Thursday, March 24, 2011


My entire life I have been obsessed with two imaginary numbers - my weight and my credit score.  The former was a number which no matter how low I got it, it was never low enough for me to be satisfied.  Although the latter has always been an incredibly high number, I once lived in daily fear that if I made one false move it would plummet to a value closer to my goal weight.  I believed my financial status would never be recovered and in turn my life would come to an end living under a bridge somewhere.

For now, let me just tell you about how I finally came to love my body regardless of any numerical label assigned to identify it.  At one time, my entire day was pre-determined by the read-out on my bathroom scale in the morning.  When that number was lower than I expected, I spent my day as the most beautiful and intelligent woman in the room.  Conversely, when that number was higher than I expected, I would spend the day being the ugliest and most mentally deficient person on the planet.  I have long since given my scale to my two young children who use it to weigh produce when playing "grocery store."

During most of my adolescence I was obsessed with food and heavily immersed in a destructive cycle of binging and purging.  The more I worked to control my weight - the more out of control my weight became.  It was a baffling wild goose chase which finally came to an end in my mid-20s after much therapy and personal growth.  Although the food obsession was lifted, the body loathing continued until one remarkable day.

My most protected secret throughout my relationship with Ken had nothing to do with the details of my colorful past and everything to do with my real weight.  During my pre-natal visits to my OB/GYN I made it very clear to the nurse never to reveal the steadily rising number on the scale to my husband.  I was about one hour from delivering my first born at a scheduled Cesarean section when the hospital nurse walked into my maternity room to review my stats prior to surgery.  "So let's see here," she said, "you are five feet, eight inches tall and 213 pounds."  Fuck, I thought, the jig is up!!!

Ken just sat there staring at a tile on the floor, with a look on his face that I interpreted to be horror.  Later I learned he hadn't even heard a word the nurse said.  I had gained thirty-five pounds during my pregnancy and currently out-weighed my husband by a good twenty pounds.  The anesthesiologist could not get there soon enough to load me up on narcotics which I was counting on to take me away from my current state of humiliation.

Five days later, Ken and I were back at home with our four pound newborn premie Valerie, wondering - What the Hell we were doing? - and completely lost in new parent confusion.  I stepped on my bathroom scale for the first time in a week which miraculously revealed a readout stating, "187 pounds."  I was astounded.  How does a person lose 25 pounds in six days without having a body part amputated?

As I stood there looking in my full-length mirror at my naked post-partum body, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and joy came over me.  I suddenly saw the body of a beautiful mother who had: a thick, sagging tummy where life had been created and released, strong arms to embrace and comfort her family with, and rock hard boobs engorged with all the nourishment needed to sustain new life.  Having been on strict bed rest for the eight weeks prior to Valerie's delivery, I had a new fascination and respect for the ability to move freely and without judgment over whether or not I should be making a particular move.

I began to see my freckle's, which I had always despised, with the same eyes my husband has always adored them with.  All of the imperfections of my skin, including my stretch marks, were suddenly badges of honor for a life lived.  A life filled with adventure out in the sun.  I could feel a solid, grounding, sense in my legs and feet which I now knew would provide me with the strength and balance to carry myself and my life forward.  No longer would the defeating judgment of my past body be my guide.

While I was half-dressed, Ken came in our bedroom in response to my summons.  As I stood there in baggy, high-waisted, maternity underwear and an open nursing bra with one Pamela Anderson boob sticking out, I joyfully exclaimed to my husband, "Honey!  Look at how FUCKING HOT I AM!!!  I just loss 25 pounds in six days, dammit!!!  Look at this body, Ken!  I am so fucking beautiful!  I finally understand why you have never been able to keep your hands off of me."

Ken just looked at me with a huge smile, shaking his head from side to side and trying to either hold back laughter or the urge to have me committed - I couldn't tell which.  "YES CARRIE!  You ARE HOT and I love you desperately - I've never understood why you couldn't see all of that for yourself before now."

I finally understood why my personal trainer of a husband never "drilled me" about exercise and weight control.  He really did love me just the way I was and still does today, just the way I am.  Which is why he continues to "drill me" in the bedroom on a daily basis no matter where my body is along the 70 pound spectrum of my weight history. 

Just yesterday, Ken put is arms around my waist in an embrace and said, "I think you are getting a little smaller here."  Knowing I was on the lower end of my approximate ten pound monthly weight fluctuation I replied, "Really Honey...?  Or are you just saying that to get laid?"  Ken just smiled and said, "I don't need to tell you THAT to get laid."  He was right, as he always is.


  1. So does this mean you are out as my tummy tuck partner?

  2. Veronica - my future tummy tuck is ENTIRELY for medical reasons and has nothing to do with vanity. Of course I will be right by your side every step of the way!

  3. Awesome! Now live it every day!