I don’t know about you, but I’m learning about me

The sickness has passed and I am feeling good. Not just good, GREAT! I just ran around the house in a circle fist pumping the air and singing “Praise Ye The Lord – Hallelujah!”  In a key that would make Barbara Sue Walker cut her own ears off.  So I tripped over a pile of clothes and possibly sprained my wrist- NOTHING and I mean NOTHING is gonna ruin this for me. Today is the day I have been waiting 18 months for! Today is the day I feel like ME for the first time in almost 2 years! Today I conquered “the jeans” . Those are The jeans I was wearing on the day my life forever changed- not the day I discovered I could watch every episode of OITNB in one sitting, that came much later- It was the day I found out I was going to be a mommy! I held on to my beloved skinny jeans all the way up to my 4th month. Even with a belly band they were magnificent. Then came the dreaded morning of doom. I tried to pull my jeans up but something was in the way …. My ever expanding ass. I neatly folded my jeans (read: In a fit of hormonal rage, I threw my jeans cursing them to hell) and placed them in the back of my closet where they remained. One day at 9 weeks postpartum I made the AWFUL mistake of trying them on. I use “on” loosely as I could not pull them up past my knees. Again, I came unglued. Would this be my new body? Would I simply have to adjust to all of this excess “me” squishing out of every piece of clothing I put on?? I resigned myself to my new weight. The jeans I once loved now served as a reminder of a figure that is no more. I heard taps playing on the bagpipes, a single tear rolled down my chubby little face, as I once again folded the jeans and returned them to their rightful place; my closet’s deepest, darkest shelf.
There they stayed for several months. Looking at them was just too painful. Sure I missed my jeans, my old body, the attention I used to get when I wore them… But that’s all in the past, I told myself. I have a higher calling now. I’m a MOTHER! Who needs to feel attractive when they have the adoration of the only person who really matters?….. As it turns out, ME. I need that. I need to feel like a woman, not just a mommy. I need the validation of a random whistle here or side ways glance there …. I need to feel attractive again. Not so that I can land a man but because that’s part of who I am, and I miss that part of me. With all the talk of body acceptance , “curvy girl pride”, the #effyourbeautystandards movement, and the push to make “big beautiful” , I hated to see myself as someone who could only be happy at a certain size . When I really thought about it I had never been thin enough for my liking. Even at 105 pounds I would go into fits over my weight. I finally realized this wasn’t so much about weight as it was that I missed myself. I missed being me and feeling like me. I changed my goal from weightloss, to Angela Gain. I started doing things that made me happy, taking care of myself better, acknowledging my own needs. Yes, I picked up some of my old bad habits for a moment. I happily found that those things didn’t make me feel like the “real me”, either.
When Emily was about 6 months old I went back to school. I started talking to men again. I got outside and walked, swam, paddle boated, anything I could do to feel alive. I connected with other women in similar situations.
Today, I was clearing the closet for some new things. I saw my jeans. This time they weren’t taunting me. They were more or less calling to me “just try us on” I heard them whisper…. “You know you want to”…. I resisted at first. I tried to tell them I’d moved past my masochistic stage , yet they persisted “C’mon, just to see if you’ve made any progress….”
Never one to resist an opportunity at berating myself , my resolve floundered and I snatched them off the shelf, determined to show them that I was OVER this whole obsession.
I put one leg In…. Then the other. As I pulled them up, I realized with a shock, that they were not being met with any resistance. I got them all the way up! I told myself this was a victory in itself. Just stop here, I said. As usual, I ignored my own advice, choosing instead to attempt the zipper and button. I counted to 3 and then in one fell swoop zipped and buttoned them… And waited …. Surely the button would pop off and leave Dexter with one eye… I shooed him away…. But they remained fastened . The jeans …. The jeans ….oh glory be THE JEANS FIT!!!! They fit!!! This is when the fist pumping and singing began.
I can wear my pre baby jeans now. And I am very happy about that. I am more happy, that these pants, insignificant as they may be , were the catalyst for my road back to me.

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