There’s nothing like a mom-and-tot swim class to bring you right back to high school again. You know, where there is an unspoken pretty-skinny caste-system you find yourself somewhere in the middle of. One of the many reasons why I was not a huge fan of high school . . . but there came a point in my life that I decided to stop wondering where my name fell on that list and decided to write my name where I chose. I joined Weight Watchers the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college and lost 40 lbs. It was incredible. I was wearing clothing sizes I outgrew in the eighth grade and still had a bowl of ice cream every night after dinner. Crazy I know. Who loses 40 lbs eating ice cream in three months? People who very recently were teenagers. That’s who.
Irregardless, I got engaged and to my delight every dress at David’s fit me. I bought a dress off the rack, walked down the aisle with no alterations, and married my prince charming . . . all the while posing for as many fabulous pictures as I could.
Enter newly married young adulthood. The pressure is off, and so apparently am I . . . off my bathroom scale that is. Add 25 lbs. Cue baby number 1. Add upwards of 50 lbs (I had to stop looking at the scale at the obgyn for my own sanity so I’m not entirely sure where exactly I landed before the birth). Reality check – I’m recently not pregnant, bigger than when I started, and very unhappy about it. Re-enter Weight Watchers, subtract 20 lbs to bring me back to where I was before baby number 1 . . . but with a whole lot more belly.
Cue baby number 2 at the EXACT moment I reach pre-pregnancy weight (I think the timing of that is a universal law or something). Add a cautionary 35-40 lbs (again can’t look at the end of pregnancy) even MORE belly (if that were even possible), and begin the post-pregnancy calorie burn I call “running” (which for me is really like jogging or walking with a little bounce). Subtract 7lbs . . . which I might add I was pretty proud of . . . until today at the mom-and-tot swim class. I really thought you could grow out of the comparison game, but I’m beginning to think it’s not that easy . . . at least for me.
Gone are the days of comparing bra sizes and waistlines in high school. Now we play a new game with new rules in our post-baby bodies with all the stretch marks, cellulite, and flabby saggy bellies (or lack there of) that go with it. Sadly, there are lots of skinny moms out there who make me feel pretty low on the skinny-mom-totem pole. Lots of skinny moms who also brought their kids to the mom-and-tot swim class at the pool today. I try very hard to blame it on genetics – that somehow it’s just in them to be skinny and that it’s because I’ve inherited my Oma’s physique that I look like I’m built for hard labor or to maybe be a lineman. Sometimes I decide it’s because they have lots of money and can afford to “freshen up” a little bit (and by freshen up I mean get professional help – and by professional help I mean get a tummy tuck). But when I allow myself to be honest I know that it really isn’t completely about any one or all of those things, and a lot to do with daily choices everybody gets the opportunity to make. Including me.
So I have emerged from the aforementioned mommy body rant brought on by the inevitable necessity of being seen in public in a swimsuit today . . . with the following thoughts of thanks:
1. I have a husband who loves me.
This one really means a lot. Especially because he asked me out on a date way back when nobody else would, before I ever got skinny and looked great in a pair of single digit pants. Despite the fact that my body has become somewhat of a yo-yo, I know deep down in the bottom of my heart that he loves me just the same.
2. I have two really cute little boys.
Every time I get a little sad about stretch marks or my bubble gut I look at these two precious little boys and I decide wholeheartedly that it was 100% worth it. I would never ever trade those boys for anything.
3. My friends are my friends and have always been my friends.
The people who have been and continue to be the most important friends in my life love me no matter what. Coincidentally many of them have been my friends since before high school . . . so that should say something really profound right there.