It’s been a long bout of sickness in our house over the last month. My kids and I were sick, then better for a week, then sick again, worse. I swear for a while I thought there was a rat running around in our house spewing the plague and that I might die. Now that the drama is over, something interesting happened this morning as I put on a pair of jeans. I noticed that I’ve gained some weight.

How much? I have no idea. I don’t weigh myself anymore nor do I meticulously inspect my hips and ass in the mirror like I once did. I’m not at all surprised that this happened since I have only exercised once in the last month.

The reason I wanted to write about this is because this is the first time I’ve gained weight since I’ve been recovered (aside from pregnancy). I wrote a few months ago about my body changing when I was training for my first triathlon, but that was different, I'd lost a little weight, toned up, and it was a different kind of song and dance. I can remember thinking many years ago, “I wonder what it will be  like to gain a few pounds, or even a lot of pounds and not be devastated”.  I didn’t think I would ever be there. I assumed I would always hear my gremlin tell me:

You’re fat.

You’re a pig.

You’re lazy.

You’re ugly.

Your body is gross and disgusting.

How could you let this happen?

It’s now actually painful to read those statements and know I not only used to say those things to myself, but that I believed them. I truly believed that because a pair of jeans were tight that I was a worthless piece of shit. How could anyone love me or touch me, let alone want to have sex with me, when I was so disgusting? It seems like another life, that I was another person then. However, now I know I was me, just in a lot of pain that had nothing to do with my body or my weight. But then, blaming all my pain on my weight and body was easier than facing the other problems and pain that I felt. It may have seemed logical, but it was destroying me.

Have you been there? Are you there now? Think about it. Have you recently looked in the mirror, or stepped on the scale and been unhappy with what you see? Have you scolded yourself, or said hateful things to yourself and about yourself and your body? Well, here is what I know to be true: All of these things are fucking lies.  Your weight, your body and your size have nothing to do with who you are as a person. You get to choose that. No one else gets to decide for you either. What is deep in your heart, soul and spirit is you. Even if it’s buried deep underneath pain, heartbreak, cobwebs or whatever else, it’s there, I promise. Even if it’s been YEARS that you have been beating yourself up, it’s there. Your true self that is loving, resilient, expressive and YOU, is there. Waiting patiently.

So, this morning, as I sucked it in to button my jeans the thought came: “I’ve gained some weight.” ……and I waited for the next thought. And nothing bad happened. I went about finishing getting dressed and looked forward to next week, when I can start exercising again. And I didn’t call myself a piece of shit. Or fat. Or lazy. Or anything else, except…human. Normal. Me.