I'm the fat sister.
My sister, who's 5 years younger than I, looks like a Barbie doll, with long, blonde hair and a cute, SMALL hourglass figure. Oh, and she's taller than me and has bigger boobs. What the heck??? It's pretty embarrassing at times when we go out together and people ask if we're related and then their eyes widen when they find out we're sisters.
I've always struggled with how I look and there have been many times where I've felt more than out of place because I am not, and never have been, a size 2 or 4 or 6- actually, I haven't been below a size 10 in years.
Do I wish I were thinner? Well, not exactly. I wish I had a flatter belly so I wouldn't have to worry about my flab showing. You see, I've had 2 babies in the last 3 years and it's wreaked havoc on my stomach. I've become an expert in hiding it, though, and can fool just about anyone into believing that I'm thinner than I actually am.
The hardest part for me has been the last year. My husband has gone on a health binge and takes the time to run several miles a week (about 10-15) and eats better, etc, and has lost a lot of weight since we've been married. I eat the same as he does, for the most part, but I don't have the time, nor the energy, to even work out. I'm a stay-at-home mother and I run after 2 toddlers all day and I am EXHAUSTED. I am a fiercely-protective mother and love my children more than life itself but taking care of them 24/7 often makes it hard to feel like a woman, rather than a human pacifier/cook/housekeeper.
Anyway, so my husband has been getting all thin and everywhere we go we see someone who knows him and they make the inevitable comment about how he looks, blah blah. And I feel like a big, fat lump standing next to him and just not....proud.
I used to feel a lot better about my body before having children and even though I'm about 15 pounds thinner now than I was BEFORE having them, my weight has concentrated in my belly region and it really bothers me. What's funny is that I was once told by a nutritionist that the main reason I weigh more is because I have a larger muscle mass and am just stronger. And while I am pretty darn strong, it's not like I can go and tell the people who look at me, "Wait! Don't judge me! I have a larger muscle mass that makes me look heavier!" Yeah, that ain't gonna happen.
I'll tell you a story. My husband and I went to a wedding he was going to be in about 7 months ago. We left our children (the first time ever) behind and drove hours to be away for the weekend. It felt GREAT. I mean, I wasn't just a mother up there, you know what I mean? I was a woman and a wife again. I didn't have to deal with dirty diapers and crackers and juice spills and tantrums- I could be an adult again.
I sat by the pool and lounged in the sun in my retro bathing suit and drank cocktails while my husband did his duty as a groomsman. He later told me that seeing me laughing and talking and just relaxing was a huge turn on for him and he was so proud that I was his wife, because, apparently, a lot of people kept telling him I was a groovy chick!
Anyway, I had gone ahead and had a dress that I'd bought altered and I couldn't WAIT for my husband to see me in it because I actually loved the way I looked in it- for once. I hid it from him and had him leave as soon as he was done prepping for the wedding and then I made my big debut while he was standing with the rest of the groomsmen. The look on his face was exactly what I was hoping for- pure lust and admiration. I haven't felt that good about myself before or since- not even my wedding day was as good. We danced all night and snuggled and he was all over me, which hadn't happened in a long, long time. I felt like ME again. And it didn't matter that I had stretch marks all over my belly that wasn't as flat as I wanted it to be. It didn't matter that I didn't have a Barbie-like figure. I was a woman again, something that gets lost in motherhood too damn often.
More than anything I want to feel the way I did that weekend again. As soon as we got home the spell was gone but I'll never forget what it was like up there between us- magic. And I'll always hold on to how I felt as I laughed and danced and drank champagne just let myself go and have fun.
There are days I like the way I look and there are days where I am in a dark place where I feel as if I'll never measure up. I am my own worst critic and am often told that I'm too hard on myself. And I know that. I won't ever be skinny. I won't ever be able to wear a bikini or do the things that seem to come so freely with the skinnier girls out there.
There is going to come a point where I am truly going to have to accept who I am and how I look and not look back. When that day is going to come, I don't know. I hope it comes soon, though.