I WEIGHED MY JEANS
I have a confession: I weighed my pants. Like stripped down and put my jeans ON the scale.
I waited for a number to come up. Nothing.
I took them off the scale and tried it again.
Zero point zero.
Fuck. There goes that plan.
I was on my way to the doctor, the LADY doctor to be exact. Not for anything in particular, just a yearly check-up to make sure all my parts are still functioning after three babies. (Happy to report my reproductive system is still on fleek). ANYWAY, with a 10:00am appointment I was panicking a bit. Not because of the inevitable traffic to head over the hill to Cedars. No. That would be logical. But because at 10:00am, I would have already had breakfast and a shit ton of coffee. With all that in my system, the scale at the doctor’s would be waaaaayoff. And I would apologize to the nurse as if she gives a shit (about me not shitting that morning thereby affecting the outcome).
Now before I go on, let me say that I’m writing this as a cry for help. I’m calling on my sisters and fellow moms, who feel me and hear me. Body image is an issue almost every woman has dealt with at some point or another in their lives, right? But do most people agonize over what time their last meal was before they get to the doctor’s office (unless they have to fast beforehand)? The answer is likely, or generally, NO. They get to the doctor, follow the nurse back, step on the stupid scale and it is what it is. They don’t feel the NEED to take off their shoes, shirt, pants, wedding band, earring in the second hole —because people, I WILL and I HAVE. But today, I didn’t want to be a total freak, so I weighed my jeans AHEAD of time so I could give myself a little mental break and cut myself some slack when she marked the number in my chart (Because in my head, I would know that that’s not the REAL number. I would be able to subtract the jeans and it wouldn’t be as high as what she was seeing. Of course, I wouldn’t TELL her that I weighed my jeans and that she should subtract that number too, because THAT IS CRAZY. Nope. I wanted to play the role of a person that gets on the scale CONFIDENTLY… like I had places to get to and things to do and weight is a waste of my headspace so look at me, I just step on scales like it’s no big thing.
Except it is. It always has been. Even when I was 122lbs at my wedding(s), (hey, how many people can say they got skinny for TWO weddings. Hooray for me!), I agonized over numbers. I was svelte and wearing cut-off white jean shorts that I would KILL to fit in now and yet, I thought I was FAT. I have never felt perfect in my skin. And I hate that. I don’t want that anymore.
Except we’re leaving for Mexico. Tomorrow. And in a month after that, we’re going to a wedding on Martha’s Vineyard and seersucker is synonymous with skinny. (At least on ShopBop it is). And I had these GOALS. Nine months ago, when Everett, my strawberry blonde who do you look like baby, came into the world, I told myself that baby weight was/HAD to go fast. When it wasn’t going fast, I asked for a blood work-up, because OBVIOUSLY, I had to have thyroid issues. Nope. Just fat. So, I kept pounding away at the pavement, so to speak. A clean/ Whole 30 diet, a three-day high fiber shakes only diet here, a week long intermittent 700 calorie a day fast there, a ketogenic diet, a no carb- lean protein – low fat diet, a fuck it- I’m eating whatever I want diet (which btw inevitably leads back to diet #1, 2, or 3) – I do/did them all. And you know what the result is: Sure, a little bit of weight loss here and there, but mostly: A GREAT BIG FEAR OF FOOD.
I LOVE FOOD. I AM AN EATER. AT BREAKFAST, I AM ALREADY THINKING ABOUT DINNER, AND AT DINNER, I’M ALREADY THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE’RE HAVING NEXT WEEK FOR DINNER. This is partially a Brandt Family OCD/ genetic thing and also a ‘I truly love and enjoy food’ thing. BUT NOW, I look at food like the enemy. I ingest it and immediately HATE what it will do to my body.
THIS HAS BECOME SOME FUCKED UP SHIT, PEOPLE.
And yes, I realize that being 48 pounds down from what I was the day Everett was born is great. It’s GREAT, Jenny. It’s GREAT. In my head, it’s mother-fucking great. But in my skin, in the mirror, I am not great. I could be better. I could be more. I could eat better, eat less, workout more, workout harder, LOSE another 15 pounds and THEN, THEN I would be OKAY.
Well, people of the Perfectly Disheveled fan club (Hi, Nana): I am hereby announcing: I AM DONE WITH THIS SHIT. Done, I tell ya! And it’s not just because I heard Brene Brown speak last week at Mom2.0 Summit (Okay, maybe it is a little bit because of her). But it’s because I want to live my life celebrating our luck and our joy. I want to live in THAT. Not self-hate. Whatever she said STUCK. Something resonated. The dialogue in my soul shifted and asked for HELP. People, I’m ready to be vulnerable. (Actually, I don’t know if that’s what I need to be, but she did talk a lot about vulnerability. Okay, wait. Maybe that’s a different chapter in the book. But I’m ready for something. And if I was listening correctly, you can’t be great or OKAY without being vulnerable. So there).
Anyway, I don’t know if the universe is trying to tell me something, or if there has been some sort of shift in the social media cosmos all together, but I’m finding a lot body positive role models and images. I’m stalking getting sucked into the vortex stumbling on to pages women sharing photos of themselves in bathing suits or clothing that are not size 2’s, sharing candid and personal insight into their own self-love, worth, and confidence. Women like Jenna Kutcher modeling what body love looks like.
Her caption goes on to say:
“Want a bikini body? Put a damn bikini on your body. If I had a magazine, the headlines would read a little different: How to love the skin you’re in, how to feel whole with yourself (instead of trying to find someone who completes you), how to come home to your body.
Stop believing you’re not worthy, stop hiding because fear tells you to, stop waiting for confidence to find you, and start doing the work every time you look in the mirror.
This was the first bikini I wore in YEARS and the only thing that changed was the way I loved myself just as I am. You’re capable of that, too.”
(You can’t see me right now but I’m literally doing an Oprah YESSSS! dance right now. Preach Jenna! Preach!)
Even celebrities like Reese Witherspoon are sharing words and quotes about self-love and being “enough.”
Instagram, your algorhythm works because this is what I want to see. This is what I need.
So now what. Now what do I do? Aside from seeing my therapist more than once a month these days, WHAT DO I DO? HOW DO I FIX MYSELF? How do I step out of my own way and spend time focusing on things that matter like WRITING THIS or FINISHING THOSE SCRIPTS, or here’s a novel idea: SPENDING TIME WITH MY KIDS. Actually, I get enough of them. I’m good on that. But you catch my drift.
And while I don’t have a daughter and don’t have to think about all that comes with body changes as they enter their teens, I do have three boys. And I’m already starting to see bits and pieces of negative thoughts and body self-consciousness and it breaks my heart. Kids pick up our baggage through osmosis. And this is one piece that I’m not going to let my boys carry around. I want to raise self-aware, self-loving little warriors. Self-loving warrior. That’s what I want for myself.
So, what does it take? What does it take to look at the mirror and love what you see? What does it take to eat food without worrying about what it will do to your body aside from fueling and nourishing you? What does it take to have balance? To exercise because it feels good and not because you’re trying to lose those last, 5, 10, 15 pounds?
Please, please, please, share your comments, thoughts, tips, and personal stories! Do you have another Instagram page I should follow for more motivation and inspiration? Tell me here!
And in the meantime, SHOULD you be interested in getting a pair of your own weightless jeans (for under $60 bucks), you can find them here. You and your scale can thank me later.