Posted by Fitz

The Bean has a new game in which she runs up to me, grabs the bottom of my shirt, and pulls it up to slap my belly.  She’s not discreet about it, either: my shirt is often hoisted past my bra strap (front or back), and she squeals with delight as soon as she catches a glimpse of the pasty, out of shape, embarassing flesh that calls itself my stomach.  We play this “game” about 100,000 times a day, and it seemingly never gets old (for her).  For me, it’s a different story altogether.

You all know that I’ve struggled with getting back in shape after IF treatments and pregnancy left me looking like Fitzy the Hut.  I’m close to where I want to be – if 25 lbs over my wedding weight can be considered close – but I’ve lost some momentum of late.  I convinced myself that this new shape (which is somehow a little more pearish than it’s ever been before) is perfectly fine, and that I’m happy being my current size.

Well, I lied.  To myself, the worst possible person to lie to.

Having The Beanie show my stomach to my husband, my parents, the people at playgroup, strangers at the mall, ad nauseum ad infinitum has been a big wakeup call.  I’m ashamed of this belly, its rolls, and it’s whiteness.  I’m embarassed that I haven’t worked harder.  I’m petrified that I will pass my body issues onto my little girl who is perfect in body, mind, and soul.  I never want her to feel the way that I’ve felt throughout most of my life…that my body is always lacking in one way or another.  I’m obsessed, and always have been, frankly – and that’s not where I want my Bean to spend her energy.  I want her to recognize that her body is healthy and strong, and perfect just the way it is.  I want to rid myself of my own demons so she doesn’t see me wrestling with them, and so they never have a chance of taking root in her own mind.

I’m writing about this even though I think it’s vain, self-centered, and horrifying.  I’m writing about it as a public declaration that I’m going to get my mind and my body back under control so I can be a better role model to my little girl.  I’m writing about it so I can solve the problem before it affects my daughter, who is the most precious, beautiful thing in my world.  And I’m writing about it to ask for your support.

I’ve yet to meet a woman who hasn’t struggled in some way with her body image, and I’d love to hear from those of you who are winning this particular war.   How did you do it?  How do we make peace with ourselves?  How do we teach our daughters to be confident despite the onslaught of size-O stars and constant media bombardment?

This isn’t going to be an easy fix, but I’m confident that some hard work and self-tanner can at least solve the problem of my ugly belly.  I’m more worried about the brain, to be honest.

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