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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dear Lady-Who-Just-Asked-Me-When-I'm-Due...



Dear Lady-Who-Just-Asked-Me-When-I'm-Due,

Alas, your eyes have deceived you, for it is not a tiny human growing in my uterus, but instead a food baby growing in my gelatinous abdominal region. I can see how your eyes might have played tricks on you, though, because my food baby has grown in girth since giving birth to my actual babies (which is amazingly ironic, right?).

Let me say, first, please don't feel bad.

Well, okay, it wouldn't make me totally upset if you felt a little bit bad.

Anyhow, please don't feel too bad. My FUPA (that's fat upper pubic area, for all you old-school shawties) and I forgive you. We really do. We don't hold grudges, just calories.

We do, however, request that you don't ever, not ever, like, NEVER again assume someone is pregnant, even if they are laying in the middle of a sidewalk screaming with labor pains. Here's a tip from the Ladies' Code of Social Correctness Handbook: it's ok to ask someone about their pregnancy ONLY if they have first mentioned that they are, in fact, pregnant. Otherwise, just assume it's a mommy muffin.

Capice?

I have given birth to three children. My fourth is stubbornly refusing to leave my body, and I am well aware of this. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Mama June, but I do have a slight case of Dunlop Disease (you know, when your belly done lop over your pants?). My upper arms now sport a nice pair of Bingo Wings. 

All I can say is that I'm working on it. And I'm okay.

The "I'm okay" part is a big deal, because, you see, I used to fight an eating disorder. I was thin. I was svelte. I was fit. And I was miserable and horribly proud.

Then I had three kids. My body was not my own (and apparently still isn't). I was left with stretch marks galore, lumps where I shouldn't have lumps, and cellulite on my kneecaps. My muscle tone diminished. I grew tired and overrun and didn't have time to spend in the gym like I once did. And yes, I know you might have been the mom who stayed fit all through pregnancy and dropped the weight like a champ, but have some grace for the rest of us, please and thank you.

And I'm kind of a mess, physically. And I'm working on it. 

And it's okay.

You see, I have come to realize that I traded something temporary, my "perfect" body and my fitness bragging rights) for something eternal. Three children. Three souls. Three tiny humans who I hope and pray one day grow into mighty warriors for the kingdom of God. Three lives that I get to to shape and mold.

So do I shape and mold myself, my own body? In other words, do I care for myself physically and pursue health? 

Yes.

However.

What I pursue even more, and what I see as the best trade-off I'll ever have made, is growing my children up as best I can into honorable, noble, godly adults who live lives of integrity and purpose. And if I have a food baby for the rest of my life because I can't commit as many hours to the gym as I'd like (and because, let's be honest, mothers have no abs!), so be it.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth." -- PSALM 127:3-4

I am making a conscious effort to focus on the things that matter. Things with eternal value.

If my food baby does decide, however, it's time to let go of her death grip around my middle section and succumb to the powers of the elliptical machine and arugula, I wouldn't be mad.

Just saying.

Feel free to laugh!