Monday, March 06, 2006

Through Thick and Thin

Yesterday morning I pulled out an old photo album that was filled with mixed up pictures. Some from high school, some from the years after graduation, and some recent ones.
They made me kind of sad.
Each photo seemed to chronicle my struggle with my weight.
There were photos of me when I was a twig-thin teenager who was courting anorexia and living off of a single puffed wheat square in a day. There were photos of me at a seemingly healthy weight, but I remembered how I was struggling with really messed up eating habits, like not eating for a day, then inhaling everything that wasn't nailed to the floor the next.
There were photos of me looking kind of chubby and I remember feeling like a fat mess.
Then there were photos of me looking happy and just a little soft around the edges. Those are the most recent ones.
I was an overweight child, then I starved myself for a year in high school and lost 50 pounds. Suddenly I was beautiful and the boys who had ignored me for years were asking me out. It felt great. But one can only starve for so long. Some weight crept back on and I dealt with it in messed up ways that ended up shattering my spirit and my self-esteem.
In the past three years I have learned to listen to my body and strive for moderation, instead of living in a world of extremes: stuffed or starving.
But it is still a struggle.
Looking back on all of the pictures, having a visual representation of my journey, makes me mourn the wasted years, the scars I gave myself, and the demons I will always fight.
Weight gain is an inevitable part of pregnancy, but it has been especially hard for me. I am heavier now than I have ever been and part of me is scared that I will never lose the weight.
I know that I am capable of it, and I just have to listen to my body and not obssess about it.
But that is easier said than done sometimes.

Amanda Brown at 10:07 AM



at 10:53 AM Blogger Michelle said...

Oh Amanda, poor girl. We women are plagued with weight issues. I think it is mostly other women who we are judged by and who we secretly judge. I am sure if your body changes that Steve (if he has any character at all, which i am sure he does) will love you just the same and think your body is beautiful. He may even adore you more because you gave birth to his children. Worrying about your weight is indeed a huge waste of a life. I hope that you learn this lesson before you are 40 and still worry about it. You are beautiful.

at 11:11 AM Blogger Elizabeth said...

I just hope that you feel comfortable in your beautiful pregnant body, then in your beautiful mommy body. I read another blog that talked about the sacrifice of love she was giving by becoming pregnant and giving in to all the changes that will come with it. I am praying for you guys.

at 11:15 AM Blogger Kaili said...

You look beautiful Amanda! Nursing does wonders for taking the weight off after birth. Plus we can be Mama walking buddies!!!
You are a beautiful woman, with a wonderful personality, and like "michelle" said, worrying about your weight is a BIG waste of time.
Keep on being you!

at 11:46 AM Blogger christy said...

I know all too well those struggles Amanda. I really do. I despise what Satan has done to our minds and how he has warped the truth of the beauty of who we are. You are a beautiful pregnant woman and I hoe you ca begin to see yourself through the eyes of truth anf not the clouded lies that blurr the vision of the truth. Truly, your outer beauty contributes nothing to the value of who you really are. Even though you are a stunning woman.Thanks for being my frind and working through these same struggles with me.

at 1:30 PM Blogger Angella said...

I have NEVER seen you NOT look beautiful.

That said, you are even more beautiful inside. Which is pretty amazing.

We all struggle with the same issue...and we talk about it all the time. I really truly pray that God will give you even a GLIMPSE of how He sees you. THEN you'll see how spectacular you really and truly are.

Looking forward to our lunch date :)

at 1:33 PM Blogger T said...

Amanda, although we don't know each other except for pictures and words on a webpage, I wanted to encourage you in some way if I could. I struggle daily, actually almost every moment of every day, with self esteem stuff too. I know the answer lies in seeing myself through God's eyes, but our world/media/culture tells us something different constantly. May we find some peace, even for today, in shutting out all the 'other' voices and resting in the value that our Father places on us..."far more than rubies."

Tanneal =)

at 1:43 PM Blogger Shelley said...

You are ALWAYS beautiful!!! If you don't believe me, just ask Steve. He'll tell ya so!

at 2:05 PM Anonymous Leah said...

I told Simon that after I give birth to his babies he is going to pay for me to have a personal trainer. I, in turn, will buy him a sporty running stroller. The way we think about it, staying healthy and feeling good about ourselves is not about being selfish and shallow but about being the best we can be for each other and our children. Happy parents = happy babies, right? If you think of it that way, maybe it won't be so hard to stay on the right track.

at 4:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blogs for a whlie now, because they are always intelligently written and witty. This is quite a close to home subject for myself as well. As a pregnant woman it is obvious that you will gain weight, but breatfeeding will take it off very quickly! Also most of the women I know in my life have lost weight and have been the skinniest in their life after children (if that has anything to do with stress & running around the little buggers?!) You are a beautiful young lady and I hope that the issue of weight does not drag down your spirit and interfere with the wonderful time you should be having during your preganancy.

at 4:52 PM Blogger Susie said...

Amanada, I know that I am the one of many saying that you are beautiful, but you truly are gorgeius. I understand though the struggle with weight. Some people don't realise that it is more mental then anything. If you have never been overweight or struggled with your weight on a serious level, then you can never truly understand the anguish that goes with it. I still struggle with my weight. I have good days and bad days. We just have to love and support each other. I know you know you're pregnant and I should be saying, forget about it and enjoy growing you baby. Which is true, you should, but I understand how hard that can be. Like you said, easier said than done. I love and support you every step of the way.

at 5:03 PM Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Amanda!
I found your blog through Angella!
Anyway, it is refreshing to read such an honest account of what it can be like to struggle with weight. I also struggle with weight (losing it) but I have to agree with others who have said your hubby will love you just the same after having his baby. I am nowhere near my pre-pregnancy weight (I have 2 boys, aged 3.5 and 18 months) but my hubby definitely hasn't lost any of his love & appreciation for my body! I have lots of stretch marks but they are my "battle scars" and I would never, ever want to get rid of them.
I hope you really enjoy your pregnancy, the way your body changes, even after the baby arrives. It is all such a wonderful part of becoming a mother.

at 5:41 PM Blogger Becky said...

While I've never seen you in person, the pictures I have seen of you are gorgeous. And Christy tells me you are an awesome person too, which also shines through with your blog. You can just tell. I'll be praying for you, Amanda!

at 10:35 PM Blogger wandi said...

Hey Amanda, I hate to say this but I feel I must. You are obsessed with your weight. I think you are so beautiful. You need to let it go or you this issue is going to be a problem all your life. You are growing a healthy baby and that's all that matters. Jen gained weight when she had Abby, but she is now looking so good and Abby is so great. Relax dear. Quit focusing on the weight and think of the precious little girl you are going to give birth to. Enjoy this pregnancy.

at 7:28 AM Blogger Jules said...

Amanda, you look so beautiful! I have always thought so. The weight gain is a really hard part of pregnancy, especially because a woman is in even less controll of her body. It's hard watching the scales go up- but soon enough they will be going back down. You are already a great mother to your growing baby.

at 10:51 AM Blogger Danica said...

I feel your pain sistah!
I just went through a really bad couple of months with the whole weight thing, I'm sure you could tell from my blog. Thank God it's over. I'm not sure what to say to be encouraging to you. But, I will absolutely be praying for you. It's so hard to get our heads into the right spot about that stuff.
A lot of us feel your pain, and we all want you to know that not only do we THINK you're beautiful, but your ARE the beautiful Amanda that God made, and you will remain that regardless of a 20 lb plus or minus on the scale.

at 5:21 PM Blogger Heather said...

Amanda look at the support you have! I was so misty reading your post and all the encouraging comments. Know I'm there for you day and night only a call away.

at 6:11 PM Blogger geeksters said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 8:46 AM Blogger geeksters said...

Hi Amanda,
I stumbled across your blog a while back after I googled myself -- (yes, I am fully aware how lame that sounds).
I remember when we would phone each other at the end of a day just to brag about what we hadn't eaten and to congratulate each other.
I'm so sorry I contributed to your struggle.
You are a vibrant beautiful woman and I am so glad we got to know each other.
On another note, congratulations on having baby growing inside you!


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