I’ve been on a weight loss journey, and to be honest, it wasn’t completely intentional. Like most mothers in their mid-30s, I would frequently adjust my diet or activities trying to get a little closer to my former self (pre-11-pound baby, specifically), but I never saw much of a change. Mentioning it to my doctors while addressing other medical issues, they discovered I have PCOS and a pretty little thing called insulin resistance. If you don’t know, all that extra insulin I’m making likes to hold on to those extra pounds, primarily in the midsection. You know, preparing me for the famine that is never coming.
While treating these issues, a side effect is weight loss. So far, I’ve lost just under 40 pounds since April. As you can imagine, that is a visible difference from what I was before. Of course, I feel better in clothes, and my hormones are adjusted back to normal so I feel great and it all comes full circle. Weight loss is a good thing, a great thing even. But it is a smaller part of the bigger picture. It’s great because it supports my internal health — the health you can’t see.
I love a compliment as much as the next girl, but I’m scared of them lately. I hold my breath when I feel one coming.
I’m scared that my children will hear them. A friend proclaiming that I now look “AMAZING,” and how I’m so “beautiful.” They usually quickly follow that one up with a “Well, you know you were pretty before.” Wink-wink.
While well-intentioned, please don’t comment on my weight in front of my kids. They are listening.
I don’t think we (I’m guilty as well) stop to think about what our children are hearing sometimes. How we are driving the skinny culture we hate so much. The voice that tells us we are not enough at a size 14, that we would be happier and more at a size 6. It comes from observation. No one has told me that big is bad; it’s just something I’ve known. Something I was taught by listening.
I have an eight-year-old daughter who is already aware of her body and starting to learn what society thinks of it. I talked to her about my diagnosis and explained how the medicine is making me lose weight. I don’t want to leave her wondering about coming up with conclusions she is not educated to make. We refer to it as a sugar issue and talk about ways for her to eat and treat her body so she can try to prevent herself from developing the same condition. But I don’t glamorize the weight. I want her to grow up focusing on treating her body well, rather than being concerned about how much gravity is required to keep her feet to the earth.
My five-year-old son loves my belly, more than I’m comfortable with actually. He frequently plays the drums on it, but I sit through the discomfort to hopefully normalize a body like mine. I hope that he can be so accepting of bodies that he doesn’t limit his relationships because of one.
If you come across a friend who has lost weight there are so many ways to compliment them. It takes a little more effort, but my go-to is, “You are glowing!” You can also try a few of these other suggestions:
- You look so healthy! I’m happy for you.
- That outfit looks amazing on you.
- I love that dress on you. It is very flattering.