Of course I'm not so naive to think that being overweight is healthy or healthier, but I am overweight none the less. I have been at least slightly overweight most of my life. After I hit puberty at the very early age of nine, I gained unwillingly, despite being quite active. Of course I now know that a large part of my struggle with weight is a hormonal imbalance at least partly due to PCOS. Despite a huge change in eating habits and a lot of trips to the gym, even working with a personal trainer, I didn't shed a single pound in the year before I became pregnant with my first. I won't be so cavalier as to say that I am at peace with my size. I'm surely not. In fact, I have a lot of down days about it. I have no desires to be some kind of super thin, but I miss wearing size 12 pants. I've on pregnancy number three in three years and any one of us who has had a baby knows how that affects the body. And I gain weight when I'm nursing. Because I spend SO much time on the couch nursing and pumping, pumping and nursing.
These are not surprising facts about me, but what most of you don't know is that I'm a former drug user. I spent two years in a haze of methamphetamine with some cocaine sprinkled in occasionally. I spent some of that time in an abusive relationship with a man who ultimately tried to kill me. I lost a lot of weight in that time and I loved it. After my ex sat on my chest and strangled me. I spiraled into a deep depression. He avoided the police for nearly a year, but lived only two apartment buildings away from me for almost six months after the incident. I wanted to get clean, I did. But I was miserable and loathing myself. My job didn't have enough hours for me to work any more than 15 or so hours a week and I was denied food stamps because my job hadn't actually been a full time job so every penny I earned went to rent. I spent months holed up in an apartment until the night I shared a bottle of wine with my neighbor. I'd seen him many times in the stairwell and had always regarded him as attractive. He always greeted me and knew my name (though I didn't know his). Three months after our first bottle of wine, we moved in together and we are still together, our third baby on the way. After our second or date, I got high for the last time. I liked this guy and something told me he wasn't going to date a drug addict. He helped me get clean. He helped me work through demons of my previous relationship (which I'm still working through, to be honest). And he helped me get dressed when my autoimmune disease made itself known through crippling pain in my hips. While the doctor tried to sort out what was wrong with me, he put me on prednisone and I gained weight. I rediscovered food and I gained weight. And within a few months of quitting drugs, I had gained 60 pounds. Sure, I wish I would've taken notice of what was happening there, but you know, I'd also rather be where I'm at now that where I was in the months before I met my partner. I don't think I would have survived myself much longer if I hadn't met him.
Seven years later. Seven years clean and I have two wonderful children with another on the way. Am I really happy with how I look? No. But I'm happier with who I *am*. How I look, what I weigh, those are not static things. After this baby, we can get down to work losing some weight, but until then, I'm not stressing over the number on the scale.
I had the Fella snap a picture of me cooking dinner with my 11 month old sleeping on my back, my 33 week belly prominently showing in front. My hair was a little wonky, but I loved how I looked, so I shared it with you all on The Crunchy Convert. I got a lot of positive responses, just as I did on my personal account. It made this mama feel good.
Then I woke up this morning to a comment that made my guts lurch. Sometimes I forget (I really, really do forget) that there are assholes trolling the internet. Check out the screen shot:
Admittedly, my first response was harsh, but you know what? It's my page and she was harsh first. My second response was what made me realize I had much to say and decided to pop over here and write a post that's been floating around in my head for a while.
Maybe she thought her comment was helpful? Mostly I think she was being an ass.
I was reminded instantly of the newscaster who received a similar "helpful" email from a viewer. At the end of the day though, this woman made a thoughtless and hurtful comment. It's so easy to do on the internet. To completely disregard the fact that the person you are talking to a is a REAL person behind another screen. I went to this woman's profile and her cover photo pictures herself with a small girl. I can only hope that if this girl is her daughter, she raises her with more tact and sensitivity than with which she addressed me. I hope she supports and loves her daughter regardless of her looks and weight as she ages. Because, you know, I might be fat, but I have a pretty good personality and that's something that doesn't get ugly with age.