Do you remember the day someone called you fat? I hear her voice in my head still, shrill and mean. She wasn’t out to hurt you, but she did. Deeply. We are 42 now and our body has some serious miles on it. It’s not as strong and firm as it used to be. But it’s carried 4 babies and bears lots of battle scars. It has served us well, is serving us well still. You will have this great period of about two years in your late thirties when you will try the naturopathic route to get off anti anxiety meds (this will, incidentally end badly, but you will retain the habits that are retainable). You will eat cabbage and quinoa for months and you will be skinny and it’ll feel so good, even though you will smell so so bad. But then life will interrupt and your old body will come back. You will feel shame and disgust; will wear them like a yoke. But something will shift eventually and you will come to some kind of peace in this skin of ours. You will walk the dogs every morning, feeling yourself getting stronger and know that you might never be skinny Megan again, but you are happy Megan and that counts for something. You will commit everyday to feed this body well most of the time and let the chips fall where they may.
That voice you hear telling you you’re fat? It doesn’t own you. Doesn’t define you. You are so much more than a number on a scale or a size on a rack. How you treat your body is precious, but what size you are isn’t. I want you to learn this now, before you let that voice lie to you for years and years. It will chide you as you step on the scale at your OB’s office, telling you that your burgeoning body isn’t beautiful, even as it swells with the miracle of life. Lie. It will mock you when you are on the beach with your babies; convincing you that you should stay just outside the frame so you don’t mess it up. Lie. It will speak to you of a husband who might not find you attractive anymore because you are no trophy, even as he tells you you’re the sexiest woman he knows. Lie. That damn voice will make you look around at every classroom party you go to, wondering how on bloody earth they do it and if their size makes them a better mother. Lie.
Megan, there is one Voice you need to listen to and one only. It will tell you that you are loved and a wonder. It will speak of cloaking you in righteousness. It will remind you that your citizenship is in heaven and that your work here is confined to bringing as many people with you as you can. It will hang out with you on the couch in the small hours of the morning when all the babies are sleeping and it will confirm that you aren’t enough, but then in the lovingest way possible it will prove to you that The Voice is. Enough. And that you were never meant to be everything. That wanting that is an idol you bow down to far too often. Younger me, these are words I wish I could tell you when you are in middle school and wondering already how much size matters. Megan, you have to believe me on this because I promise you it is truth. Take care of your body, yes. But the voices that tell you your size defines you? They can go to hell. Seriously.
this is me being real.