Today’s post started as me telling you about my new favorite swimsuit (which is part of the big Shopbop sale) and sunnies (under $20 WITH prescription), and took a turn when I decided to tell you about my other favorite thing instead: my new thighs. Grab a latte or a martini (no judgement) and settle in as I also share the first time I almost died (kind of) and the second time I really almost died. It’s a doozy. I’m a weirdo. And it’s all good.
Why I Like My New Thighs & How I Almost Died (the First Two Times)
The First Time I Almost Died (Kind Of)
I was a nice fat baby. But, my mom always says that once I got sick, I was never the same.
When I was 1 year old, I had to be hospitalized due to dehydration. I had an IV inserted into my head and covered with a Dixie cup that was taped to the top of my head because apparently I kept pulling out the IV in my arm.
My Grandma Mary – my Dad’s mom – always told this story another way, that I was on my death bed. But, my parents say that is the furthest thing from the truth. I, naturally, can’t remember. I was but a wee bambino.
But spoiler alert: I lived.
All that said, my mom’s recollection of my plumpness isn’t quite true either. I remember vividly always looking down at my round full belly when I was in the 3-8 range. Never in a bad way or a good way, it was just nice and big and full and beckoned me to rub it, like a basketball underneath my jammies.
The Second Time I Almost Died
Around the age of 8 or 9, I had a traumatic choking incident.
After a robust night of roller skating at the youth center’s roller rink, one cold autumn night in New Jersey, I was laying on my stomach in front of a portable heater watching TV, while snacking on my favorite candy that I would buy from the skating rink every Friday night – cinnamon chews. They were like Mentos, but not Mentos.
While laughing, I inhaled a cinnamon chew the wrong way and suddenly couldn’t breathe.
My poor mom was home alone with me at the time, watching me desperately gasp for air. While I’m sure she tried pounding on my back several times and doing her own attempt at the Heimlich maneuver (was that even around in the ‘80s?), she eventually lifted me up by the feet, shaking me vigorously up and down, until finally, I could take a breath again.
I must admit, I don’t remember if the assailant — the cinnamon chew in question — dislodged itself by coming up or going down.
All I know is I was happy to be able to breathe again.
And there were lots of tears.
My Eating Disorder (Kind Of)
After that incident, I developed an eating disorder of sorts. Not in the traditional sense, but rather, disordered eating. Or, whatever you call being so afraid of choking again, that I would chew my food and surreptitiously hide it in my napkin, then sneak off to the kitchen under the guise of getting more to drink and throw my food-filled napkin in the trash.
While in my little-kid mind this went on for months, it likely didn’t occur for more than a week. And if you’re wondering how no one noticed, we ate at TV trays and my parents had two small kids and worked full-time, so weren’t exactly on the lookout for this behavior.
Again, it was the ’80s.
One fateful day at Pizza Hut, faced with a thick ooey gooey cheesy pizza staring me in the face, and seated next to my older sister and across from my mom and dad, in a cozy booth, there was no more hiding.
They noticed what I was doing and were like “What the eff is wrong with you?!”
Okay, that probably isn’t exactly what they said, but it was the ’80s and we were all a little less evolved when it came to emotions.
I confessed, tearfully, that I was afraid to swallow my food, and hadn’t really eaten since the Great Cinnamon Chew Incident.
My Dad drove us home in our blue VW Bug and my Mom lovingly gave me ice cream, while my sister gave me side eye.
Farewell Baby Fat
While there is definitely more to dissect there – and probably should be done with a therapist – after that, I remember no longer having my baby fat.
Even though I’ve always eaten plenty – and plenty of not good-for-you foods, I’ve pretty much never gained weight since I was a teenager. I’ve always been around 100 pounds, give or take 5 pounds.
After my health struggles and learning more about Hashimoto’s, I discovered why I was never absorbing nutrients.
Hello New Body
So, when over the last few years I started finally gaining some weight, I saw it as a very good thing.
I definitely could afford to put on some pounds. But, as you might imagine, at a certain point, I didn’t necessarily want that to continue indefinitely.
While I’m not one to weigh myself often, I usually only do so every few months when I’m weighing Odee to make sure that we’re not feeding her too much or too little, I certainly knew I had put on the Quarantine 15 so to speak.
I weighed in at 115, the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. (And yes, I know that is a totally normal weight, and still pretty low, but when it’s a 10-15% change, you notice).
And I especially noticed when I put a swimsuit on for the first times in ages.
Baby Thighs…Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
I looked down and could grab a nice squishy chunk of my inner thighs. Instead of it bothering me, like I would have imagined (#controlfreak), instead it made me smile because it reminded me of grabbing ahold of my baby niece’s marshmallowy thighs.
Squishing Chloe’s delectable thighs is one of the best feelings in the world, why shouldn’t it be with my own body too?
It also gave me pause to know that for me, this means I am so much healthier than I used to be.
I am able to eat so many more foods after healing my gut (from AIP and this Hashimoto’s journey I’ve been on), that I’m retaining nutrients. And that is something to celebrate.
Body Acceptance Isn’t Always Linear
All that said, and quite ironically I am aware, body acceptance and changes aren’t always linear.
I was less happy seeing my tummy from a certain angle in these photos. I know cameras can lie — for better and worse, so am still working on accepting that new part of my changing body. So much so that I asked Fred Baby to liquify my belly in that last photo. (For those who don’t know, “liquify’ is a Photoshop action, where you can make things look bigger or smaller.) The battle of the bulge is a battle to fight for another day…
But, when it comes to my thighs, at least, I feel as happy as when I squish my sweet baby niece’s delicious marshmallow thighs.
And that’s a good thing.
Now Tell Me…
Do you have any body issues that you’ve conquered… or are still working on?
Any near-death experiences or traumas you’d like to get off your chest?
Please feel free to share below in the comments xo.
GET THE LOOK
p.s. Just a heads up that this black one-piece swimsuit from Cover Swim is part of the big Shopbop sale that ends Friday.
Use code FALL20 for:
15% off orders of $200+
20% off orders of $500+
25% off orders of $800+
More Favorites From the Shopbop Sale
PHOTOS by FRED MOSER