Thursday, August 20, 2015

requiem for a thin girl

Once upon a time, I was thin. I was objectively, crazily thin. I did not diet, I did not exercise, I did not have an eating disorder. I just was thin.

Then life happened. I got married and had five kids. Each pregnancy came with very average weight gain, and each child left behind a few extra pounds.

I am not thin any more. I am not fat, and I do not feel horrible, but I am not thin.

I will not abuse myself by calling myself names, by beating myself up about the way my body is now. It did miraculous things, like nourishing and growing five human beings, and then it birthed them and then it nursed them. It carried them up and down numerous flights of stairs. It climbed to the top bunk to tuck a child in. It got up and paced for hours, trying to get babies to sleep. It ran to and cuddled a hurt child. For all that I was able to do, I am grateful.

What about that skinny girl, the one who could always eat without looking back, and who could try the smallest size on the clothes rack?

This is my little requiem.

That girl was always hungry. That girl attended a boarding school where, at times, food was not available or provided, yet she did not have her parents' credit card to buy extra food. That girl did not buy snacks or soda at the mall because she could not afford them. That girl carefully totaled her college food expenses and ate strictly from the cafeteria's food plan. That girl bypassed salad bar because it was sold by weight, and all those watery vegetables were expensive and lacking in calories. That girl had two slices of toast for breakfast with a tea made from free hot water and a tea bag brought from the dorm not because she wanted to, but because it only cost her 20 cents. That girl was super active because she walked to her apartment cleaning jobs instead of spending money on the subway.

Yes, it would be nice to be skinny again. But I do not want that skinny girl's life.

If I do slim down again, I want to happen because I am eating my fill of healthy food and spend my days chasing kids. And if I do not, then let that skinny girl recede into the past.

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