i'll take a good healthy dose of self esteem, please.

i wanted to share with you all my favorite "love yourself at any size" story:

about 3 months after birthing my 3rd child (abbers), russ and i traveled to atlanta for a hotel conference. i was still sportin' approximately 55 of the 60 pregnancy pounds that i always liked to gain with each baby, and finding clothes to cover my business was a bit traumatic for me. we went to an old navy store (which we had back in st. george, but i preferred to go to the one on the other side of the united states) and i reluctantly took back some pants to the dressing room.

i just happened to follow a group of about 6 very voluptuous 'sistahs' who were all taking back shorts and halter tops and skirts in sizes 18 to 20. i was schlepping my size 16's and quickly sliding down my shame spiral into self-loathing when i heard this from the other dressing rooms--pardon me if i use stereotypical language, but i swear to you this is almost VERBATIM how the conversation went:

(sweet, honey-drippin' southern accents)


"girl, you are workin' that halter!! you are a diva!"

"child, i know--but i think i would look better in the size 20--will you have laquisha get that? LAQUISHA!!! GIRL, GET ME A 20 IN THE HALTER!!! although i do look guuuuuuhhhhd in this one, don't i? girl, your booty is puttin' those shorts ta shame!"

"oooh, girl, you KNOW IT!! the 20 is a bit snug, but i think tarell is gonna like it like thiiiiisssss--and i do look FINE when i do thiiiiisssss...." (this is actually when i peeked out the dressing room door and saw her dropping it like it was hot in the 3 way mirror--priceless.)

and it went on and on like that for the next 20 minutes or so---in fact, i sat in that little cubicle, enjoying every minute, listening to them go back and forth. it was delightful.

i finally got the guts up to venture out and i spent about 5 minutes pretending to fuss with my pants by the bathroom just so i could watch them strut up and down the dressing room aisle to that mirror that was none-too forgiving, and praise the bejeepers out of each and every outfit that was stretched far beyond capacity on those ladies. better yet was the fact that they were pulling things back there to try on that i would never in a million years have dreamed of wearing, even before my mormon underwear prevented it.

not one of those women were smaller than a size 18, and there couldn't have been a single one who was taller than 5 foot 4.....yet they were ALL ABOUT THEIR BODIES. they loved every curve and roll and bulge and, better yet, CELEBRATED them!! the best part was the fact that they saw no reason in the world why they couldn't wear the same halter top or skinny jeans that the size 2's were wearing, and probably thought that they looked even better.

for someone who has had a hate/hate relationship with her body her entire life, i was floored. i wished that:
a) i had a mirror at home that made me feel like a million bucks in a size 20, and

secondly: that i could get OVER myself and my issues.

of course i never found that magic mirror, and i know i'll have issues until i'm taking a dirt nap, but i love that there are women out there that truly love their bodies, no matter what size.

if i could bottle that and sell it on the internet, i think i would be ready to buy google by january.

32 comments:

Holly said...

Man I wish I could've been there to see that! I too, have had that crazy relationship with my body. Why do we do it to ourselves? I thought I was fat when I weighed 95 lbs. in high school! So Stupid!

Hannah said...

That is too funny. I, too, have a hard time looking at my size-10-post-baby self and thinking about my size-4-pre-baby body. I dread shopping for clothes cause I get depressed and I rarely allow Jason to take a picture of me. It is so dumb that I care so much! I want to get over it!!

I wish I could have seen that!!

Christie said...

I have always hated my own body as well - even my pre-baby body that was pretty nice. (of course I didn't think it was back then) I wish I could have seen that too - I would have died laughing.

Misty said...

Man, that story is hilarious, but I have also witnessed similar cases. Disclaimer: this next part might sound shallow, but I asure you, I don't mean it to be. I always had the theory "just because they make it in your size, doesn't mean you should wear it." Like you talked about the before magic jammies, I too would have never dreamed wearing skimpy clothes in my size 2. Now I look back after having a baby and probably wish I had tried. I am so happy that they were so comfortable with their bodies, but it's crazy how some people are completely oblivious in the fact that if they bought the correct size (so they weren't bulging out of ever corner) and were more tasteful about their wardrobe (more clothes were visible than skin) - the world would be a more beautiful place! I do think that we all are our own worst critics and should think more like the women from the dressing rooms!

jennie w. said...

I love seeing women spill out of their clothes. In order to put that stuff on, you have to look in the mirror and think, "I look GOOD". Even if you don't. And that, like you said, is confidence. I love it.

Amy said...

I like to say they were a 2 pound girl in a 1 pound suit... It seems like I need to stop looking for a magic mirror, or the new legal fen phen... I just need to move to Atlanta and get some new friends. My size 10 at 5'6" would be super model. I am packing my bags RIGHT now!

Sharla said...

I love it! And I'd like to pre-order one of those bottles.

Stephanie M said...

Great story! I can relate :) Pregnancy pounds were the hardest part. I want to hear about your Saturday night - are you going to post about it?

Tanja said...

THat was too funny and you look amazing! Are you serious?!?

Lesley said...

Love it. I wish I was that confident. It seems like whatever your size, you hate something about yourself. Lame.

Hacking it up said...

I would have LOVED to have been there! I wish I could love my big fat bod like the sistah's do...but alas...I have a love/love relationship with sugar in any shape, size or form...myself excepted...so I continue to be a hater....

Josh, Lindsie, and Ava said...

Amen, sistah-girl. I have finally come to accept that I will never be back to my highschool size, and it doesn't matter, because at this time in my life it is more important to enjoy life rather than waste it away worrying how you might look.

Jori said...

You're so purty! Don't you worry. You don't have a double chin or anything. You are smokin' hot.

I hated my body when I was a size 6 and I hate it now. I feel the same about it regardless of my size and that is LAME! I'm going out to buy myself a halter and strut around Old Navy like I own the place.

Jennie Minor said...

LOVED that story! I have always had a love/hate relationship with my body and right now gainging as much weight as I am and people telling me how HUGE I am is very hard for me. But this story made me laugh! Thanks Mindi.

nicolefurness said...

i think back to when i was in high school and i thought i was "fat". oh how i wish i could be THAT "fat" again. its the xy chromos we have been blessed with. embrace the cushion. my husband tells me i am "so hot" more now than when i was 30 lbs lighter! even though he is pleased..i am not. we are never happy with what we are given! even those size 0 girls complain they are fat..boo!!!!

rachel said...

I am also a sixty pound gainer for each pregnancy and it always takes me about 10 months to a year to get most of it off (I have retained five pounds from each pregnancy so I am 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be, but oh well) and I know the feelin'.

Cole said...

Here is my "mean" comment. I love going to Wild Waves, our local water park. Every time we go I end up feeling better about myself. Just seeing others and what they're willing to wear in public and then looking at myself. It the one place that I can let it all hang out and not feel bad. Is that wrong?

kourtney said...

It's like that saying goes, "you don't know what you've got til it's gone". Kind of sucks that we can't live in the moment and just be happy, that yes we may be a size ??, but at least we don't have this or at least we have our health. Sorry 'bout the deep thought, but I have been thinking a lot about how people seem to always be looking for happiness elsewhere, when they have it in their hands all along.

Tiburon said...

LOVE IT! I am becoming more and more confident with allllll offfff thiiiiiiiis. (please know that I am rubbing my big fat bod)

hollylynn said...

i really felt like i was there. marvelous story.

Jod Jas Curtis said...

Gotta love it! What is our problem - where do we get that self esteem?

jennie w. said...

Maybe if the white brothers liked the big sexy bodies as much as the black brothers, it would be better for us women. I don't know a lot of white guys who want a size 20 girl, though.

Krista said...

I love that story...so funny. brings me back to my younger days living in maryland when I thought I was one of the sista's and would give zig zag snaps to anyone who crossed me

Alice Wills Gold said...

LOVED THIS POST...I so want to feel the same way. And, I can so imagine EXACTLY what those girls LOOKED AND SOUNDED like....if you really want to get over your issues, I suggest that you move to the south, everyone here feels sexy because everyone here eats fried twinkies.

And, I think I may have to get a halter top just for fun...because I am a sexy size 18 and I want to see if it will help my southern accent.

I can so see you trying to hide out in your dressing room so you could spy, and your hubby wondering what was taking so long. I am proud of you for rememebering this moment even though it was long before your blog and your need to carry your camera everywhere....just waiting for these moments.

Omgirl said...

Good for those girls! I think our white American society is very overly concerned with being ridiculously skinny. I wish we had better self images. In India the women are much more moderately sized and all curvy. I felt so at home with my body when I was there!

Kami said...

I saw a girl yesterday at Seven Peaks rockin; a bikini and it wasn't her body that wished I could do the same, it was her confidence. I wish I had it too!

Aimee said...

After working for a couple of years at an eating disorder clinic, I gained a new appreciation for my body and relatively stable mental health. Life's too short for me to spend time obsessing over how I look and what size I'm wearing. Yes, I need to be healthier. Yes, I need to lose some weight. But, I've learned to be thankful for what I have, and also learned that if other people are looking at me and judging me for how I look, then I probably don't want to be their friend anyway!
GREAT post, Mindi!

Ida said...

Thanks for posting that. Yeah I am lame I have my weight ticker posted but I am a freak about it. I too loved to pack it on while preggos. Phew 64 lbs with the first one. Yeah that was a lovely sight. Wish I have that confidence as those ladies.

a wynn wynn situation said...

Hi- I jumped over from Alice's blog and LOVED your post! Thanks for sharing :)

a wynn wynn situation said...

Hi- I jumped over from Alice's blog and LOVED your post! Thanks for sharing :)

a wynn wynn situation said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MoziEsmé said...

this is awesome! and inspiring.