I haven’t always been overweight prior to babies (and marriage) I was really thin. But then many factors changed with marriage (new guy, new home, new city and new job) and the weight began to creep up. Then I got pregnant with my first, lost most of the weight using a crazy low calorie diet, got pregnant with my second and was at a healthy weight throughout and after I gave birth. I felt pretty good the entire time.
Then I got hit with post-partum depression.
I really was blindsided by it. It was awful. Although my doc suggested meds, I refused them. I don’t even take an aspirin for a headache, so for me, meds weren’t even a consideration. I also felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about what I was going through internally, so I just dealt with it alone. I’m not sure I’ve stopped dealing with it yet, to be completely honest.
Instead, I turned to food and fast forward eight years later and poof, I’m fat.
I never thought I would be that mom, but I am and I hate it. I’ve hated it for a really long time. But I never realized how it might affect my kids. I’ve always tried to talk to them about how we treat people equally and kindly, and that we don’t judge people based on appearance. I know that when my kids looked at me, they just saw their mom, not a fat person vs. a thin one. But then one day, when my son was at school, a classmate said, “Your mom is so fat.” He came home so upset, and I felt so bad seeing him that way. The jig was up my kids now knew that people associated the word fat with their mom. They now realized that other kids (little jerks if you ask me) saw me differently as compared to some of the other mothers.
It really hurt them, especially my son. They would go out of their way to hug and kiss me and tell me they loved me and that I was pretty. Yes, my kids are awesome, but I still felt so bad that I put them in a vulnerable position. I should be comforting my kids, not the other way around.
The fact is that as an overweight mom, I can’t do as much as I used to, and I know it. So, I just avoid putting myself in certain situations, and as a result, my kids sometimes miss out too. I can’t tell you how many weddings, baptisms, and birthdays I’ve skipped. I hate going to the park, so the husband goes in my place. I don’t even like to eat in front of my parents who seem to have taken my weight gain, even harder than I have. After all, I went from the skinniest to the fattest child right before their eyes. If my parents see me that way, I’m not dumb enough to think that others don’t as well.
I’m embarrassed to admit this but I know my kids have heard me chastising myself in the mirror, treating myself in a way that I wouldn’t treat a stranger. My then four year old daughter once caught me crying at my reflection in the mirror and ran to me and hugged me and said, “It’s ok Mommy, I still love you forever.” I’m still angry with myself about that slip. I’m angry that my kids are missing out, because of me and my weight. The last time I was in a picture with my kids? I have no idea. I’ve always wanted to get our family professionally photographed, but I keep telling myself we will when I get skinny.
Oh, yes there is a goal to get healthy and in shape there always is. I’m actually in the midst of my latest attempt. Why don’t I just give up? I can’t – I won’t give up on myself, no matter how many times I fail. See, there’s a list a mile long of things I’ll do ONCE I’m healthier, and I’m not getting any younger. If only trying to lose 100 pounds didn’t feel like trying to climb Mount Everest not that I will ever know what climbing Mount Everest is like thin or not.
I’m big, not crazy.