I am pleased to have the opportunity to share my friend Moni’s words with you today. She is a fellow blogger I respect and appreciate very much.
Being “naturally thin” means that people think it’s appropriate to chide me about what I am or am not eating, being a “skinny bitch” they “hate,” how my pants are fitting today, or how uncomfortable it must be to rest on such a bony ass.
As a teen, I just wished everyone would stop looking at my body. Grown women would lament about how everything must fit so perfect (naturally if things didn’t fit, I assumed something was wrong with me), and how it “must be so nice.” Family members would pinch my stomach and laugh at the “fat.” Fellow students called me a toothpick with balloon boobs.
By 16, I caved to the pressure of remaining thin and I took medication to suppress my appetite and began a medically unsustainable diet. The best thing that came of that was fainting at school, which scared me into stopping.
A blood test in my late twenties revealed that I had extremely high triglycerides and cholesterol. My numbers were so off the charts, I was in imminent danger of having a stroke. Finally, I began taking care of myself.
By 29, I was in the best shape of my life, and pregnant. I felt amazing and continued using the gym until my doctor stopped me at eight months. I didn’t worry about gaining weight, despite several comments about how I would finally be “fat like the rest of us.”
I gained double the doctor’s recommended healthy pregnancy weight, which still didn’t bother me until after my daughter was born. Here I had a perfect baby girl and some suggested that regaining my thin physique was what I should be most concerned with.
Shamed, I fell into bad habits. I ate so little that I was temporarily unable to breastfeed. I started eating again but remained ruthless in my self-image. I regret wasting time as a new mom worrying about weight.
With the last of the pounds refusing to budge, I started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a form of grappling martial arts. This is where I learned the value of physical strength, regardless of body shape or size. It didn’t matter how “hot” some women’s bodies were off the mat if they couldn’t hold an opponent in guard. Strong women became my heroes instead of entertainers.
Your body will never be what society thinks it should be. From “heroin chic,” to MMA muscled mamas, to Kardashian curves, your body type will never please everyone.
I could go into clichés about your body image being all about how you feel, but really it’s about what it can do: Are you healthy enough to walk as far as you desire, compete at the level you want, breastfeed if you choose, carry your children and their bags, swim one hundred miles, stand all day at your job, or enjoy an entire weekend on the couch? If your body can keep up with whatever your mind sets out to accomplish, stop giving a damn about size. The numbers are fucking meaningless. We all have our gifts, and the package doesn’t matter.