Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Go Ahead, Judge Me

I like to think of myself as a pretty non-judgmental person.  I also like to think of myself as a size 4, but that doesn't necessarily make it true. 

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" is probably one of the most referenced scriptures in the Bible. Moral debates without a definitive answer, "Well, judge not, lest ye be judged."  Even people that don't believe in God use this as a guiding principle. Kind of like the Golden Rule, only with consequences. 

Turns out, I judge people all of the time.  Maybe not in the "You're going straight to hell" way, but in smaller ways like, "Why would they possibly buy a new car when they can't make the payment on the old one?"  or, "Guess someone had a few too many cocktails before choosing her new hair color."

But my most egregious judgments have been made about how people parent their children.

"What kind of horrible parents let their kids throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store? Get control of your child."

"That poor kid has no coat.  Do his parents not realize it is 25 degrees out."

"What kind of person yells at her child in the middle of a crowded restaurant?  Seriously, some people should not have children."

In case there is some confusion, these are all judgments that I feel confident have been made about me in the last seven years.  Heck, most of them have probably happened in the last seven days.  What makes it such a bitter pill to swallow is recalling the multitude of times I made similar judgments in my pre-parent days.  Rolling my eyes, rude comments under my breath, disapproving glances, I've done it all.  My judginess probably peaked when I was pregnant with our first child.  Oh, how many times I uttered the words, "That will never happen in my house." As I think back on those days, if I am really quiet, I can actually hear God laughing.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my children and most of the time, they are incredibly well behaved.  But, as my dad says, they are children. Apparently, reasoning with a three year old is different than reasoning with a grown adult (well, most grown adults).  And dang, being a parent is exhausting.  If only I wasn't constantly picking up after them, doing their laundry, packing lunches, brushing teeth, and moderating battles, I would have the common sense to check the weather before I sent my child to school in shorts during a snowstorm. I mean, it is Texas.  Why the heck is would we ever have a snowstorm? If only I had more sleep, more hours in the day, and let's face it, several glasses of wine, I would definitely be more patient.  We would read and play educational games all day long and I wouldn't feel compelled to lock myself in the bathroom just to get three uninterrupted minutes of peace and quiet.

Instead, I have resolved that I will be the woman on the other side of the judgments for the next few years.  Looking back on that scripture, it's clear I earned my place there. 

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Curves are Freakin Awesome

The Birth of VenusImage via WikipediaI am a curvy woman. I have been curvy for as long as I can recall. Sure, there were times when I was skinnier. A couple of times when I was just plain skinny. But even in those skinniest of times, the closest I ever got to wearing skinny jeans was in the dressing room when I tried to pull them on and got as far as my mid calf before the seams started to pop.

Somewhere around sixth grade I developed what I've come to know as "good child bearing" hips. Just what every middle school girl wants. Apparently to hold up such important hips, my thighs had to be substantial as well. I've always had a small waist, so if I ever got promoted out of the A cup to the big D leagues, I could have a perfect hourglass figure.

This became a reality after pregnancy, and his friend the Booby Fairy visited my house. Twice.

Hello hourglass.

I've been various sizes over the past 15 years. There are pictures of me in a size 4, and pictures of me in a size 14 within 18 months of each other. But on any given day, I usually fall somewhere in between.  Say, an 8. Over the last few months, I've been moving farther and farther from that size. Then came the horrible day when I had to pull out my stash of big size clothes (You know, the ones you want to give away because you know you will never be that big again.) Except that you will definitely be that size again. So you stick the Fat clothes in a box marked "Feminine things" hoping your husband will never open the box and discover that his size 6 bride is a size 14 wife.

For the past few months, my weight really started to bother me. I would go for a couple days without eating just so I could comfortably zip a pair of jeans. Then I would only eat fruit smoothies for five days, those kind of ridiculous things. And like every dieter I have ever known, I became miserable, depressed, angry, and pretty much a horrible person to be around. This behavior wasn't entirely new to me.  I watched similar patterns growing up. My mother (who is absolutely gorgeous) spent the better part of three decades obsessing about her weight. The lower the number on the scale, the better life got. The larger the number, the worse she felt about herself, about life, about everything.

A few days ago I stepped out of the shower. Since the extra 15 pounds made their way to my life, I make it a point to wrap a towel around me before I get out of the shower so I don't have to face the mirror. For no particular reason on this day I decided to get a look at exactly how bad my body has become.

That's when I discovered it.

My curves are freakin awesome!

I was right in line with American Icon Marilyn Monroe. Better yet, I could be a stunt double for some of the women in Renoir's paintings. This brilliantly curvy body is what men for centuries viewed as the ideal beauty. Curvy women like me have been immortalized in paintings, sculptures, heck, I bet there are idols out there formed after a beautiful curvy woman. Thus leading to my realization that a curvy woman is truly a work of art.

I made another discovery that day. I don't need to lose 15 pounds and I don't need to be a size 6. What I do need to be is healthy. So I'm making a battle plan. My plan is that in the battle of healthy and non healthy choices, healthy wins at least every third time.  Walk a little more, have frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, unless, of course, it is national ice cream day, during which I would be unpatriotic if I didn't eat ice cream.Yeah, I can make healthy work.

If I can be a little healthier, and the result size 10 jeans, I will be content. I will take my curves, and I will rock the size 10 they way it should be rocked, with child bearing hips, post pregnancy exploded breasts,and thighs who hear angles sing when they hear the words "loose fitting" I will feel comfortable in my own skin, because my curves are freakin awesome. Men have known that for centuries. It's time we women caught on.

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