I grew up a chubby kid. I was the only one in my family who was somewhat chubby and this fact did not go unnoticed by me. My sister was pretty and smart (and 4 years older than me so she was like, totally awesome), my brother was the boy all my friends had a crush on (you know he farts on my head, right?), and let’s not even get into they dynamics between step and half brothers and sisters, all of whom I love dearly and can’t imagine my life without, but being the youngest of three and then suddenly the not-youngest of 7 is an adjustment for a 5 year old girl. The extra fat on my body made me distinct from these people in a way that wasn’t super. My entire adolescent life was spent thinking about being thinner and how to dress so I looked thinner and waking up early to walk and run to try to be thinner. Why wasn’t I thinner? And even though I never lacked for friends or a social life, I always knew that the extra 20 pounds were holding me back and I dreamt of one day being the thin, pretty girl who lived inside of me.
I got to thinking about that chubby little girl today because I bought a pair of jeans in a size that I have never worn before. Not even when I got skinny the first time, before my children ruined my body. (But I LO-VE you guys!) My first thought when I tried these jeans on was that there was a sizing mix up. I looked at all the tags, everything lined up. My second thought was, well, it’s just these pants. I’m still that Other Size in most pants. And my third thought was, why the fuck am I so messed up in the head?
Looking in that mirror, I had to remind myself that I was not looking at that insecure little girl; I was looking at a women who deserved to feel comfortable in her skin. I was looking at that woman who I dreamt of being all those years ago. I can only hope that I have made that little girl proud. The extra weight may have given her a chip on her shoulder, but it’s given me a wicked sense of humor. It may have hindered her high school dating life, but it’s given me a Husband any woman would be lucky to have. And it may have caused her a few tears, but it’s given me an appreciation for growing older and more confident with who I am inside and out.
I have always thought of myself as a late bloomer; here I am, 31 years old, and finally thinking that the dreams I have had my whole life may actually be possible. I have my family; I have my home; now I need myself. It’s this strange disease we women have; especially mothers I do think. We so often forget the life we used to have; the one where we did things for ourselves. Well, I finally lost that weight FOR MYSELF. It is no longer an excuse to not be the best I can be. What that is, I don’t know...but I look forward to finding out.