Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Lowdown on Skinny

I have always been skinny. Genetics are on my side. From the beginning I have been petite. I was born one week before my due date and weighed only 5 lbs 14 oz. It is written in my baby book that at 15 months, I only weighed 18 pounds. And so the story continues. I think I finally broke 100 after graduating from high school and putting on a little extra during freshman year of college. From that point on, I never went back below 100.

I am also 5'4". At 5'4", I should weigh about 115 to be at the healthy weight for my height. As a teen and young adult, I never was able to put on that weight, even if I tried. Once, I even tried drinking protein drinks, you know the substitution for meals for people who want to lose weight? I tried drinking those WITH my meals because I was so skinny.

In the sixth grade, someone asked me if I was anorexic. Being ignorant, I thought anorexic was a fancy way of saying I was so skinny and couldn't gain weight. So I said yes.

Now I am in my thirties. I have had five babies. I no longer am underweight and skeletal-skinny. In fact, I was looking at some pictures of me in our first year of marriage and I looked frighteningly thin! I wonder if people thought I had an eating disorder!

Despite that, I don't like how I look anymore. I am currently about five pounds above my "healthy" weight, but on me, where my natural weight as a teen and young adult always fell, that looks a little bit soft all over.

Most people tell me I look great. They are shocked that I lost most of the baby weight so fast. But that's where it gets complicated.

I think I feel MORE pressure to be thin than people who aren't told that regularly. Because people tell me when I'm pregnant "I bet you lose the baby weight right away!" or "You're so tiny, you're so lucky!" when I can't lose the weight and see the bulges flopping out over my swimsuit on my back, shoulders, thighs, belly, hips, you get the picture, I get extremely frustrated.

I feel like I need to be the stick thin teenager I was just so I can fit everyone's idea of what I really look like underneath all my clothes. And since I don't (I have such badly stretched stomach skin that even I went back to 100 pounds, I would still have skin hanging there!), I get extremely depressed about it.

I know, I shouldn't let what other people think affect me that way, but I can't help it. I guess I'm afraid that if they really saw me, like in my swimsuit, they would take it all back and secretly make fun of me and laugh at the fact they ever thought I lost the baby weight.

Plus, I don't fit into any of my old clothes. And the problem is, I don't know what I fit into. The 4's I used to wear are way too tight, but when I buy 6's at the store, they don't fit right either. My body type and size say 4, especially since I'm short. But I'm not short ENOUGH for the petites, so those don't fit right either. It's very frustrating.

I'm just saying that even though when wearing a T-shirt and jeans (which are a size 10, by the way), and I look slim, I'm not near where I was before I ever had kids. And sometimes I wish I really was one of those women who bounce right back. I might look like I am, but I'm really not.


swedemom said...

No matter your size, after babies, getting your body back, in any shape or form, is tough.

My body shape hasn't been the same since I had my last baby. It is frustrating because nothing seems to fit right.

You know one part I dislike about being smaller (whether after having babies or whenever) is that people aren't very nice about it--especially other women. After I had my third son, I was terribly ill and lost about 20 pounds--not weight I could really afford to lose. I looked like a skeleton. Very few people were very understanding about it being such a problem. They didn't understand that while I lost that weight, my hair started to fall out.

Devin & Ruthann said...

Yep, nothing fits. Ditto on that one. And ditto on the pressure about losing baby weight b/c I am thin when I'm not pregnant. I try to be remember I have a healthy body despite the stretch marks and extra padding!

heather said...

Genetics have always been on my side as well. And I've been accused multiple times by total strangers and best friends about having an eating disorder. I see myself in pictures and I get why, but I truly have never had one. I had a baby about a year ago, and some of my zeros will never, ever fit again. I'm okay with this. I'm thinking maybe after a couple more kids people will stop making skinny jokes, among other comments centered on my weight (or lack of it.)


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