3.26.2012

This Chubby Vegan Mom's Chubby Vegan Battle

I seem to be starting a lot of my blogs lately apologizing.

I'm sorry if I dropped off the face of the Earth. I'm sorry that I basically peaced out on all my followers for the last few weeks and for the last two months have been acting like an immature teenage boy who you professed your love to and I got weird and distant (you know, the one that won't answer your texts, emails or phone calls).

I wish I could regale you with some wild adventure I've been on that has kept me from you all, but alas, there wasn't one.

The truth is, I've been in a funk - and when I get in a funk, I have a habit of taking it out on the whole wide world.

So in a way I've been sparing you from this Chubby Mom rant (aka whiny, woe-is-me, pathetic list) I'm about to unleash. (Side note, I meant to leave the "Vegan" out of the Chubby Mom).

Being a mom is exhausting (shocker, I know).

Being a woman, is even more exhausting.

And I'm not even talking about physically here (although, it is seriously, physically draining).

I'm just talking about the good, ole emotional, mental and psychological drama we women and mothers put ourselves through daily.

Or more precisely, the drama I put myself through.

I'm tired of being a stuck-in-the-middle woman. I'm not skinny enough to fit in with the skinny crowd, but I've been blasted recently by friends and followers for calling myself "chubby," so apparently I don't fit into the chubby crowd anymore. (Although if you could see my love handles you might beg to differ).

I'm tired of thinking of myself as chubby, while apparently everyone else sees me as average. I'm tired of the warped vision I have of myself and the unrealistic expectations I place on my body every day. It gets up at 5 in the morning to run and spin and cycle and then I force it to drink caffeine so that I can stay awake for the next eight hours of work and subsequent hours of softball lessons, all while chasing around my toddler, trying to get dinner on the table and attempting to keep the household in a state of tolerable.

And after all that, I make my body stay up until 11 p.m. to obsess over the mountains of tasks I didn't accomplish that day, all the ways I failed to execute my responsibilities *perfectly* and of course, bash the way it looks a little more.

I'm tired of working out five days a week and obsessing over every last bite of food that goes into my mouth (whether it was a salad or 19 cupcakes) to simply remain a stuck-in-the-middle woman. I thought people who worked out and watched what they ate turned into slender, deer-like creatures, not overworked, overtired, over bitchy moms, wives and friends with body complexes and an even bigger appetite.

And you know what I'm even more tired of listening to? All us "real women" saying that "real women have curves." You know what "real women" have?

They have confidence. And health. And energy. And vitality. And the ability to rock a tube top, miniskirt, too-tall heels or a big ole' puffy snow suit and still feel sexy. That's what a "real woman" is. She's not skinny and she's not curvy and she's not a size two or 12, she's a person who looks at her body in the mirror and loves every last damn part of it, whether it's decorated with wrinkles, cellulite, toned muscles or small boobs.

And do you know what I'm even more, more, more tired of? Myself. Myself for being disappointed with what I see every time I look in the mirror. My body has seen nearly 20 years of softball (more than half of those spent as a pitcher), it's been through four years of college (and probably a few more drinking binges and fried food nights than it should), it's been through 20 years of eating like garbage and six of finally seeing the light and going vegan, it's been through not only the conception of a child, but the carrying, birthing and subsidizing of one. And you know what else? It's been through at least 15 years of me hating it, degrading it, berating it, abusing it and telling it it's not good enough. The fact that it's able to wake up every day and continue to go on despite my constant criticism and patronizing is a freaking miracle. 

I'm tired of being told to love my body. Trust me, I want nothing more than to love my body, but after more than a decade of being told that it's not "pretty" by myself, ex boyfriends, girls, television, society in general, it's not something that you can just wake up and mean. I'm especially tired of my skinny, in-shape friends telling me to love my body. It must be easy to love something that catty, high fashion magazines deem gorgeous (and apparently most of America because we continue to allow it, follow it and practice it despite cries of 'we don't really like skinny girls, that's just the media.') If it was really just the media, wouldn't our rebuttal of too-skinny girls and silicone-filled women have been heard by now and the appropriate actions taken? No, most of us like our women skinny, we just don't want to admit it. We say we like them shapely and "normal" and "healthy" and then we continue to buy and contribute to the very monster churning out all those not normal, not healthy, not shapely women.

But I'm not blaming the media. It's not their fault that I have low body esteem. Ultimately, I'm the one who has allowed myself to fall into the trap of judging my womanhood, my confidence, my beauty based on the glaring 10 and 12 my pants read, the digits on a scale, the amount of flesh I can grab on my arm, the lack of hip bones jutting out of my skin like they might stab though at any moment. I'm the one who decided to feed into the skinny monster, and unfortunately, I'm the only one who can pull myself out now.

It doesn't matter that I have a husband who tells me I'm beautiful. Friends who tell me not to call myself fat and family members that tell me I'm average. It doesn't matter if a guy hits on me when I'm out with my friends, if a heavier-than-me-woman tells me I'm an asshole for thinking I'm fat or if a family member tells me I'm looking thinner. The only thing that matters is the person looking back at me in the mirror, the one that makes me feel guilty for not running those extra laps, for not doing hours of crunches and ab exercises a night and the one that even on a skinny day, finds another imperfection to pick at, whether it's a blemish on my face, a slightly grown-out blonde root, my gangly legs or my size nine feet.

I tell myself I'll feel beautiful if I can lose 30 pounds, if I can wear size six pants, if I can squeeze my feet into a size eight, over-the-top high heel, have the perfect amount of blonde highlights and be the right combination of sexy and cute for men and pretty, but not threatening for women. I tell myself I want to be beautiful for all these people, but at the end of the day, even if I truly was all these things to all these people, I still wouldn't be beautiful enough for me. 

And as if the body-loathing isn't enough, what I am the most tired of is how terrible I feel for feeling this way. For how ashamed I feel for being so vain and shallow. For how embarrassed I am to have allowed my own self-worth be based solely on measurements and pounds. For having a little girl who I think is the most amazing, smart, funny, beautiful creature in all the world and knowing that because I have all these body-hating issues, she's twice as likely to hate her own as well.

I want to be the confident, passionate, smart, witty, beautiful, talented woman and mother that my husband and daughter deserve to have; the one they often think that I am. I want to teach my daughter that it's not the size of your pants or the number on a scale that makes you a good person, because I truly believe that.

But after years of telling myself none of those things were good enough, I can't help but wonder if I can save myself in time to save her. 

I want to be the confident, passionate, smart, witty, beautiful, talented woman and mother that others think I am.

But first, I have to let myself accept and see that I'm all those things.

3 comments:

  1. I can't begin to thank you enough for being so open and honest about a topic that is so hard for most girls to discuss. It brought me to tears because of how close to home it hit. Im not what most women consider thick, but I cant help but see all the flaws when I look in the mirror. Its taken years of help and work to finally admit that at times, I think I look pretty. Its a battle Im not sure Ill ever win, but im never going to stop trying to overcome it. This post reminded me of that. Best of luck to you on your journey, it may not be easy but it will be worth it.

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  2. I just started reading your blog and I can totally relate to every single thing you said in this one...I went vegan about 2 months ago, I have an 11 month old,and I am in tears reading the words "I can' help but wonder if I can save myself in time to save her". That is a feeling that resonates so much with me...from my years and years of crappy junk food eating and being insecure about my body and never feeling good enough, and to top it off the "mom guilt" that I will pass all these damn issues along to my child. You are right on, sister. Thanks for being so honest... reading this I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. And whatever you feel about yourself physically, you are an amazing writer and person.

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  3. "I can't help but wonder if I can save myself in time to save her." I just found your blog today (through pinterest) and with that quote you put into words exactly what I've been feeling lately. My daughter just turned 3. I'm very aware that my own insecurities will be passed on to her. I hope she loves her body and herself her entire life.

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