I found this photo of me pre-babies.
It is not a photo of me at my thinnest.
This is me after I gained a few pounds and was told my thighs jiggled when going over bumps in the car and told to tuck my gut into my pants.
This is me pre-babies.
This is the weight I hovered at before any child had a home inside my body.
This is the body where I counted calories as if they were vials of poison instead of essential morsels of energy.
I skipped meals, replacing them with alcohol. I called this “drinking” my calories; making my pain a joke to ease the discomfort of those around me when I wouldn’t eat at social events.
I stood in front of mirrors, waving my limbs, cursing at how they would jiggle.
I didn’t eat for days.
I ate for hours straight just to throw it up.
I took up smoking to decrease my appetite.
I believed my value was based on how small I could get my waist and how far my bones could protrude.
I felt my body turn against itself and I beamed with pride.
I felt pride in harming myself so someone else could call me “pretty.”
I’m not trying to lose “the baby weight” I’ve gained with the three children that have called my body “home.”
I don’t sweat to be that unkind, fragile, and unforgiving again.
When I sweat, I do it to feel alive.
I sweat to be kind and loving to my body, as if my opinion is the only one that counts when it comes to her.