Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let's Talk About Fat, Shall We?

We women far and wide (I’m assuming that not a single man has stumbled upon this blog…) seem to suffer in spades from body issues/weight issues/food issues. Not every woman, but a lot of us have dabbled in these dangerous territories at one point or another in our lives. Right?

So that is why the latest issue of Us magazine really pisses me off. On it is Trista Sutter, an E list celebrity (I feel mean today, but why is she relevant?) who was on the Bachelor Show or Bachelorette show, whatever. I am a reality TV fan, but I never could watch these type of dating shows. Give me Amazing Race and Survivor and Top Chef, but you can keep those ridiculous shows that have women (or men) groveling for love and affection or makeovers.

Anyway, this cover feature explores Trista’s ridiculousness in detail. Just THREE months after giving birth to her son, she is upset that her body is not back to “normal.” Three months, people. Some loser told her she would be back in her pre-pregnancy clothes before she left the hospital (what the fuck?) and she believed her.

Trista says she is 116 pounds (a weight I haven’t seen since, what, middle school?) and that she feels unattractive and unsexy. Her goal is to fit into a pair of jeans and also to wear sexy clothes again. (Nice goals.) She drops all sorts of crap about how hot she used to be and talks about how she put a picture of her with H*ward Stern on her fridge as incentive. She also has pictures of herself up looking “good” and wants her son to see how hot she used to be. Yuck. But now, she walks around her house in oversized hoodies and sweatpants because she is ashamed of her weight. Gosh, maybe I should cover up when I am home and hide myself too from the love of my life. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

A quote from Us Magazine:

What bothers you the most?

“My belly. It has a layer of fat, which, of course, your body has to put on, but it’s blubbery and I hate it. I want to be able to go bathing suit shopping for a vacation and not feel totally disgusted…I just don’t feel good in a lot of my clothes.”

Cue the violins. And, wow, “hate” and “disgusted” are such strong words.

Wow. She JUST had a baby. What does she think her stomach would look like? And so many women would beg, borrow and steal to be in her shoes (or, according to her, giant unsexy clothing). Would do anything to make it through to the other side of infertility with a baby and a bigger body.

I don’t know who to blame here. Us magazine missed its mark…there is so much more to Trista’s story that is interesting. She had a traumatic birth (HELLP syndrome, gestational diabetes and premature birth via C section, for goodness sake). She also, according to some, suffered from infertility. But Us decides to focus on her body? They even put a pre-pregnancy pic of her in a belly shirt (who wears these anymore??) on their cover. Who cares?

She says her husband says she looks great but she doesn’t believe her really means it; she thinks he just says it because he is a good husband. Yet she also admits that he wags his finger and says “uh uh uh” if she tries to eat something she “shouldn’t.”

I can’t even imagine having my partner monitor my eating like that. Talk about fanning the fires of food issues. Nicole never tells me to give up my daily ice cream and never objects when I plow through a bag of pretzels. The only time she intervenes is when I eat popcorn. And that is because even small amounts of popcorn make me popcorn sick. But for some reason I have NO ability to stop until I finish the entire bag. And, oh my, I LOVE my fake movie theater butter! And we both know if I buy a pint of Caramel Cone then we will split it and finish it in one night.

Why did this article bother me so much? Maybe it hits a little too close to home. And I can’t sit here and pretend that I don’t look in the mirror myself and wonder what happened to my body and miss my old body (sometimes). I struggle with it to, but I try to put it back in perspective.

I gained 60 pounds. 60 pounds. That is a lot of weight in a short period of time. I’ve lost the 60 pounds, but things aren’t how they used to be. Let’s talk about the belly. There is a lot of it still there. Little rolls, soft and pudgy, perfect for little feet to stand on. It must feel like standing on jelly to the girls. If I eat too much in a meal or a day or a week (and I do all of these things), my belly kinda blows up like a watermelon. Tall and oval but not quite as firm. It has a memory like a steel trap, my belly! It has the extra skin, perfect for expansion. It remembers being stretched to its limits and, apparently, it kinda like being like that. I will never have a rock-hard, “perfect” body, and I am fine with that. Because that means I can eat pretzels and ice cream and the occasional tub of popcorn. I can eat two slices of pizza for dinner and slowly widdle away a third piece sliver by sliver. And my old body didn’t have babies. I am proud of a body that carried twins for 37 and a half weeks.

I have a scar that reminds me where my babies came from. My little zipper. Long and red and elevated. My breasts hang in such a way that I know they will never be perky (not that they ever were… D cups are good for cleavage, if that is what you like, but not good for perkiness). My belly button looks just bizarre now. My stomach has a decided oval shape. But I have a respect for my body that I didn’t always have, brough on by age and maturity and probably a little therapy. I am not abusive like I sued to be, like when I used to go to the gym twice a day and cut back my calorie intake to like 500 calories a day…talk about unhealthy.

But I don’t want to minimize my own issues. I am very much an all or nothing person. When I am in control, I am very controlled. But when I am not in control, wow. I can scare myself. But more on that another day...

Pictured above is me, taken with Photobooth on my computer. Notice the oval belly, the misshapen belly button, the scar, the bra-less breasts, hanging w-a-y down there. The bags under my eyes. Far from perfect but I am ok with that.

*oops...edited to add the pciture uplink feature isn't working. I'll add the pictures later today. **two pictures up and one to go....


nailgirl said...

I have always hated Trista, she is sooo stupid. Fuck her. She's rich, shes got a husband and a darling baby. She can stay home with the baby,and not have to do daycare. That's my issue as of late. She can have a nany, a housekeeper, and a personal trainer. What the hell is she bitchin about?
You look fantabulous for just poppin out two princesses.
You should have seen the look on my sisters face when I showed her my saggy ass boobs, after breast feeding four beautiful babies.
Again Fuck the Trista's of the world!!!

Audra said...

I saw that article as well- I can't believe her! But dang- you're looking good!

Keri said...

The fact that she's complaining just pisses me off. It's one thing to say you wish you looked like you used to but even her "now" is better than any "used to" I've ever had.
Boo fucking hoo for her and her perfect little body. I hope her son forgives her one day for slacking these last few months.

maeby said...

Popping out of the woodwork to tell you how much I loved this post. It was raw & honest. I think you SHOULD celebrate your body - it did some amazing things by creating your girls. It's such a shame that the media couldn't celebrate such a thing, instead of highlight dissatisfaction. Gr.

kim said...

I hate this kind of sh*t. After mine were born I had excessive bleeding then severe anemia as a result. Add BF and I dropped all my weight and then some. People commented on how I looked "fantastic" and my answer was "Lose all your blood and don't eat for the 12 days your son is in the NICU and you too can look like this". Seriously. And now, 18 months later, I've put back on about 25 pounds. And it came back in weird places. Childbearing is one of the things our bodies are built for - and it forever changes them. We have got to be proud of them instead of ashamed, and articles like this make normal women feel inadequate because we don't fit into our old clothes when we get home from giving birth.

I think you look fantastic - and we have matching scars! LOL

Kerry Lynn said...

seriously, you look fantastic. if i took a head on shot of my belly you would not be able to see my scar due to the fold of skin/flab hanging over it.
even though i would like to weigh less, if i had to choose between my miraculous children or less weight it would be no contest.