. You know how I know? Cause I look about the same, and my body rocks. It’s carried babies, and made love, and walked thousands of kilometres, and eaten food, and processed that food to make good things like energy and hair and stuff. I love my body. And I buy clothes that make it look good, I don’t care what size they are. Cherish this gorgeous, WOMANLY, historic body of yours – you will NEVER have another one, so you may as well love this one.
    Hope you’re happy
    xoxo

  28. Elisa Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 5:20 am

    WOW!!!!! i read this and i can not believe that is me but in someone elses body!!! I have had 2 children and after my last one whom is 4 mo it is harder to drop the weight. Just like you I too have been struggling my whole life. After goign through a hard pregnancy with preterm labor at 25 weeks and thinking i will lose her, i did everything i could when you are put on bedrest and cannot leave your house for 2 months your weight goes up, i accepted it and said i have the worlds best thing waiting to meet me. After my daughter was born I lost my best friend in the world , she passed at the age of 56, I was heart broken , and it was than I realized here was a women who battled with weight all her life and she lived to the fullest she could, this world has all of us thinking that if we are over our suppose to be weight on a piece of paper than we are not accepted. Than the world goes and corrupts men’s heads with you have to be with one who is a model like person!!! After all I have been through I think I am accepting me for me, living today , enjoying life and if i have to throw out all my old small clothes to buy ones that fit and me make me look damn better than so be it , us as women can not let the world dictate what and who we should be. We could all not be here tomorrow and for the days and years we were alive all we worried about was how “big” i am . Instead of looking around and seeing we have MEN who love, and most of all children who love us for us!!!!! You look amazing, and like me enjoy life, the baby and love like today is your last!!!!!

  29. Mary Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 6:33 am

    great post. Brought back many memories.
    I am a mom to 2 boys and twin girls so your post is a great reminder of how to be a better mom to my girls. Thanks.

  30. Bella Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    You sound depressed. You have an amazing body and I know you will start to feel better about yourself. I think all new parents especially moms have so many worries self image, finances, lack of sleep, not being able to have one on one time with your partner and most of all having to go back to work after your mat, leave is up. I know that it will take time but, I know that your little one will bring you many joys and That little one will keep you busy on your feet which will keep you active. Heads up Number 1 Mommy.
    P.S I loved your pictures and post

  31. Jessica Says:
    June 4th, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I was reading this and all I could think of is me…That was me I was always thinking I was fat and I needed to cover up at 135 pounds and a size 1 I felt fat why because I was dumb. I had my daughter over 4 years ago and I have yet to lose any of the weight…I went from 135 to 190 at delivery and I am now at 180…I don’t look bad I am muscle well at least that is what people say when I say I am 180lbs they all look in shock and say no way you are lying…I refuse to tell people this because when you go from being skinny to heavy you are ashamed. My husband actually cheated on me with skinny women and he has never looked at me the same after our daughters birth it kills me to know that I am that gross that he can’t even look at me…I have moved on and I am trying to be ok with myself…I will still not allow a man to rub my belly because of the stretch marks…I wear a bikini but that is just because I feel that it is time to embrace myself for who I am…So love yourself because if you can’t than who will…Wonderful story!!

  32. Michele Says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Oh Jessica, you have to know it is NOT you, it was your husband being as idiot (to put it nicely). I hope you know now that you are so much better off without him if he was so shallow to only love someone for their body size. We are all beautiful in our own way:)

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