The moment I stopped caring about my weight

In college I was a svelte 130 pounds. I could wear anything and look like a waif. I could eat buckets of ice cream or live on black coffee and cigarettes, it didn’t matter because my weight was seemingly never more than an ounce over 130 lbs. Life was pretty good.

And then I got mortgaged to my long-term boyfriend. Add 10 lbs.

And then I got pregnant. Add another 10 lbs. once the post pregnancy weight finally evened out.

And then I got married to the long-term boyfriend.

And then I went through grad school. Holy eff. And then I got pregnant with baby number two. Ugh…I ballooned to 195 lbs.

After I had my second son I went on a serious diet and crunched, squatted and celery chomped my way down 45 lbs. I landed on a firm and seemingly immovable 150 lbs. that – despite my very best efforts – will not seem to budge.

When I began my diet quest I had visions of size 4 black dresses dancing through my postpartum head. I wanted to shake my mama tushie and not feel a tidal wave of jiggle following suit. I wanted to relive my glory days of skinny but with the wisdom and self-confidence gained as Mom.

That little realization about what I wanted (skinny + confidence) was the moment when I knew I no longer cared about losing weight. I knew I was sexy. My body made TWO PEOPLE for crying out loud. Why was I so freaked out about a few extra pounds?!

While 150 lbs. at my height is not medically considered over weight, the muffin top, mom pants, and desire to give up, all indicated to me that I was in a downward spiral of fatness. Except that…who cares?

I’m married. My husband is happy if he gets any attention in the boudoir aside from nagging complaints to “Get up! You’ll be late for work!” What the hell does he care if there is a little bit more to hold on to?

And what exactly is it that I am so gung-ho to relive anyway? The last time I was a size 4, I got a lot of snarky remarks from friends and family to eat because I looked too thin.

These days I am happily living in limbo between a size 10 and a size 8. My hips will fit into one size, my Mom butt into another. Meanwhile, I am wholly consumed with the desire to find shirts long enough to cover my muffin top. You know what I wear every single day? I wear yoga pants, an old paint stained tee shirt, and if I get a chill I cover up with a flannel shirt that has seen better days.

I have not worked up the nerve to start wearing Spanx. Not yet.

My days revolve around cooking, cleaning, chasing my children, entertaining, educating, trying to remember that I require eating, bathroom breaks, and occasionally a moment to myself to breathe. Nowhere in this kind of business that comes with having very young children is there room for me to fret about something as vapid as a body issue.

My kids are watching me. The last thing these two young boys need is a mom with body issues to teach them that girls have weirdo body hang-ups. I’d rather teach them that I am a woman and a mom and as such I celebrate my body and my femininity. They need to see a strong woman with body pride.

As if that were not enough to kill my diet woes (and it is) I have this to remember as well: I have a closet full of beautiful size 8 and size 10 clothes. I donated all the size 4 dresses to Goodwill years ago.

So there. I give up on dieting. I’m perfectly happy to have some extra knocking around.


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Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Sarah Cottrell is a member of the Stay-At-Home-Mom Club and proud herder of two loud boys. She earned her MFA in 2012 and then accidentally washed it in a load of laundry. Sarah's work can be found on popular websites like Mamalode, BlogHer, and Scary Mommy. Her work will appear in two new parenting anthologies in 2015.