my fear of self-loathing: body image

Designer Vera Wang at Ralph Lauren's 40th Anni...Image via Wikipedia

Self-Loathing is not fashionable. It’s never in style no matter what era.

After my oldest daughter Holly was born, I went on Zoloft and gained a lot of weight. One of my friends said that Zoloft had numbed her fears so much that she just didn’t care anymore, about anything.

I told the doc what happened after Holly was born (GI problems, single kidney, hole in her heart) and he said, “Geez, no wonder you’re on Zoloft. I made the same gesture the delivery guy in Christmas Story did when Ralphie’s dad says, “What’s in the box? Fra-gee-lee! That must be Italian!”

Because of not caring about anything, I didn’t lose any baby weight until Holly was 3 years old. In fact I still wore maternity clothes until then. People kept asking me when I was due. I kept saying, “Um, 3 years ago?”

I really hated myself then from all the mind-numbing. I thought I let Holly be born that way. Even when everyone around me told me not to blame myself, I still did. So I took weight gain upon myself as sort of a self-mutilation. Some girls cut themselves, (like Lindsay Lohan) starve themselves (like Lindsay Lohan), or do drugs (like Lindsay Lohan). Instead I put on weight from pure hate.

In 2002 I switched to Paxil and lost weight right away. But it wasn’t really the anti-depressant that made it work (in fact, if you ever miss a dose, watch out! It’ll feel like your lips are falling off). Then I ate better, exercised more and finally took off weight. What a concept!

I remember crossing the street at an intersection pushing Holly in a stroller, and some guys in a car yelled, “Hey, want a donut?” It was right after I lost my first 10 pounds. Come to think of it, I wasn’t wearing the most flattering clothes – a frumpy T-shirt and light blue maternity biker shorts. Ladies, if you have any issues with your thighs at all, do NOT wear light blue. Imagine cumulonimbus clouds brewing on a sunny sky-blue day. And then add cellulite.

I’m not down to my vegetarian body from my twenties and I don’t expect it (bacon just tastes WAY too good). In fact, I went into a dressing room this weekend for the first time in years. I hated those flourescent lights on my legs. This time, I looked at my imperfect self and said, “Whatever!” and tried on a pair of Vera Wang jeans. And I loved them.

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  1. rsmronda · November 17, 2009

    The thought of you having problems with self loathing is beyond me! Prozac made me numb. Haven't been on any psychotropic drugs since.


  2. LynneB · November 19, 2009

    Wonderful stuff about Holly and you. Self loathing is the devil. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!


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