Sunday, May 29, 2011


Weight is such a funny thing. Scales weren't even available for the average consumer until the sometime last century. Women all over the world, even today, go throughout their pregnancies, give birth, and never look at a scale. So why do mothers and women focus on numbers so much? Our interpretations of these numbers are so subjective - subjective to our modern culture. Thinness is beauty, our culture cries. Whether we choose to listen to or ignore those images and words are our choice alone. However, it's easy to say that even when we choose to say those numbers are unimportant, that we do feel some sort of pride when we are thin and shame when we are fat. It's a shame, really, but it's the truth.

Last summer I began running. It was mainly for stress-relief and because I wanted to see if I could do it (I've always considered myself a non-runner). Although I would win no marathons, by the end of the summer, I ran 2 1/2 miles with my friend Olga beside the lake. I did it! The girl who could hardly run a mile all her life, even in her best shape! It was empowering! But I still looked at the scale. I was thrilled to see that I was down to 117 pounds by the time August came around and Olga hurt her foot and I stopped running. School began and there simply wasn't time (or energy) to run. I know I gained (and subsequently lost) a lot of muscle in that time because by January, I was 118 pounds (120 being the average). Now that I'm pregnant, I'm 127 pounds and it's definitely hard to see the scale creeping upward. I've checked online calculators and I have gained a healthy weight so far. I'm happy for that. I know that my baby is growing inside of me and is doing well. I also know I'll need that extra fat for breastfeeding afterward. There's a bit of anxiety in me that wonders if I'll ever get back down to that weight. After I had Anna, I was obviously still holding onto pregnancy weight, but I told myself that I wouldn't and couldn't lose that weight completely. I threw out a lot of clothing. No, I'm wasn't even the same shape in August as I was before I had Anna. I was certainly lighter, though! My hips are wider, definitely. I'm just not a child any more and my body certainly reflects that. I have a woman's body. My husband tells me that I'm beautiful. He scoffs at women who hide their womanhood, saying that a mother's body is more beautiful than any girl's (how did I find such a man?). I am certainly among the lucky in a lot of ways. No, I won't have my fifteen-year-old body back (thank God) and yes, I'm sure that I'll be able to get out there and run again and feel the breeze through my hair, no matter how much I weigh or how much my body has changed.