Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Portly Princess...

This morning, as I woke up thinking “Do I take the pugs for a walk, or do I curl up on the couch,” I realized that I am twice the woman I used to be…literally!  When I was doing pageants and modeling as a teen, I weighed slightly less than half of what I weigh now.  I have doubled in size.  The guilt and self-shame came washing in with that realization but…holding firmly to my recently found sunny outlook…I decided to examine the positives associated with where I was and where I am now.

I am twice the size I used to be and that is undeniable.  But…I am also twice the age I was when I was a little twig.  I also am twice the person I used to be in terms of experience.  Since age 16, I have lived through a physically abusive relationship, a break-up with my first true love, completing a four year psychology degree in three years, putting myself through law school, taking custody of my teenage sister, raising my teenage sister, keeping my mentally ill mother from ending up on the streets, moving to a new part of the state (three times), dating causally for a few months, meeting my husband and getting married, buying a home, working in a private law firm, working for the state, undergoing a appendectomy, undergoing a gall bladder removal, beating bulimia and anorexia, undergoing 6 failed IUI’s, undergoing 6 failed IVF’s, undergoing 6 laparoscopies, undergoing 1 laparotomy, enduring the loss of one ovary and one fallopian tube, the loss of my grandmother and aunt, and the loss of my naivety.  Because of these experiences, I now know that I am more than twice as strong as I ever would have thought I could be.

Even the doubling of my weight has been “helpful” in developing my personality.  When I was a tiny teen, I really believed that my best assets were my hair, eyes and legs.  I thought the best way to get what you wanted in life was to flirt, relentlessly.  I knew I had a genius IQ but, while I always got good grades, I worked hard to play stupid so that people wouldn’t expect too much from me.  I didn’t want people to know I was smart because that meant that guys wouldn’t like me as much…which was all I really cared about back then.  Being fat, you learn to find friends and boyfriends who actually like you for who you are…not how you look and what you do.  You learn that it is helpful to be pretty, but in the adult world, you can overcome any deficiencies in your attractiveness by being smart and a hard worker.  The converse is not true…employers will only put up with the pretty but incompetent girl for so long.  Being fat forces you to find self-worth in accomplishments, rather than compliments.  Being fat also forced me to stop being the superficial, judgmental brat that I used to be.  The girls I picked on in high school are skinnier than I am now (thank you Facebook).  No one seems to remember how mean I was about weight.  Old high school classmates say “You were always so nice!”  But I remember at least thinking nasty things about people, solely based on their looks.  And I am so glad that I am not that person anymore.

I am not saying that I wouldn’t give up a toe (maybe not a big toe) to lose all of the weight I’ve put on and go back to the pleasantries that go along with being thin and attractive…but only because I believe that I would never lose the lessons that I’ve learned as a fat person.  It has not been easy being twice the person I used to be…in any sense.  And I NEVER want to be three times the person I used to be…no matter what emotional self-growth that might foster.  But, today, instead of beating myself up over my weight gain…or obsessing over how long it would take me to lose all of that weight, only to declare defeat before I even get started…I am going to just relax and chalk it up to a life lesson.  My girth may have grown, but so has my heart…and for that, I am thankful.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how different life experiences can help shape you; for the better or worse. I hate that you had to gain weight to learn to appreciate yourself more, but I am glad you have learned and love your new found perspective in life.

Now, keep that attitude and go for a walk :)

New Year Mum said...

Twice the life experience counts of a lot... and a larger heart is so precious. Any amount of exercise can't achieve that xoxo

China Doll said...

Your summary of what you've been through astounded me.. you are truly a stronger, wiser person now, whatever the scale says xx