Friday, July 10, 2009

The Skinny Girl Inside

The biggest battle in my life has always been my weight.

I was a skinny little girl. I have pictures to prove it. Thin arms and legs with a little pot belly. My mother is petite. Now in her forties she is still thin as a rail and toned from a regular workout schedule. My father is a different story. As long as I can remember he has been overweight. My mom used to tell me that no matter how active he was or how little he ate, the weight never really came off. I blame this spare tire around my middle on genetics. His genetics.

When I hit that really awkward stage we call puberty, I got chunky. And I had boobs. Big boobs. By high school I had thinned out some but hit my maximum height of 5 foot and 4 1/2 inches. 130 pounds was a healthy weight for me. Not as skinny as I wanted but my normal size. I still thought I was fat. It's just a teenage affliction. By the time I was a Senior I weighed 114 pounds. Not through exercise or diet. But with the help of recreational drugs. I'm no angel, I've never claimed to be, and I firmly believe in a person's past being just that. The past. Even at my skinniest I hated my body. Truthfully I just hated myself in general, but at that age being pretty and skinny was what I wanted most. Never mind that having an ugly personality did nothing to help my exterior looks.

Three children later, here I am. Overweight. Locked in a battle with my biggest toughest enemy. I managed to drop enough weight to regain an almost size 8 after my first two pregnancies. Just by watching what I ate. Because lord knows I hate to move a muscle unless absolutely necessary. Right now Sugarbaby is 14 months old and I have 25 more pounds to go until I hit that 135-140 mark that I am told will be a healthy weight for me.

It is so hard.

Every day I wake up with a plan. A plan for what I am going to eat and what I am going to run screaming from should it cross my path. Drink lots of water, keep my carb intake low, watch my portions. Some days I am a weight loss rockstar. Other days I am Tommy Lee on a coke binge except my drug is food. I can say in all honesty that today was a good day. But even on good days, when I know what I put in my body was as healthy as it gets, I want to cry when I look in the mirror. Then I think, what does it really matter? If I am this unhappy on the way to skinny, why not eat whatever I want and be as they say, fat and happy?

Because that is what food does and why it is so hard. Food comforts you. Food soothes you. Food tastes really damn good! It's a tough choice to make and I liken it to having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The angel is the skinny girl inside, dying to get out. The devil is a red horned demon carrying a German chocolate cake and a fork.

No matter how much I hate it I know that the struggle won't end. I don't want to be overweight. I don't want the Monster to tell me again that I'm not as skinny as so and so is. I want my husband to be attracted to me and be proud that I am his wife. I want to be that skinny mom in the yoga pants with three kids and people saying, " Wow she looks great for having all those children!" Vain? Yes of course it is. I never said it wasn't. To want to look good for yourself, for your husband, for your ten year reunion is vanity in living color. But so is the woman who highlights her hair every month, lays in a tanning bed, and does her makeup every morning. It's not wrong, it's just human.

I sat watching Sugarbaby today chow down on a cookie. That girl has an appetite. She's a tiny thing, very petite for her age. But I had a flash forward to her teenage years and the battle with self image she is likely to have. I pray for her sake that she is one of those people that can stuff their face all day and never gain a pound. Realistically she'll probably be more like her mama. Capable of being a skinny girl but having to fight for it tooth and nail.

She's in there. I know she is. That skinny girl that's haunting me. I'm trying my hardest to let her out.


  1. OH MY GOD THAT GERMAN CHOC CAKE SOUNDS SOOOOOOOO GOOD. I would love to be more support for you but I LOVE DING DONGS

  2. We're EXACTLY the same: I've been trying to lose the last 25 post-baby pounds for ten years. I used to be cute and skinny, when I worked full-time and packed my lunch and went home to tired to make dinner for myself. NOW look at me.

    And, on my fourth day in America, by coincidence lookmom; I have discovered the Ding Dong, also the coconut latte ice cream. Oh this is not good news.

  3. Did I write this? Are you a mind reader? I seriously have had pretty much the same life. Skinny, petite little girl who grew into a busty, but still healthily cute teen/young woman. Exploded after two kids (only I lost weight after 1st, but not after 2nd; was still HUGE when I got preggers with #3). #3 is now 17 months and I have lost a lot of weight since I had him, but I still have at least (AT LEAST) 15lbs to go until I am happy. And everyday I decide to start fresh, and every night I go to bed punching my stupid-cookie-obsessed-fat-mouth. In addition to my mom blog, BFF and I write a weight loss (although to be fair neither of us are actually losing any weight) you may be interested So glad I cam over from SITS this evening:)

  4. Additionally, your daughter is cute. So. Stinking. Cute!

  5. So true--

    the skinny chick in me is super strong...but it's a bit hard to fight out of all the layers of hot fudge sundaes and cream of chicken soup casseroles and "everybody gains weight when they're pregnant!"

    Le sigh.

    Listen to me whine and not do anything about it. It's gotta change!

  6. I think this battle lives inside every woman to an extent. I am very lucky to hide my weight easily. I was about 20 pounds over my "happy weight" when I moved to Dallas. I turned into a fanatic and pretty much stopped eating, exercised every day, and within a few months I had dropped 17 lbs. Then.....I found out I was pregnant and have already gained it all Bottom line is that even I, being of medium weight and build, struggle with my "skinny girl" non-stop. I can't figure out either why it is a never ending battle in our minds. There is always someone skinnier to make you feel ugly. You'd think I was gay the way I look at girls in a public place..... the way they dress and how skinny they are. Always putting myself beside them, sizing myself up, and somehow always feeling like I fall very short. (Not that I'm a hater to all those who look better) but that in a sense it is just my own psychological battle that may never end. Love your post Ashley.....very touching and true to share something so very personal that very few people admit, though many struggle with.

  7. This is the best post I have read that totally describes my struggles. I hear ya sister!

    Like you, I'm about 5'4" and SHOULD be around 135 and a size 8. (Key word = should).

    For me, running is helpful.

  8. So many of us have faced this.

    I learned to run too and it was hard but I had a coach, my hubby. Now it is my son. Point is it the struggle is constant.

  9. Here's what worked for me, and I know it's a bit controversial, but it really works. One of these days I plan to blog about it, but for now go join this yahoo group: and start reading. You will be impressed.

  10. Boy. I could have written this 30 years ago. 20 years ago. Now I'm not the mother of babies, I'm a grandma and a great-grandma and the skinny girl inside suffocated a long time ago. I did lose weight after my children, but college and grad school and a sedentary job put it right back, plus some.

    Here are some things I have learned the hard way: it is 'way much harder to lose weight after 40so do it before that if you can. And the weight will affect your health in ways you don't think about--your feet, your knees, your hip joints, even your back will suffer if you keep the weight as you age. Like you, I'm trying to lose but it is so much harder now than it was 20 years ago.

  11. Awww, just shut that skinny girl up with a cookie...I do! LOL No girl, I really feel your pain. You described my life as well, so don't feel alone. Not only do I have all the genetics for being overweight, I have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure - ON BOTH SIDES! Talk about pressure. Sometimes, I just think, I'm going to die from one of those anyway, why bother? But then, I think about my kids and how I'd like to be on this earth for them as long as I can, and the diet starts again! I need a buddy...wanna be mine? :)


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