I am fat.
Not overweight. Not pudgy. I am a very short, very round fat girl.
I cannot recall a single year of my life where I wasn't obsessed with body image. I've daydreamed about pulling out a large cleaving knife and just hacking away at my excess stomach. With some good local anesthetic, surely it can't be too hard to cut open my abdomen and expunge the excess adipose tissue? (My husband assures me that, yes, actually, its quite hard. Something about blood vessels feeding all those fat cells).
Even at my absolute thinnest weight, when I was exercising for 2 hours every morning at the gym and strictly keeping a reduced-calorie diet rich in fruits and vegetables, I was STILL 15-20 lbs over my "ideal" body weight.
I have never, ever, ever, since hitting puberty, been in the "healthy" BMI range. Ever.
Recently, I was looking back at some photos my husband took of me at the beach when I was 16 weeks pregnant with Le Petite. I was stunned by how beautiful I looked. Me, beautiful! Thin, even. Since having my son, I have found it impossible to lose the excess weight. But something has changed. I realized in that moment - I am still that beautiful person. That beauty has nothing to do with numbers on a scale, nothing to do with hours logged at the gym.
That same beautiful girl peaks through in the photos taken just last week, baking cookies with my son.
She's there as well when I look at myself in the mirror, in all my fatty goodness.
I am a goddess. No, not really - I can't call down powers of heaven to do my bidding. But my body, it really is beautiful. Goddess-like beautiful. This is the body that walks 4 miles every day, to and from my son's preschool. It is the body that lovingly embraces and touches my husband. It is the body that nourished my son for the first 24 months of his life.
This body is large, but it is healthy. It is beautiful. It is divine.
And it is completely, 100% mine. And I am... grateful!