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The Target Mirror Box Of Horror

I got some pants... and a dose of reality

So I did it.  I bought some pants.  That's right y'all!  I took a moment yesterday, piled the kids in the cruiser and took 'em to Target.  Why Target?  Because it was a one-stop-shop.  I needed some apples.  And toilet paper.  And a baby-proof latch thing.  And I figured, hell, while I'm at it, I'll get some pants.   I wanted to go to the fancy maternity store, but that would have required dressing for the occasion, (i.e. wearing something that didn't already have a ketchup stain on it, and a nicer pair of pants).  So now that I have Target pants, maybe I'll get to the maternity store.  Likely not, but whatevs.

In any case, I learned a couple things yesterday while clothes shopping for the first time in like 3 years.
1) Even cheap clothes are over priced.
2) Liz Lange (the in-house Target maternity "designer") has clearly never been knocked-up.
3) Whoever designs the clothes for "women" sized chicks, are not in fact, women.
4) I have some body issues.  Which was not helped by the fact that my 5 year old literally pointed and laughed at me when I took off my skirt to try on pants.   Dick. 

So, I've gained a bit of weight during this pregnancy.  Like 25 pounds already.  And there is no stopping in sight.  For those who don't know me in real life, I am 5' 2" and built a bit like a hobbit.  So any extra poundage is visibly noticeable almost immediately upon scarfing down that plate of pasta.  And it has been this way my whole life.  Because I am a larger small person, I have had serious self image issues since I was a little girl.  And it all started when some jackhat doctor told me I was obese when I was 12.

That little comment set off a lifetime of self-image issues, culminating in a decade long "battle" with anorexia. I use "battle" in quotations because at the time it was not a battle... it was a way of life.  See, you starve yourself in an effort to get to a point where you like what you see in the mirror.  The battle is not with the lack-of eating part of the equation; rather, it is in the liking what you see part.  But everyone acts as though the disorder lies in the eating part of any eating disorder.  That you must simply learn to have a healthy relationship with food.  They would be the same assholes who call 12 year old girls obese.

The disorder part stems from a magnanimous lack of self-esteem that drives every thought, every decision, every choice that you make.  And that is not something that can be solved overnight with a magic pill, or with therapy, or with success (i.e. starving yourself down to a size zero).  I tried all three.  You don't simply wake up one morning and think "wow, that single grapefruit a day has really made me beautiful.  I think I'll have a ham sandwich now, 'cause I'm a hottie potatie and I'm all better".  You may finally wake up and think, "Damnit, I'm having a ham sandwich because this eating celery sticks thing blows", but you still live forever with the fear of being fat and ugly.  That never goes away. Never.

Maturity helped me conquer those demons a bit, but it was entirely by default.  Looking like a Top Model no longer is the most important thing when you've got little people who rely on you for their very survival.  The constant fear of being fat and ugly that once literally consumed me has become really small, pushed deep down, and is weighted down with cement shoes of things that really matter... like being able to pay the bills, keeping my kids safe, and being a good role model.  And it helps that I have a husband who makes me feel beautiful everyday.  Just having him by my side as my life partner is a constant reminder of my success at conquering this disorder.  When I left my first husband, he said to me in reference to my now-husband, "Do you think he would have had anything to do with you when you were a fat cow?".  Those words stung more than a stab to the heart.  But I can say without a doubt, "Yes, assface, he would.  'Cause he is.  And he thinks I'm beautiful even with some extra poundage".  Our two (almost three) children are evidence of that. 

So, I realized--standing in the mirror box of horror at Target with a five year old laughing at my pants-less cellulite laden ass--that I definitely need to get to the gym once this pregnancy is over.  And I should maybe start being a bit more conscientious of what I consume (what, you mean macaroni and cheese has carbs?  Shit!).  And although I now have to wear a tent as a winter coat, it is all fleeting.  It is not me.  I am a beautiful girl with some extra weight.  And you know what?  It doesn't define me.  It doesn't consume me.  It doesn't determine my self worth.  Not anymore.  These two little monkeys do.  And it is for them that I will hit the treadmill.  Not so they can have the hottest mama at the school play (although, I'll be honest, that is a motivator).  Rather, it's so they will have a healthy mama who has many years of playtime left.  So I can give them the time they need to become men.  Real men.  Men who don't value a woman by the size of her ass, but rather by the size of her heart.  Men who know a good thing when they see it and will stop at nothing to get it, keep it, nourish it, and cherish it.

Men just like their father. 


  1. I hate those mirrors. HATE. And agree about the maternity clothes. WHAT THE POOP. And i got all teary at the end of this :) I love it.

  2. Aww, thanks little lady!

    One good maternity thing I own: Spanx. And a leopard print dress I purchased one baby ago and never had a chance to wear. I am busting that one out for Mr. Martini's company Christmas party. :)

  3. Awwww - don't be hard on yourself when you are pregnant!! Of course you will gain weight - it happens to everyone (although my mom swears she only gained, like, 15 pounds. Bitch). Somewhere I once read about a woman who had decided to embrace her post pregnancy body issues because she had a friend who couldn't get pregnant who would have been thrilled to trade places with her. Puts things in perspective, ya' know? And listen - NOBODY looks good in those three-way mirrors from hell. I was trying on pants in Kohl's yesterday with only a regular mirror but the lighting was so bad I ended up being almost in tears at how hideous I looked!! Didn't buy a thing. Couldn't. Don't those stupid retailers get it??!! Be proud of your body for what it can do - grow three healthy babies!! It's truly amazing.

  4. I love this post! I started exercising regularly for the same reason: to feel healthy, to run around with my children, and to set a healthy example. Your husband sounds like a terrific man!


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