My biggest struggle at the moment is the one against myself.
It is an old familiar one that I have had as long as I can remember.
I am bigger than the world expects a woman to be. Bigger than normal. not massive. But not "slim". I used to be able to justify this with the sequitur "but I'm not obese".
But now I can't.
According to my BMI I am.
And according to my three-year-old. "You're fat!"
She informed me the other morning. Ungrateful sod, my mama brain growled, this fat grew you and fed you and hugs you even when you're being a brat.
She's officially "right".
And yet I feel the best in my body that I ever have. I wear funky clothes that sing my soul to the world. Rather than the "fat clothes" I wore at two stone lighter. When I was 16 and "normal" according to every chart in the book, I felt fat. At my lightest, on my wedding day I could not eat properly. I felt fat still in places. Now four and a half stone heavier I feel good. I have been wondering whether to ask my doctor if I need to take action, or relax... but it seems so trivial - to him.
But it's not just about feelings is it? If being "obese" is bad for my health then I need to lose weight. However good I feel about myself. However well I (generally) eat. Despite the fact that I am active, though not sporty, I am not as healthy as I could be. My cake pounds could be putting a strain on my organs, beckoning diabetes my way perhaps.
Looking in the mirror I don't think I look obese. Sure, I hate my double chin which finds its way into every photo, and the tummy which looks like the empty baby pouch it is. But mostly I look like a juicy woman with curves in ALL the right places, mama!
If I lose weight, then comes the social approval because we (women) are "supposed" to be slim. We're supposed to not take up to much space. To apologise for our existence by being quiet and thin. When I start to lose weight the self hatred and judgement and playing food games in my head also begin. I stop being my own friend, and instead my body, my appetites become the enemy.
I am the size I am because I have a large appetite. I eat well. I am a social eater and this is challenging when there is always food around. I eat differently because I am feeding children. I have carried three babies in quick succession and have had almost seven years of extreme sleep deprivation that most people can barely imagine. Not to mention breast feeding. My spare time goes into creativity not pounding the treadmill. But I walk and ride my bike, as any one car family understands. As the days of little kids and walking at a snails pace with kids dragging of me fades so , I think, will a few of the "excess" pounds.
So here's the battle. I feel like I should be taking action to stop my weight continuing to rise as it has in the past year. But I have no desire to be thin to please others or excuse myself or fit in or look good on the beach. Those days are gone. I want to be OK in my fullness in my curvaceous feminine shape. Not taming my deliciousness and starving my desires because that's what our society believes women should do. I don't want to be less myself in any way...
I am not fishing for nice words - nor looking for a fat bitch slap. I'm looking for reality. And to know how you walk this road yourself...