FAT is the new "F word"

Today Jason and I were getting ready to go to Costco. I know, big plans for a Sunday, but that's my life and I love it. If you don't already know, were expecting a baby (YAY!!!) and I am almost 3 months pregnant. My belly is starting to poke out a little so I have started wearing maternity clothes. As I was getting dressed this morning, I changed outfits SIX TIMES. I don't think I've changed outfits that many times since I was going on a first date. And even then, it wasn't six times. Every outfit was "Ugh, I look gross". One t-shirt was too tight, one too thin, etc. They all had the same thing in common: They made me look fat. I imagined myself walking into Costco, showing my Costco card and the card-checker lady faints due to thinking how fat I am. And then everyone points and laughs and says, "Oh my Gosh! Look at the fat lady!" And then they make pig noises at me. Is this the craziest thing you have ever heard? Maybe...or maybe you have been there too. When the ridiculous thoughts cloud your brain and before you know it your day is ruined.

I went downstairs and confessed to my husband about my numerous costume changes. He said he was wondering what was taking me so long. In my best winey voice I told him, "Well, I'm in that in-between stage where it's not obvious I'm pregnant, so it just looks like I'm fat. I don't want people to think I'm fat"


Jason screws up his face and in his best guy reply says, "Who cares?"

During the car ride there I kept thinking about not only how ridiculous my thinking was, but how do I knock it off? Realistically, I'm not fat, I'm pregnant. But regardless of being pregnant, one of my biggest fears in life is being fat. Even during a time when I was at my skinniest (size 0) I still felt uncomfortable in my skin because of my body. I don't need to get into how it happens, that's a whole different animal (and blog post), but what's the solution? I'm currently reading Jessica Weiner's book, Life Doesn't Begin 5 Pounds From Now (I've met her, she ROCKS!), and in the first chapter she says, "I don't know one woman who has never had a thought about how much she weighs or whether she is, or isn't getting fat. Unless you grew up in a far away planet called Self-Love, you grew up in a world where women are still valued, honored, rewarded, validated, and appreciated based on the size and shape of their bodies".

I actually took my husband's "Who cares" advice and was able to forget about feeling fat and to be honest, the "new Andrea" does this much easier than the old me would have. But I have slip ups. A few months ago I was watching a guilty pleasure reality show I like, "The Girls Next Door". It's a show about Hugh Hefner's three girlfriends that live in his mansion....I know..anyway, the episode was about the next Playboy playmate and were showing the (edited, of course) photo shoot. As I sat on the couch watching the probably 19 year old girl get her picture taken under perfect lighting, body make-up, after 3 hours of hair and make-up, I will share with you the dialogue that took place in my mind: I need to lose weight, I wish I had a flat stomach, I wish I still had long hair, maybe I should get a boob job, I really need to lose weight, maybe I should start starving myself again, I should wear more make-up.


I am not exaggerating that those are the EXACT thoughts that went through my head that night. All within 30 seconds of each other. I decided I couldn't watch that show anymore, and I don't.

I have to remind myself often that my own self worth is not based on how much I weigh, the size of my jeans or if a little bit of chunk hangs over my waistline. I don't become a better person the thinner I am. My happiness is not based on mine or anyone else's perception of "fat". I have wasted way too much time worrying about non-important things like if I will ever fit into my skinny jeans again and do I look better or worse than so-and-so in a bikini. And for what? What value did I (and do I) get out of all these thoughts and feelings?

Not a damn thing.

So there it is. People may read this and think I'm nuts, or you may be able to relate. I would love to hear your comments on this. (If you are reading this via Facebook, please comment on my actual blog instead of on Facebook. Thanks!)

Photo courtesy of flickr.com by juliagriggshavey


KE1Loven said...

I can relate Andrea! I personally LOVE the girls next door because I'm fascinated by how different they are from me! I personally have NEVER been happy with my physical features AT ALL & considered myself fat even when I was 60# lighter than I am now! I felt the same about my body then as I did now! It's ridiculous! I'm just trying to accept that how I perceive myself doesn't matter nearly as much as how I feel & I have something to remind me of that constantly-pain. Personally how I feel physically now matters much more to me than whether or not I think I'm fat-I just try to make healthy choices constantly & then I feel better!

I change my focus from my fat to my pain & then it's easy to forget how fat I am! You also have something to distract you from your poor self-perception-you son & soon to be your next child! Meanwhile, I'll be around to remind you of how ridiculously gorgeous you are & I know that Jason won't let you forget it either! Thanks for puttin yourself out there girl!

Jenny B said...

Once again, THANK YOU. You absolutely nailed it with this post.

52 Faces said...

Oh my good lord, it's so hilarious b/c I was looking at your picture and remembering how I never guessed you were in your 30's and had a kid when I first met you. Five seconds before reading this post, I literally thought, "I love what great shape Andrea's in!"

It's awful - I have that same voice you do. I've been thin my whole life but in the last few years as I've gotten heavier (by like 5 pounds), I've had this constant voice telling me how fat I was about once an hour. I never thought I'd be one of THOSE girls.

KE1Loven's comment is helpful - changing the focus from our bellies to our pain.

You're inspiring me to write my own post about this issue...

Andrea said...

@KE1Loven- Kristen, I'm glad that you perceive those thoughts as being ridiculous! I think it's a great start to changing the way we view ourselves.

@52 Faces- Sofia- Great to see your comment, I was just thinking about you the other day and thinking I need to go over to your blog and see what you've been up to. You are so tiny....but even the tiny girls have these thoughts and I think it's hard to express it because you are looked at as "you shouldn't have anything to complain about. Shame on you" So, it's a double whammy. Body image effects all of us, size 2 to 22.