Elisa Donovan’s Blog: The Waste of Talking About Our Waists – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies – People.com

I have some unhealthy habits. I was a very picky eater as a child and I’m still picky in many people’s eyes (but those who knew me as a child are amazed at how much I have expanded my horizons). My picky habits meant that my mom had little choice but to try to get calories, and whatever nutrients she could, into me however possible. So I ate donuts and peanut butter cups for breakfast, pasta with butter whenever possible, and McDonald’s almost exclusively when on vacation. Somehow though, I had an amazing metabolism and was always very petite. Unfortunately, I felt like the odd one out when I wasn’t obsessing over my body and losing weight once I was in junior high. So I started to think about it and obsess almost to fit in. What started as a way of trying to be a “normal teenaged girl” turned into unhealthy habits of the other extreme. I would never say I truly had an eating disorder, but I certainly engaged in disordered eating. I’m sure that my spurts of calorie counting messed with my metabolism and I just wish I had left it alone because now I find myself often fighting against my body. Of course, I should/could eat healthier (way too much fast food and not enough salad) and engage in a healthy amount of moderate exercise (I’m all or nothing and the all only lasts about a month), but I wish that my concerns with this didn’t come from a place of disliking what I see in the mirror and comparing it to the fictional “ideal” of photoshopped celebrities. I am still within a healthy BMI (although now at the top end rather than the bottom), but I can’t allow myself to be happy with that because I don’t look like I used to. I found myself wondering if a time would come when I would just let go and not even think about it because I don’t want to spend my whole life bouncing between total glutony and 6-day a week exercise regimes plus strict caloric intake restrictions.

Interestingly enough, in my daily perusal of People.com, I read Elisa Donovan’s Blog: The Waste of Talking About Our Waists – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies – People.com. A lot of what she said is where I wish I was in my thinking and actions. I also found the part about people’s sense of entitlement toward commenting on pregnant women’s bodies interesting. It’s so true and I’m guilty of it (in a well-intentioned way). If you said the comments she related to a non-pregnant women, it would be the most socially-inappropriate thing ever. So as much as I love and want a baby bump, I will try to keep my thoughts to myself in the future! Check out her blog entry if you’re interested in issues of body esteem.

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2 thoughts on “Elisa Donovan’s Blog: The Waste of Talking About Our Waists – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies – People.com

  1. Thank you for drawing my attention to this article. I have shared many of the same feelings. When I was pregnant my body suddenly became open for public discussion (not to mention touching- people love to rub preggo bellies without asking) in a way that was truly surprising and invasive. I can’t even count how many strangers and acquaintances called me “huge” and asked, “Are you sure you aren’t having twins?” Friends and family were quick to say, “Don’t worry, you’ll drop all that weight in 6 weeks, at the most”. (No pressure). They went on to describe how quickly they or people they knew dropped their baby weight. Of course, I didn’t lose the baby weight quickly. In fact, 9 months later, I still have a long way to go. And the weight-related comments continue. I was chatting with my husband’s cousin, “P”, a few months postpartum and she mentioned that she ran into another cousin several days prior. He is 18 and I don’t know him well. P said, “He asked about you.” I assumed he had inquired about the baby or perhaps how I was feeling. Nope! “He asked if you lost the baby weight. I told him it all went to your boobs.” I was so annoyed that these two TEENAGERS I hardly knew were standing around discussing my post-baby body. My mother-in-law (who is a lovely, well-intentioned person) is constantly making reference to my size (“Are you back in your old jeans yet?” and “Once you stop nursing you’ll lose the weight”). She recently said, “I don’t think it’s so much the weight for you as it is about…. toning” then proceeded to suggest we sign up for yoga together. As if I have the energy or time for that shit. I’m permanently EXHAUSTED.. and you want me to exert myself further by exercising?? Even some of my closest friends have been surprisingly insensitive. The first time I saw one of my best friends after having my baby she said, “Wow, you look much better than I expected.” What did you expect? Why did you have expectations in the first place? I didn’t realize she was sitting around thinking about what my body would look like after I had my kid. Ugh! Ok, enough ranting.

    It’s interesting to me that this article was posted on People, which is notoriously bad for discussing celebrities post-baby bodies. Do you think it will have any impact on their reporting style? Doubtful, because readers eat it up.

    • Great comments Laura! When reading it, I also thought about the message I want to send to my future kids (a thought I had before as well). I can’t make deprecating comments or a disgusted face when I look in the mirror, or talk about dieting, or even go on a true diet (imo) without sending a message that there is something wrong with my body and I should be dissatisfied with myself for that. I don’t want my kids to internalize that message; even if the world will be sending it to them, I want to do my part to make them realize they are SO much more than their looks. I was thinking about the irony of it being on people as well.

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