adorable at every size

August 13, 2012 | 23 Comments

looking over the ocean

Originally published November 23, 2007

The first time I remember being conscious of my weight was 21 and about to get married. I was 117 pounds when I met Steve. Nine months later, by the time our Big Day arrived, I weighed 130 pounds.

I felt large at our wedding. I was heavier than Steve, and for me was a telltale sign of End Times. Once I found him wearing my jeans. I pressed my eyebrows to his and told him to take them off. “This never happened. You tell no one. Never. Again.”

Months after the wedding one of my bridesmaids came for a visit and we did some shopping. Steve and Jen waited outside the change room while I tried on a pair of shorts. I had grabbed the size I was the last time I shopped. As I forced them over my thighs, I realized my midnight meals were showing up. I deprived my lungs of oxygen long enough to squeeze the button into its hole, and looked down at my reflection to see that my knees were a kind of puffy new to me.

I opened the door, dropped my shoulders, and burst into tears. “Look at my knees!” I sobbed. “LOOK AT THEM. Can you even see them? I’m so faaaaaaaat.” Jen and Steve sucked air, searching for the verbal comfort to return me to Planet Rational. I stepped back in to the fitting room and slammed the door behind me.

I likely weighed five pounds more I did on our wedding day. Five pounds.

Years and ten more pounds later, I was showing a new group of friends our scrapbooked wedding album. As I happily narrated each photo, my new friends pointed and asked, “Who’s that?” Stunned, I politely smiled and answered, “Me!”

Alone, I poured over the album; why I was so unrecognizable? My hair was blonde. Hydrogen peroxide blonde–literally. But what… ah, yes. There it was: my weight. Less of me. And that 130 pound Shannon felt huge. Looking at them that day, all I saw was adorable. I was adorable and I missed it. I closed the album and contemplated my round face in the mirror. My protruding lower abdomen. My swelling thighs, meeting for a kiss.

And you know what? I was adorable that day, too.

Adorable, once again. Missed it, once again.

I’ve been scared to step on the scale the times I’ve been at my highest weight. As I climbed sizes, I kicked myself for not appreciating my body the pound previous. Or the pound previous that. With every pound I believed I was less worthy

What a pitiful waste of energy.

Sadly, not much has changed since I wrote this almost 6 years ago. Except that I’m heavier. I search the mirror every morning for my adorability. I believe people can and are healthy (and adorable) at all sizes and shapes. I believe a person’s worth is not dependent on their size (duh). I struggle to extend that same love and decency to myself. I see women my size or bigger and think they’re ridiculously cute. And smart and fun and lovely to be around. And then I fat-thought all over myself.

And so what if you are fat, Shannon? (And don’t say I’m not or Kate Harding will kick your ass.) You’re fat and smart and fun and lovely to be around. Maybe one day I’ll be a weight my mis-socialized brain will tolerate. In the meantime, I shall continue slicing my way through the tangled mess that is my thinking, battling for the throne of Self Acceptance.

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  • Sacha

    Oh man, Shannon…you rolled so many of thoughts all up in one post. I get SO mad at myself when I think of the times I am missing loving my self because I am so busy hating myself mostly my weight. I honestly think about this often it then still have self hate thoughts multiple times in an hour. I don’t even want to think about how much. Getting married in less than two weeks and I am worried about how fat I will look in my dress and if I will be good enough – but then not wanting to look back at pictures and be “too skinny” so that I can never measure up to how I looked on my wedding day. Sigh. And then to know that no one notices a 2 pound difference in me from one day to thenext but it will send me into a frenzy so I only eat fruits the next day. And to see what it does to my hunny, as he constantly tells me and shows me how beautiful he thinks I am but I still have such a horrible self image. Wow. Anyways I just wanted to tell you that big or little I wish I could give lovable you a big hug. Miss you.

    • Shannon

      YOU are going to look beautiful in your dress. You need a replacement thought for when that pops up. Especially for that day. All you have is who you are today, right now, S. Love yourself up GOOOOOOD. Give yourself permission to feel great about yourself now and at every other size you’ll be. I’m working really hard on this. Let’s do it together. Steve struggles with this in me, too. His compliments slide right off me because I genuinely don’t believe him. It’s hard on both of us.

      Sending love…

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