I have been sitting on this post for weeks - deliberating about whether or not to write it. And if yes - how?

See - I am on a quest, and I am out of time.

Let me tell you what I mean.

The last 8 weeks of my life can be summed up in one word: Adjusting.

Adjusting to 2 kids has been an adventure. A worthy challenge, but also a great delight.

Wyatt is adjusting to Daphne very well. The first day, he wanted nothing to do with her. Now he requests to hold her, joins her for 'tummy time', strokes her soft hair, and coo's softly to her. I tell you - how does a single heart take it? Pure, undiluted joy. Potent stuff.

Adjusting to having another adult live with us - and all the benefits that entails.
Adjusting to no sleep.
Adjusting from a newborn to a one-month-old (very different creatures!)
Adjusting to going back to work...
Adjusting to Bill going back to school...

But the most difficult adjustment - and here is where my resolve to write about this wavers - has been my adjustment to this strange new body. I was expecting a recovery. I was expecting the extra weight, and was expecting the work that it would take to get it off. I was expecting that it would take time.

What I wasn't expecting was the daily psychological battle I fight with myself about how the numbers on that scale and the way my pants (don't) fit does or doesn't have anything to do with my own validity. They're just pants!

What I wasn't expecting was how seeing that differently shaped body in the mirror caused me to withdraw within myself. To become a shy shadow of the stronger Stepper that I much prefer to live with.

(And this is why I have been deliberating about whether or not to post this - I didn't want my writing about it to give the issue a misguided sense of self-importance.)

Here's the thing. I feel very strongly about being healthy - and feel just as strongly that being healthy is not the same as being skinny, and should never be mistaken as the same goal. I feel pretty strongly about ice cream, too. And I've seen how obsession over 'skinny' (whatever that means) can change a person into a carb-obsessed gym-a-holic who is drained of any sense of fun and who still manages to find body flaws when looking in that cursed mirror no matter how much the scale is screaming at them to STOP!

It is a dangerous slope both fast and slick, friends.

I also feel a very strong dislike of the media for deliberately pounding it into our heads that we have to look a certain way in order to be worthwhile. It is the Great Lie, and I think one of the Master Lier's favorites to tell. Since when did mascara make someone kind? Or a pair of skinny jeans make someone funny?

I hate - and I do mean HATE, here - that my daughters will be exposed to these lies. How dare some marketing campaign even suggest to my daughter that she is anything less than perfect? Just to make a buck?  I rage against the very idea.

And yet - even with as strongly as I feel about this issue - I find myself falling prey to it. I still find myself believing that I have been measured by some unnamed intangible judge and have been found wanting. There is no judge. I know the lie of it - yet I still battle with it. I was not expecting that.

Don't get me wrong. I don't need affirmations that I am beautiful just the way I am. I mean, yes - I do. Of course I need to hear that. Every woman should hear that. I just mean that I'm not giving in, here.

The Deceiver is good, but he's not that good. The lie is still visible, even if I'm prone to believe it.

It's like, I'm Stepper. And there's this other girl. A piteous self-deprecating girl who tells herself she's not good enough to accomplish anything, and so why bother? And she's trying to tell me that she's Stepper. I don't believe her - but she's still there, constantly walking behind me, insisting that she is Stepper. Pointing out the flaws she finds in me until she's out of breath, and then quietly (so i don't suspect) pointing out flaws in others. And her voice gets really loud, sometimes. Knowadimean? She's really annoying.

This is my quest: I don't condone murder, but I've got to kill this girl. I've got to kill her dead, and I've got to do it NOW.

See, I have this daughter person. My little hummingbird. And she is perfect. And capable. And beautiful. And good. And I don't want her to ever doubt her own divinity. But we girls - we learn a lot through observation. And we're pretty observant.

I don't want my little girl to learn insecurities from me.

When the Great Lie comes knocking on her innocent and unsuspecting door, I want her to be able to toss her little head back in an appreciative laugh, pat the cute little Lie on the head, and then slam the door in it's face.

And so: Murder.


MikkSolo said...

Can you murder her for me too?! For all womankind!

Lizzie said...


That Girl said...

How did I miss this?!

Yes. Yes. YES. I will have to reread this in approximately ten weeks.

It depresses me (and, therefore, my husband) how much my body depresses me after each baby. Standards and expectations that we set ourselves (or, rather MYself.) For me, it's gotten harder each time - therefore, the 'adjusting' gets harder and deeper each time, too.

I'm all for murder. Brutal, if possible.

Queen Scarlett said...

It's amazing how having a daughter... adjusts everything. ;-) Great post.

Melanie Beth said...

I came across your blog through Windy's - just wanted to say I loved this post! I've been working off my Matthew weight for over a year now and those first months - I felt like I didn't even want anyone to see me! That's no way to live.