The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


The Am I Fat Website Tells Me I'm Not

I consult this expert advice to settle the question in the mirror once and for all.

With that encouragement, I decide to test the limits of its cheery “keep it up, great work!” message by plugging in my mid-day weight. It’s not so sure anymore: “Hmmm…on the edge - get more exercise,” it tells me.

I enter my lowest possible goal – my driver’s license weight -- and wait for the verdict, hoping it will tell me to “eat more, you’re way too thin.” Instead it repeats the first “great work” mantra, and I switch out of this section to take the hip/waist ratio section of the quiz. As I struggle to find the minimum point beneath my ribs, I squeeze in my abdominals and grab enough dough from my middle for a two-pound loaf. There is nothing natural about this waist and no way to escape the “it’s time for a change” warning from my virtual expert. I click out of the site, vowing never to return.

My image in the store window the next week is a harsher critic. As I flounce my rarely coiffed hair down Stockton Street, feeling hip and un-Mom like, I turn for a celebratory glimpse and stop flat in my tracks at the reflected version of me: the extra girth, the heft, the jowliness that I swear wasn’t there when I left the house this very morning.

If anorexics see themselves as fat when they look in the mirror, then I wonder what you call women who imagine they are two sizes smaller than their tags reveal. That’s the real me, I like to think, and I’m as shocked to see this larger edition of myself as I was when I went for highlights and came out totally blonde.

Back home, I find an old photo tucked away among the stacks of bills. The picture was taken fourteen years ago during a Backroads trip down the California coast. I remember thinking how pale I looked and how much my thighs bulged in those black Bianchis. I never realized what a privilege it was to be able to tuck in my T-shirt or how muscular my calves were.

What else had I missed?

I uncover the giant Steuben box stuffed with twenty years of memories and pull out a wrinkled green and white photo envelope, curious how my early images look through today’s lens. In one shot, I’m holding a four-week old Mackenzie on my lap and wearing my regular jeans. With a belt. I’m not sure if I am sadder over what I used to be or the fact that, even then, I thought my butt was too big and my arms were too floppy.

The next time I shop for jeans, I realize it’s time to admit who I am now, four kids and eleven years later. Usually, I duck away from my image in the dressing room mirror, not wanting to see the ripples and lines that stomp all over my “you’re as young as you feel” philosophy. But this time, I make myself look. I pirouette in front of the mirror, arching slightly to find a curve in the softer hinterlands that used to be a bony spine. I need to find something about my body to remember, something to celebrate.

In ten years, I’ll wish I had.

By Kimberley Kwok


StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble This Post Add to Technorati Favorites
I bet you look way better than you think! You will always look better in a bigger size that fits than a smaller size that is too tight. Keep in mind it is not the number but how you feel. I still think I am a sz 4 and am amazed when sz 6 fits me.

Your body has changed and no matter what the number I am sure it is beautiful. Love the woman you are not the number you no longer are. No matter what, in 10 more years you will look back at this body with longing. Enjoy yourself now!!
Very funny, poignant, and familiar.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?