Monday, January 25, 2010

Chubby and Proud!

My sugar-less (to clarify: the 'less' signifies I am ingesting less sugar as opposed to a sugarless diet: how could I never have another chocolate or bowl of Ben & Jerry's?!) diet is going fabulously: there is definitely something to be said for the marvels of moderation! I can't quite remember just who said it, but this quote expresses more succinctly what has happened to me in the last month than I could ever attempt:
What is healing but a change in perspective?

Being 'chubby' has haunted my eating days since I was ten years old. Pretty young, huh? I think it was the school nurse (a short and - rather ironically - rotund old woman with short grey hair and the wrinkliest face I'd ever seen on anyone except my Norwegian great-aunt) who suggested my mom haul me off to a dietician ASAP. Looking at photos of myself at that age now, I am deeply angry that I was deemed even vaguely overweight. Certainly, I was not blessed with a beanpole physique and a skyrocketing metabolism, but my body was cute and round and healthy. The usual ball-oriented sports at school like netball and tennis saw me cursed with butterfingers and bored to tears - and I often managed to almost-legally bunk all my Phys Ed classes from primary to high school by needing to practice my flute (wink, wink.) Climbing trees didn't suit me much either: my twin sisters would chatter with not-too-subtle glee at my mom having to fetch the ladder to get me out the high arms of the leafy avo tree in our back garden. (I could climb up - it was the getting down that didn't agree with me.) Another moment of humiliation? Slipping clumsily off the rocks we were using to cross an almost torrential river while hiking in the Cape mountains while my sisters nimbly hotfooted it across and my dad calling me his 'little mountain deer'. Yes, he was being sarcastic. But besides these sorts of incapabilities, I was an excellent little sailor - representing South Africa when I was a mere 13 years old at the Mirror World Championships in Holland! And for you of you who have never sailed a dinghy in the famous South Easter - it is blerry hard work: you need to be fit and super-strong! So ball-sports aside (and river-rock-hopping), I wasn't an unhealthily slothful child at all. I simply preferred stretching my brain muscles to other muscles; 2 to 3 hours a day was a normal amount of time for me to spend practising my flute, for example.

Provitas skimmed with a mere lick of marge, and carefully dolloped with exactly measured-by-grams fat-free cottage cheese and early morning jogs in the dark before school were my punishment for having a body that wasn't supermodelesque. It didn't stop there either - I continued to punish myself for not being thin until about two years ago when I finally managed to leave my exercise-obsessed, fat-free fanatic ex who certainly didn't help me accept myself for who I was. Before I met my husband, I enjoyed two glorious years of unadulterated glory in the eyes of quite a number of delicious young men who unabashedly adored my healthy curves - and the word 'diet' never once crossed my happy mind. My husband,a bit of a Jack Sprat himself, is my biggest fan - even with my new mommy-body which has taken me 11 painfully arduous months of self-psychology to make peace with. I can't quite say that I am at the 'love-myself-to-bits' stage yet, but I can see it on the horizon, at least!

{This is just the beginning of much, much more on this universal and layered topic: more will follow as soon as Layla (aka HRM = Her Royal Majesty) allows.}


Andrea said...

Such a good place to be and one I wish I could join you I am plagued by the wish for the perfect size 10 body but cursed with the absolute inability to do anything about it....sigh....well until now, I am doing Slimfast and I will let you know how well it works over time - would far rather make peace with myself, but for now I guess I am still on the eternal chase for a good body image :0)

Jessica said...

This is wonderful. I truly love this series of posts. I commend you for writing it!! There need to be more positive role models for women and girls out there. That no two are alike and that each one is a goregous goddess in their own right, inside and out. I love that your daughter's name is Layla because my daughter's name is Layla!!! :D How old is she? Mine will be 7 months on the 8th of this month and shes just my world. My husband is all a "jack sprat" and he loves my curves too! I was a size 2 and 115 lbs in High School when we met and he told me he ABSOLUTELY prefers the curvier me! lol. Men are so funny sometimes :P

I wrote a post similar to yours last year and just recently posted it on my blog if you care to have a looksee.

It truly is such an important subject that needs to be brought to light and that young girls and women need great role models that are not just beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. Each and everyone is beautiful. I agree with you that I want to be a good example for my daughter as well and never want her scrutinizing her body in the mirror the way that I have in the past. I want her to be only her, the beautiful spirit that she is.

Thank you again!

jerry said...
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