I’ve been on a diet for most of my life. I’ve never been
heavy, but I’ve always worried about and watched what I ate. When I had kids,
staying thin certainly became more difficult and that last 10 pounds seemed
like a relentless albatross I couldn’t quite shake. I got depressed and even embarrassed about
the way I looked. I couldn’t surrender to the fact that my life and my
metabolism were different and that I was doing the best I could. Instead, I fat-shamed myself and carried it
around with me everywhere I went.
Then last week I saw a picture of actress and badass mom
Charlize Theron flaunting her 35-pound weight gain. The South African beauty,
known for her gorgeous svelte physique, had packed on the pounds for her role
in an upcoming film. She even joked with
Chelsea Handler, saying, “I’m very fat right now,” and showed up to a charity
event proudly walking the red carpet 35 pounds heavier.
I thought about my own battle of the bulge. I wondered what
I would do if my job required me to gain weight and, worse yet, to show up and
be photographed when I wasn’t at my best. I wondered how I would deal with the
inevitable backlash, the critics saying I actually look better heavier and the
critics saying I don’t. I wondered if I could even show up knowing I was being
criticized for the way I looked. Truth
be told, I don’t know if I could have dealt with it as gracefully as did Theron.
But looking at her photos—she looks great at any weight, by
the way–I realized something. It’s not
that big of deal to be heavy. It’s not
the end of the world in the way I had made it inside my head. The world does not end if we are heavier than
we’d like to be. Our children will still
love us. Our lives will go on.
Here’s this huge movie star, whose world revolves around her
looks, who didn’t bat an eyelash at showing up heavier. She simply didn’t care. She even had a good
time with it. And Theron is no different
than any mom. Our roles may be
different, but our bodies have all changed, whether it's for a role in a movie
or our role as mom.
For me personally, I spent so much of my life fearing
getting fat. And then I had kids, and my body
definitely changed. My stomach will never be the same again. That’s just a fact. So if a gorgeous movie star mom can proudly
walk down the red carpet 35 pounds heavier and not flinch, knowing that
thousands of articles will be written the next day about the way she looks, I
can proudly walk into the supermarket, or to work, or to my kid’s school, and
not fat-shame myself because my body is different. I created human beings with that extra tummy
I now have.