Like most women, I haven’t always been kind to myself. In fact, there have been times in my life when, were such things possible, I really ought to have packed my bags and left me, slamming the door and vowing not to come back until I got some help. Instead I had to ride out those awful years, and thank the gods I did, because now I have a pretty great life and some cute babies to boot. (Not that I boot my babies. That would be wrong.)
One of the ways in which I treated myself poorly had to do with weight. You name the eating disorder, I had it, or at least flirted with it. Or maybe just gave it my phone number when I was drunk, but I probably picked up the phone when it called. After college, I thought I was done with all that, but then graduate school came along. I needed money and a flexible schedule, so I started modeling, and, well, I’m sure you can guess how good that is for the ol’ body image.
I got out of the beauty business in 2003, taking a big pay cut for the sake of my sanity. I moved out to LA, home to every homecoming queen, and tried to get used to life beyond looks. And I was doing pretty well. Then I got pregnant with twins.
Let me just say, I loved my pregnant body. I had trouble gaining the recommended amount of weight, which I worried about loudly while being secretly, shamefully pleased. I sincerely did try, eating ice cream and avocados and olives and lots of meat. But each time I stepped on the scale and saw the needle hover only a millimeter above its previous reading, a nasty little voice in the back of my head congratulated me. Eventually I did gain about forty pounds, and I was proud of that.
Now, though, it won’t go away. I’ve lost about twenty-five pounds, while fifteen more cling to my butt and my stretched-out, wrinkly belly. My face is rounder than it used to be. And I am struggling to be all right with this. Because old habits, like cliches, die hard, and my instinct is to crash diet this squishiness away. But I am nursing and have a low milk supply; now is not the time for me to diet. (Oh, and that old saw about nursing being the best way to lose weight? Not so for everyone, as it turns out!)
I have made a promise to myself that I will not seriously try to lose this weight until I’ve stopped nursing. I could embark on a sensible, nursing-friendly weight-loss routine, but I’d be risking a precipitous tumble back into the waters of Crazy, and it’s not worth it. Still, accepting my body as it is is hard for me. Harder than even I would have anticipated.