I Am Lovable No Matter How Much I Weigh

woman couch

I am sitting in a meeting at work when I feel the buzzing of my phone in my pocket. It is a text message from my husband, telling me he loves me and wants me, right now. I slip the phone back into the pocket of my size 22 pants and try not to grin.

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When my husband and I met, I was deep in the throes of a crush on a trainer at my gym. Geoff was buff and blue-eyed and I was obsessed enough to spend $50 an hour, two times a week for the privilege of having him spot me. In an effort to see him between sessions, I went to the gym nearly every day. The combination of the regular gym attendance plus being too broke to eat out (thanks to those $50 personal training sessions) meant that when my husband and I met, I was in the best shape of my adult life. After a lifelong struggle to feel good about my weight, I was sitting rather comfortably at a size 14 and felt strong and healthy.

And then we started dating and my gym membership and the hot trainer were long forgotten. My husband and I settled into a routine of takeout and cozy dates at home, and I fell wildly in love with someone who loved me right back. It was magic and one of the happiest times of my life. I barely noticed the first few pounds creeping back on.

Our love story proceeded like loves stories often do: Love led to marriage, marriage led to babies, 27 turned to 37, and size 14 turned to size 22.

I’ve worked hard to feel comfortable in my own skin. I won’t lie, I would love to be skinnier. If there was a magic potion that made my stretch marks disappear and returned my breasts to an upright position, I’d take it in a heartbeat. Loving myself now, in spite of and, even on my best days, because of my flaws, is the great ongoing project of my life. One of the things that helps with this project is that after 11 years of a mostly good marriage, I am secure now in the knowledge that I am lovable at this size.

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My husband was a bit on the chubby side when we met, but then soon afterward, he rediscovered a love of running. Over the course of a decade of marriage, he’s lost 30 or so pounds. He is in arguably better shape than he was when we met. I’m the opposite. He met me at my fittest and I’ve gone downhill since then. In some ways, I wouldn’t blame him if that bothered him. But, instead, his love has been a steady constant. He tells me he loves my eyes and my body, that I’m beautiful and funny and smart. Somewhere along the way, I started to really believe him.

When I was younger and single, I always wondered if love was in my future. When dating dry spells turned into dating deserts, I blamed myself and my weight. Love seemed like something I would have to earn, and the currency I had to pay was beauty and thinness. I always figured that my essential self -- the me that is funny and smart and kind -- was secondary to someone choosing to love me, a bonus to go with my big boobs and toned ass.

But these days I wake up in the arms of the man who loves me and my decidedly un-perky boobs. Often our bed is shared by a 3-year-old who lays her head on my squishy tummy, sighs happily, and tells me I’m comfy.

Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. I’ve had moments of despair and sadness when we’ve had hard times, but I don’t blame my thighs for it. Through my marriage, I’ve come see that I’m lovable and that the things that make me a good wife and mother and friend aren’t secondary to my size. My body is important, my health is important, but the 80 (yes, 80) pounds I’ve put on since I said “I do” aren’t the most important thing about me.

I’ve never been fatter than I am now. I’ve never been more sure that I’m loved. Go figure.

 

Image via iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

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