Prior to my 40th my older sister gave me some advice on what to expect. My 40’s were going to be the start of my life. I was going to wake up and start this entire new journey, and I was going to turn into a nymphomaniac. She was absolutely adamant on this last point, going into great detail.
That did not happen. But something else did.
As a young child I was exceptionally skinny. I had twig legs and almost no body, you could have blown me over. It wasn’t a good thing for me – I had a teacher question if I was fed enough at home, and was terrorised in primary and high school by one particular boy – he called me “Anorexia” and I and my friend fatty and skinny. He tormented me for years. I hated every second of it. And him. I still do.
As a teenager I had a decent figure. Weight was never an issue and I ate whatever I wanted and didn’t put on unwanted kilos anywhere. Fast food was a favourite (still is) A coca cola addiction I still have. I did dancing but no other sports. I never once had to diet or worry about scales, or had to try on clothing before buying. I was an off the rack perfect size 8-10.
My first pregnancy at 19 saw me weigh in at 49kg. I stacked on 27kg during the following 9 months. Three days after my son was born I stepped on the scales. 49kg. A belly that resembled a bowl of jelly but that went fast. My body was no different at 20 with a baby than it had been at 16.
The second pregnancy 10 years later saw me bounce back too. Falling pregnant 5 months after her and things started to change. I remember asking my best friend after #3 if I was fat.
“No, you’re not fat. It’s a baby belly.” The problem was, the “baby” was almost two by then. This was no baby belly. That body had started to change.
Add another 6 years and two more pregnancies and kids that breastfed constantly. Suddenly the perfect size 10C rack was heading south, and the size 8 moved into a size 10, then 12. The hips that once had bone protruding were covered in flesh. The stomach was FAT. You could grab fistfuls of flab. The legs grew veins, and the rack turned into a 12C that I had to push them into.
I didn’t like it. Where had that body gone? I suppose I could have found it again. I thought about it. For years I’ve said “this is the day, I’ll join a gym and do 200 sit-ups a day and go on a clean eating smoothie diet. I’ll run around the block and stand on my head while drinking kale and fruit juices.”
But here’s the thing. I’m not going to. I’ve said it for years and never once done it. I don’t want to. Sure I’d like to be healthier, but not as much as I’d like to eat my next serve of massaman beef or vindaloo. I’d like to love kale, but I’ve tried it and vomited. I’d like a Kim Kardashian ass, because despite having bumps the size of Texas on my stomach I have no ass at all. I’d like to have my 16 year old figure back, but it ain’t happening.
What has happened is I have stopped giving a shit about what I don’t have and started loving what I do. I finally love my non existent ass, my flabby stomach and my hips you could do a square dance with. I love the fact it’s seen 5 full term pregnancies and delivered 5 healthy kids and has lumps, bumps and marks to prove it. As cliche as it sounds I am happy in my own skin.