Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Body Image

a Las Vegas vacation

It's true that Carter always tells me I am the perfect size. I don't believe him. He tells me I don't need to lose any weight and I still don't believe him. At first, I thought he was lying to keep me happy. When he convinced me that, in fact, he really believes it, I thought, "How can he not see what I see?" Cognitively, I know overall health should be the goal rather than losing weight; I even strive for it by exercising and eating moderately. And yet, I don't really believe it.

I never thought I had body image issues until I married Carter. I thought I was normal. I mean, I wasn't extreme dieting or throwing up in bathroom. Ultimately, the problem is that I am normal. When I think about where this 'normal' mode of thinking came from, I think about the girl in high school who only drank water at lunch to lose a few pounds, the middle school acquaintance mentioning that she liked lying on her back because it flattens her stomach, or the college neighbor who said all her problems would go away if she were skinny. Of course none of those girls were overweight, in fact they all looked just like me. Cue internalization.

People like to blame body image issues on Photoshop and Barbie but I played with and stopped playing with Barbie long before I thought about what I looked like. For all I knew she looked just like me. I didn't even realize people could visually tell I was a different race until middle school. And I started feeling fat long before Photoshop and the Internet were a thing. I think the fact I have several explicit memories of girls I knew talking about their body speaks volumes as to how society really perpetuates body image issues. Reading this letter to a mother about body image helped me understand it even more.

And so I guess this is a call to all girls to change, if not the way we think about our bodies, then the way we talk about our bodies. If all mothers and sisters and friends talked about the things they liked about their bodies instead of the things they didn't like, we could change an entire generation. Of all the things I want to give my baby, a healthy body image is a definite priority.

poolside, Las Vegas

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life Update

We're pregnant! And by we, I mean me, although we've never really tried to get Carter pregnant. But that's another story for another day on Medical Mysteries. If truth be told, we weren't even trying in particular to get me pregnant but we are still so very happy about it! I'm even a little relieved. It's about time someone (God, the Fates, Karma, Carter's sperm, ect.) made some life-altering choices for me.

We'll be full-fledged parents around October 18th. I'm thirteen weeks along yesterday though I've only been growing this little human for about 11 or so weeks. Who knew that they date your baby from your last period? I guess that's when the follicle started maturing? #biologymajorproblems

In other news Carter is a smarty pants and scored an internship with the New York Federal Reserve this summer. So we'll be packing up and shipping out in June. I'm going to call it my doing-nothing-in-NYC vacation. I look forward to it as the last vacation where all I worry about is me. In the fall we'll return to Provo so I can push a baby out of my uterus and Carter can finish his last year at BYU. After that Carter has the option of returning to Manhattan to work for the New York Federal Reserve for two years or going to a graduate school.

Is it extremely lame of me that I don't want to live in New York, NY? I guess it all comes down to priorities and right now my priorities revolve around Caribbean vacations and home-ownership and backyards, all of which are not helped by living in New York on a pittance government salary. And if Carter takes the job and then goes to grad school we'll have an EIGHT-year-old by the time he actually graduates!

But if Carter goes straight to grad school in an affordable location, we might be able to buy a house/condo right now. And raise all our children in nice neighborhoods where they can walk themselves to school and play in playgrounds without rat infestations and enjoy water blobs in their own backyard. I mean. NYC is not the most kid-friendly.

The main argument for the NYC job is that Carter will have a regular 9-5 job and will be able to spend copious amount of time with our baby. So that's a plus.

So what would you do? Do you love NYC and think it's a great place for kids?