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Useful And Beautiful

All through childhood I was the tallest kid in school by a large margin.


165 lbs, 5'8"

Until 6th grade, there was no one taller than me (male or female) in a school of over 500 kids. As a result, I've always thought of myself as "big"--big boned, unfeminine or destined to be overweight --even though my adult height only ended up being a totally normal 5'8". Thinking of myself as an ogre has resulted in two decades of fluctuating weight, crash diets, near-bulimia, guilt, food restriction, sugar addiction and anxiety about my body.

I've struggled with losing and gaining weight over and over again. My weight has fluctuated many times: 137lbs to 185, down to 150, up to 175, down to 150, back to 175, down to 140, up to 165, a pause for dramatic effect, then up to 190lbs just before I got pregnant seven months ago. I chose the photo of me below because it's me at what's probably my average weight over time: 165lbs.

My ever-changing weight was met with ever-changing opinions about my weight from men. My first boyfriend broke up with me because I gained weight (grrr, I wasn't even clinically overweight!). My next boyfriend preferred "softer" women; he probably found me sexier at 185lbs than at 150lbs. And finally, the man I eventually married nearly broke up with me because I gained 25lbs in the year after we met (150lbs to 175). He said he still loved me but didn't find me attractive. *Somehow* we didn't break up then and got married two years later. And strangely, now that I'm 225lbs and seven months pregnant, I think he finds me more attractive than he ever has. Go figure!

Being pregnant, I think about my weight much less than usual. For the first time ever, I can accept my body as useful and beautiful regardless of its shape and weight.


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