Bodies & Beauty: The Journey of Sixty Pounds
Editor’s Note: Today’s post was written by Tricia Marchand. She originally approached me wanting to share her story of gaining and losing baby weight. She has a 14 month old daughter, and is learning that her beautiful baby, her husband, and her God are re-defining what beauty truly is. I love that she shares the whole story. And the truth that she is finding. She blogs at www.mamamarchand.com and tweets at @mamamarchand. – Lauren
That’s how much weight I’ve gained on my petite frame since my wedding seven and a half years ago. My life has dramatically changed, along with my clothing size. I’ve been on and off the diet bandwagon, declaring it loudly that I want to lose weight and then whispering quietly that I’m not sure I can do it. I have felt fat, ugly, and weak despite my husband’s best efforts at boosting my self-esteem with kind words, encouragement, and affection. I have dealt with crazy hormones and insatiable hunger after the birth of my daughter. I have felt out of control more times than I care to admit.
Let me back up. Let me back WAY up.
In high school, I played sports which kept me trim and fit. I never struggled with how I looked or how I felt about myself back then. I could wear whatever I wanted and it was fabulous. I felt pretty and had self-confidence. In college, I joined a dance troupe and that helped keep a lot of the unwanted “freshman fifteen” at bay. I still wore small sizes and I was happy.
But, then I graduated, got married, and got a desk job. And the weight started sticking.
The first twenty pounds didn’t faze me much. It strangely made me happy because, it gave me a chance to buy a new wardrobe. I did start dieting but, only because I felt like I should. I still thought I looked good, I knew my husband found me attractive, and I just figured it must be a rite of passage into adulthood.
The next twenty pounds were tough. My clothing size crept into the double digits and I didn’t have the energy I once had. I was getting older so I blamed it on my metabolism, our eating out habits, and my job, taking no credit for my weight gain.
The last twenty pounds were the result of my pregnancy with our daughter, Norah. After I had her in the spring of 2010, I realized something had to give. I couldn’t continue living with this weight. I felt awful, I looked huge, and I couldn’t stand to see the size tags in my clothes anymore. I looked at photos of myself with our daughter and I felt GIANT compared to her small size.
Having a child changes you. It changes not just your physique and your role in life, but your value of life, too. Things that didn’t matter before starting a family now mattered a great deal. It was like life knocked the wind out of me to get my attention in the matter of how I viewed myself. I didn’t really want to lose weight because of ME … I wanted to lose weight for HER.
I want Norah to grow up with a confident mama, a mama who likes the way she looks and feels. I want to have the energy to keep up with this fast-growing toddler of mine and not huff and puff like I’m going to blow a house down. I want to be fit to show Norah that I had the willpower to change something that wasn’t right in my life, that I’m strong, and that she can be, too.
So, I’m on a weight loss journey right now. I’m not doing anything crazy and I’m not following a fad diet. I’m just eating better and going with the ebb & flow of every day, making good choices and trying to move more. But, the lessons I’m learning are far more important than the weight loss.
I’m learning anew that I am a child of God and He finds me beautiful. I’m learning that regardless of my dark days, where I view myself in a negative light, the Lord has provided me with a loving husband to lift my spirits. I’m learning that Norah doesn’t care if I’m having a “fat day” because she loves me simply because I’m her mama. I’m learning that I can’t continue to use terms like “fat,” “ugly,” and “weak” because it causes a downward spiral instead of empowering me to make healthy changes. I’m learning that it’s a slow but satisfying process to change the way I live so that I can be a better version of myself.
My encouragement to you, if you are struggling with your view of yourself is this: be okay with where you are, even if you know you want to change.
You already are beautiful, you just might not know it. You can achieve your goals, one small step at a time. And I’m taking those steps right along with you.
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