Last night I was tucking my four-year-old in for the last time ever (coz he’s five today, y’all!) and I reached across him to begin the computer playing his lullaby music. I was wearing a tank top and Jude stopped me suddenly and asked, “What is that squishy thing?!”
I stopped, what squishy thing? Squishy things, in my mind, don’t belong in my son’s bed because squishy and slimy go hand in hand when it comes to children. Instead, he reached up, and began to lovingly stroke my batwing. Batwings, for those in a blissful state of ignorance, are those pouches of skin that hang like hammocks under your arms, rendering you incapable (or warned against) wearing sleeveless clothing. Like this:
Yes, I fuzzed out my underarm stubble. No need to get that gritty. But after one of my top ten bloggers posted bikini pictures of herself at a size 14/16, I felt like I should not be ashamed to define the term ‘batwing’ by using my own body.
Especially since my attention was drawn to it from one of the sweetest ever inquiries: “Mama, why are they so soft? What are they? Are they new? Why I never see them fore?” Followed up with scientific observations like: They are so soft! I like how they wiggle! Haha! Jiggly! Ooh! Shaky! And my favorite: I love them!
He loves them. I laid in bed for several minutes while my son stroked my bat wings lovingly. And this morning while I was getting dressed, there he was again. Telling me that this place on my body, which I see as flawed, he sees as lovely texture on his mama. It made me kinda like them, truth be told.
A common misunderstanding among the losers and the non-losers of the weightloss world is that if you compliment me on my weightloss that it is really a backhanded insult. What people worry about me hearing is, “You look so much better than you did back when you were a giant, hideous troll.” Listen, I know what you’re saying when you say I look good, or like I’m losing weight, or I’m looking fit, or healthy or whatever. What you’re saying is, “I am noticing you are making a healthy change in your life! Good job!” I get that. I like that! I NEED that.
I was never one of those fat girls who avoided dating because of my weight. Or life, for that matter. Certainly, being thinner gives me more confidence when considering my adoring fans (please point them out to me next time you see them because I am still looking for the section in the crowd with pennants and foam fingers reading ‘Go Team Lj!”), but I never have been excluded, bullied, mocked or teased because of my weight. I have always considered this luck, but lately I have been wondering if it is more my outlook and confidence. You don’t mess with T-Diddy Lj, you know. (Doesn’t that sound tough?! T-Diddy Lj? Hannah? No? Oh well.)
I think it’s also hard for people to understand my satisfaction with my life, like for most of it, thin or thick (I’ve lived most of my 39 years thick style). Yes, I am losing weight. Yes, I am enjoying the benefits of losing weight and getting fit (smaller clothes, being active, lots of energy) but I also have just always really liked myself. Rarely have I ever been caught moaning in my closet about how I hated how fat I was, I’ve never seen myself as less worthy, less pretty. That said, there have been moaning, self loathing moments, but they are far and few between. In my eyes, I have always been acceptable. I credit an amazing support system growing up and my husband with this confidence. Yeah, it’s me too, but the meta message I have always received is that I am enough, that I am pretty, that I have physical and intellectual value in this world.
Clearly my son agrees.