Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Let Us Eat Cake (And anything else we want too)

I say let every woman decide for herself within reasonable means what she will or will not put in her body. I'm sick of other women telling me if I don't eat certain foods or consume certain oils my kid is going to come out wrong

I have a confession to make. I think the kids that are raised on all that health food and a totally "organic diet" are going to turn out weird! Wait, just hear me out. If you don't give your child chocolate and he or she doesn't know the delectable taste of frosted cake icing or ice cream for example, what do you think is going to happen when you drop them off at their friend's birthday party when they're 4? You think all the other kids in the neighborhood are serving organic carob cake with no additives? No way, the other kid's mom got out the Duncan Hines cake mix and frosting and globbed it on for all the little kiddies to go home in a sugar induced coma. That's what American moms do. So my theory is to start introducing these foods while they're in the womb and gradually when they're born. I'm not saying I'm putting chocolate syrup in the formula but you can better believe this kid is going to eat some sugar before she's 3!

I think food is a hot topic for me because eating is one of my favorite pastimes. My husband and I are champion eaters of just about every cuisine. In our free time we don't hike or bike or do ceramics but we can clean up at the world's finest buffets with the best of them. We always plan our vacations around the food where we'll be going. Vegas is a draw for us not because of the gambling but because of the many wonderful options that have our favorite words on the sign "All you can eat $9.99." I get this from my upbringing and hope to pass it onto my child. I will not do what my parents did to me and make her stand in line for the 12 and under when she's 19. My dad would say "Just go get some crab legs honey and give them to mommy for her purse. We'll be in the car waiting!" My parents taught me these cardinal buffet rules that our family abided by when I was very young:

1. Salad is for sissies and hippies. It's wasted space in your stomach and on your plate.

2. Go directly for the crab legs if they have them or shrimp of any kind to really get your money's worth.

3. Always get 4 desserts or more. It's free and you can taste some of all of them.

4. Don't waste your calories on those fancy cheese cubes and crackers it's a ploy to divert your attention from the prime rib carving station or the baked ham.

5. If you think you're full, get one more plate of food. Mom's plastic bag in her purse will take home your leftovers.

6. Condiments are meant to be stolen off your table if they're in packets. They make lovely gifts.

7. Try to eat before 5:00pm that will get you the "early bird special".

8. Casinos have the best buffets even if you don't gamble. We spent last Christmas celebrating Jesus' birth eating at Pachango casino buffet with all the other chain smoking gambling sinners.

9. Gluttony is not a sin if you're at a buffet. God understands and He will forgive you this time. He after all invented buffets.

10. Pace yourself because they can't kick you out. Legally they can't, because we fought the battle in court and we won. Stay for 4 free people! Have your crab legs and eat them too!

Well this time honored traditions will definitely upheld with our children and hopefully their children and their children's children. Man, just thinking about all this wonderful buffet food is making me hungry. My mom called yesterday and was asking if we could go back to the Pachanga buffet for Christmas dinner this year. I 'm not sure if we can take a 2-month-old baby into a casino but apparently my mother is willing to try.

My ever-loving husband has been asked to be a "weight loss spokesperson" for a new health and wellness company called Thinergetics. We love this company and they have a proven track record of getting people well from disease and also getting that unhealthy weight off. The thing is he's on a 90 day-diet detox program where he has to give up wheat, dairy, sugar, and anything with brewers yeast in it, which includes vinegars and dressings.

Our baby is due in less than 90 days and he is on this hard-core re balancing diet for his health while he watches his wife crave massive amounts of sugar. He's such a trooper because he believes in the program he's not cheating at all. I don't know how he does it. So to support him I try not to eat all the crazy sugar stuff in front of him. I hide my candy in my purse and place my real ice cream behind his "Soylicious Non Dairy Frozen Treats!" So far he's been strong but there's a part of me that hopes he's not going to lose his mind one night and invade my "special pregnancy" cabinet and go nuts with all the M&M's and peanut butter cookies. I should probably child proof that cabinet immediately I do believe health food is good for kids in moderation. I just think I might have some "mommy foods" still stashed around the house for late night "mommy feedings" when she's not looking. She can have a cookie but mommy will still need her own private stash.

Is that wrong? I mean I don't want to instill the bad habits of eating cocoa puff cereal for breakfast lunch and dinner into my daughter's brain until she's at least in college. It's totally okay to eat cereal all 3 meals because its cost efficient and all that sugar gets you hyped up for the all night study sessions.

So all in all I'm preparing my game plan when it comes to what I'll be eating and what my child will be eating. This is another way for me to pass the time in the wee hours of the night. I'm sure everything will go exactly according to plan in this area. I know, I hear you out there laughing out loud. Let me live in my pre-child rearing bubble a little while longer would you?

I'm going to get bite to eat!

"Everybody's Doing It!"

I know that Hollywood is just like anywhere else and trends come and go. The latest buzz around town is that we're "Bringin' Pregnant Back" to la la land. Motherhood is now back in style!

I succumbed not only to my mother's pressure since our honeymoon but the likes of Angelina, Tori Spelling, Britney, and all the other "Hot Mama's" this year. That's right folks I'm 6 months prego! Now Nicole Ritchie has joined our ranks. So I have all these "maternal role models to look up to?" Not really. It seems most of these women are as clueless as I am. The big difference is that for once in their lives they are actually allowed to eat real food. If you read about the pregnancy weight gains for these stars it's pretty high. Tori told me she gained over 60 lbs. Of course when we see their pictures in magazines they are as airbrushed and fresh looking as ever before. They don't show the real pregnancy glow that the rest of us are experiencing in the form of skin blotches and teenage acne! Once again Hollywood refuses to let the public see women, even pregnant women, as they really are.

So there is absolutely no celebrity who a woman can look to for any real representation. All the magazines concentrate on "Jennifer Anniston's supposed baby bump" when she's literally just had a milk shake and is a little bloated. So now, bloated equals pregnant? That's a great message for women across America! And what about all those articles with pictures of new mom's post delivery back in their bikinis in 6 weeks? Heidi Klum was back on the fashion runway in lingerie in 3 weeks after her son's birth. That is the most unrealistic standard I've ever seen! What is she a superhero and can make baby fat disappear in a single instant?

I'm learning more and more how the media is so unforgiving. When Debra Messing came back to work on her show "Will and Grace" after her baby's birth, she was about 120 lbs and they told her she was too fat! I'm not sure what the answer is especially for us Christians trying to live in this culture and building the self-esteem of our young daughters today. My own daughter will be arriving soon and I certainly hope there will be more ways to show her that what she sees on TV and magazines is all a facade and while these images can't be ignored we can see them for what they really are. Images based in some photo shopper's imagination. These pictures don't even have hair on the women's arms! Take a look and see what I mean!

I say "Bravo" to all the women out there that are doing the grandest duty of all by carrying children in their wombs into this world! The ones with stretch marks and swollen feet. It's a badge of honor and God says we are "Highly Favored!" So why don't we get our own calendar? I'd call it "Bringing Pregnant Back! The Real Hot Mamas!" We could all be eating cake and ice cream. What do you think? Ok in progress but we have to start somewhere! Right? Who's with me? I have to go now. I think my friends Ben and Jerry are calling me from my kitchen. I'm going to eat as much as I want because I'm pregnant and I CAN! You have to take the perks when they come! Now if we could only get special parking spaces...hmmm....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pregnancy: Tales From the Trenches, I'm Not Fat I'm Pregnant

Ok, ok I admit the books on pregnancy did mention something about me gaining some type of weight of the period of nine months. I just didn't take them seriously. I've seen pregnant women before I just thought there would be some way around the whole "get a belly" thing in my case. I have a friend who literally gained 13 pounds with her kids and she was fine. So I assumed I could be just like her. The only difference is that she works out like a mad woman and also has a starting weight of 95 pounds. No I'm not kidding.

I saw how skinny Madonna looked when she was pregnant and what about Catherine Zeta Jones who literally filmed the musical Chicago in fish net stockings when she was four months along? Why wouldn't I be just like them minus the personal trainer and the zone diets delivered right to their doors daily? I could do it. I could keep my figure if it killed me!

Uh.."Clue Phone! It's for Kerri!" I'm an idiot and in my first few weeks of pregnancy I literally knew I was embarking on the battle of the bulge literally. I didn't want to give in but my first clue was when I decided working out with my trainer was overrated. What better excuse than being "with child" for me to quit completely. I told him I'd do my" own program" that was safe for the baby. This consists of watching Oprah every day on my couch and attempting a leg lift or two. Last night I tried a leg lift when I was watching "Amazing Race" because I inspired by all the fit people. But then I decided my shoe was heavy and lifting my leg required too much effort and it might hurt the baby. So I stopped and got some ice cream. But I did walk all the way to the kitchen!

Back several months before I was prego my husband and I decided to get a personal trainer to lose those "marriage love pounds" we'd both put on. It was a brutal 6:30 am schedule 3 times a week. I just hated it and now that I'm pregnant, I find it a total waste of time. I don't think getting up at 6:00am is good for anyone's health for that matter.

I think the whole carrying a child thing has gone to my head because I have this sense of empowerment when it comes to physically exerting myself. I won't do it. It's not like I seriously think I could injure my little munchkin. I just never did like working out so now's my time to milk it for all it's worth. My dilemma lies in the fact I don't want to be the fat pregnant lady either.

I think I started showing when I was about 3 minutes along. I did a comedy show and afterwards we broke the news to some of Ron's family. His aunt says "Yeah we knew it. You looked a little hefty up there!" I was about a month and a half along! Ya gotta love family! People totally knew I was pregnant no matter how hard I tried to hide it. So at some point the reality hit me that I might not be able to fit into my current wardrobe for much longer as much as I struggled.

Ron and I recently were scheduled to do a two night comedy showcase in LA for top casting directors and it was going to be a great experience to be on that roster with top comedians. The first night I got dressed in some stretch pants and a cotton top with a bold pattern on it thinking this would conceal the bulge in my tummy. I accessorized with lots of jewelry thinking, "distraction was a good weapon!" I would woo them with my flare! We arrive at the club and as usual it's about 90% male comics. And in the comedy world being overweight can be part of your act so it's not like some male supermodel convention backstage at all. We don't exactly have a lot of offers to do a "Hot Comedians Swimsuit Calendar!"

Anyway I was feeling pretty good until she walked in. I see this cute tiny size 6x Osh Kosh B'Gosh adorable girl of about 23 walk in. I thought she was someone's girlfriend but turns out she was a fellow comic. She approaches me and says "Hey you're Kerri Pomarolli. I'm a huge fan!" (I'm thinking there's nothing huge about you except your perfectly proportioned large cleavage that is so popular in LA!) She was pretty and sweet and super thin. I couldn't even hate her because she was actually being nice to me and telling me how I've inspired her as a clean comic. So she's not only cute and thin she's a clean comic too? It gets worse. Then she proceeds to tell me she does churches and Christian events as well. Now she's treading in deep waters because I thought I was the "hot chick" of the Christian women comics (all four of us-we all think we're each the hot chick between us). Now she wants to come steal my throne? I knew this day would come but who could prepare me! I made conversation with her because she was flattering to me and I came to find out all kinds of things about her, like she had just moved to LA about a year ago signed with a top agency and now was up for a movie role with Forrest Whitaker. Forrest Whitaker? Academy award winner Forrest Whitaker? Couldn't it be someone like Roger Whitaker that folk singer from the 1970's that whistled? Why did she have to get some super mega movie role offer 2 minutes after she arrived in "my town?" She said she had to "pray about it first" but they really wanted her for the lead. Well isn't that special? I was so jealous my ears had steam coming out of them. I put on my fake "LA" smile and politely told her to "call me" in that fake "LA" way and waddled my big old belly away.

The show started and I went out and did my act without a hitch and was feeling pretty good about my pregnancy playing nicely into my comedy. People laughed at me but in this case I was ok with it. Then about 30 minutes later Casey the cute, pretty 23 year old goes out and has the set of the night talking about her dating adventures of the young and single girls in Hollywood and to top it off she was 100% clean. I used to be young and single, I think. The audience ate her up and I was oh so very...depressed on the way home. All I could do was rant and rave about how I wasn't as cute as Casey and she was going to take over my career as the "good girl Christian comedian in Hollywood." Then I would die homeless penniless, alone and most of all 30 pounds overweight. I know how much my husband cared about me because he immediately stopped for doughnuts and candy bars to calm my nerves. It worked for 2 minutes and then I was back to my monologue about how much of a better person and comedian Casey was than me. I also said" Plus she's skinnier than I am!" My husband finally had it," You're pregnant silly!"

I replied" So what you're really saying Ron is that she IS skinnier than me! You like her better don't you! You wish she was your hot wife don't you!" The car ride rant went on and on until 10 minutes later I dozed off to sleep in the passenger seat.

I woke up the next morning bound and determined to make some changes before my second night's performance at the comedy festival. No more accessory jungle nightmare of color for me. I was going back to what used to work for me and that was only one thing: my size 4 "Seven" designer skinny jeans. They had served me well in the past couple of years on auditions, public outings and other events. I always knew the skinny jeans were a sure fire hit and I was not about to let them fail me now. That evening as I picked out my light green semi loose but fashionable sweater and jewelry set I grabbed my pair of jeans and put them on. Well ok let me rephrase that. I attempted to put them on and I got both legs in but something was amiss. They would not button up no matter what tactics I tried. I even did the lay on the ground thing and held my breath. I almost passed out but I gave it a good effort. I thought of smearing Crisco oil on my belly but I decided there had to be a better way. Then I saw a bright pink thick rubber band sitting on my dresser. I had a "MacGyver" moment of genius. I took the rubber band and twirled it around the button on my jeans and looped it in the buttonhole to make a sort of bridge so the pants would not be buttoned but held together by the single rubber band. Did this cut off my circulation? Yes! Did I look good in those jeans? More importantly yes! Breathing is overrated and I could do without it for one night. So I shimmied my way behind Ron to the car. He noticed I seemed happier but much more quiet on the way over. I suppose he didn't notice the lack of oxygen to my brain was impairing my speech. Oh well, it's not his issue.

We arrived at the theater again and all the comics including Miss Casey who was sporting her own set of beautifully fitting skinny jeans greeted me. (I bet all she has is skinny jeans!) She was wearing a cute T-shirt that said" Single Likes to Mingle!" I was so mad because I used to wear those cute t-shirts. I have one that says "Hi! I'm Single this weekend!" But since I've worn it in my pregnancy it doesn't seem to have the same effect. Not that I'm looking for a date but it always makes people laugh and it's great when I'm at parties.

So anyway I took a seat and one of the comics had brought treats for everyone to eat. He offered me a doughnut and for the sake of my child I obliged. Now mind you I had been wearing my sear sucking jeans for almost 2 hours at this point, rubber band intact and there were serious issues with me being able to really move around in them. But I didn't have any other clothes to change into and I just had to get through my set on stage. Casey opened the show with another fabulously funny and sassy performance. The audience cheered her on and I had to admit I liked her clean comedy. I decided we could be friends...AFTER the baby comes and I'm back to my "cute t-shirt" weight.

Finally at the end of the night it was my turn to go on. I strutted out on that stage knowing there were some major producers in that audience there to see me. My jokes were a hit and everyone was really enjoying the show. I was getting big laughs and I knew I was "on" and I felt good. I felt so good as I was back into my routine and I decided to go for my big "Pilates" joke which required some "Kerri Pomarolli" special physical comedy moves. The big finale was a "kick" in the air I'm kind of famous for. I mean how many comedians include in their routine a "Radio City Rockette" high kick? I told the punch line and as my leg was rising in the air all I could hear was a smack and pop. Then as if in slow motion, I see the rubber band around my jeans fly off of my waist, into the air and onto the floor in front of me where everyone in the audience could see it just dangling there. It wasn't a small rubber band that could have been hidden. It was a bright pink big huge honkin thing that looked like it flew out of my belly button. Not to mention my jeans started to quickly slide down both thighs open wide because my huge pot pregnant belly was now protruding in a way that no one could ignore. It looked like a can of Pillsbury dough mix that just got opened and the dough just starts spreading everywhere. I had a mic in one hand and there was no way the other hand was going to be able to save my jeans from falling so open it would quickly become an R –rated show. I could see the headlines now "Christian Comedian tries Strip Tease Comedy...Pregnant!" No I'm not Demi Moore and that wasn't the look I was going for. I had two choices .I could ignore the obvious and try in some way to finish my act in utter disgrace. Or I could run off stage yelling "Fire ! Fire! Fire!" I thought about it and as much as option #2 sounded appealing. I thought to myself" Kerri, you're pregnant and you've got to face it. You're also a comedian and you can use this situation to your advantage, someway, somehow. Think Kerri, what would Steve Martin do?"(My favorite comedy icon) I pulled myself and my jeans together and said to the audience "Oh if you didn't notice, I'm not fat I'm pregnant! Yeah that's what happens when you don't have cable!" They smiled and applauded. Then I said" I tried to wear my skinny jeans to be impressive to you people but it's just not working out. I'm going to go home now and eat myself into a carbohydrate infested ice cream coma because I CAN! "I said as I gracefully picked up my broken rubber band off the floor. I ended with "For all the dieting and weight conscious folks out there tonight who are counting calories and carbs. I'll have a Krispy Creme and double chocolate shake for you! Good night!" They applauded and I marched off the stage triumphantly.

I came home and as I was binging away on the couch at midnight with my dieting husband eating his carrot sticks I realized a couple important truths. I'm a mother and I'm carrying an actual life inside of me. This life needs food and room to grow. If I restrain this precious little one from growth space by restricting my own womb to expand I'm doing a disservice to my own child. Instead what I need to do is take a couple deep breathes and realize that growing a belly is the natural process of pregnancy and no matter how hard I try there are no "take backs" and I better just get used to the idea. I also came to the conclusion that I'm more than a growing belly and larger thighs. I was carrying the next prince or princess of our family. Ron aptly named me that night "The Royal Incubator" and for the next few months my main job would be to make sure the little royalty inside me was comfy, happy and well fed!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pregnancy: Tales From the Trenches, Bikini Season

I awakened last week to the familiar tingling of my feet at 29 weeks pregnant. Baby was 29 weeks. Happy Birthday baby! As a pregnant woman I'm always counting her weeks because each one counts. The longer she "bakes in the mommy oven" the better. It's August in California so there definitely could be worse places to be right now but nonetheless it's hot. My husband was out of town and I thought I'd spend a nice Saturday morning organizing our little home and doing "mom" things. Then I had a bridal shower of a girlfriend to attend. I actually spent the morning on researching possible cures and causes for the tingling in my extremities. I got everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to high blood pressure. I don't have either of those. I've decided my diagnosis is "pregnant." I did hear that the circulation could be helped sometimes by taking extra iron. But then my neighbor told me if I take too much iron I could die from "Iron overdose" and I prefer to live. This morning is just one of those mornings where I'm not too happy about my condition and the way my body looks. I had a nightmare last night that my thighs were turning blue from all the varicose veins and they had been that way for a while but I was too big in the belly to see them. I have to admit there are certain parts of my body I make a conscious choice not to look at. If I could do that when I'm not pregnant I'm sure I'd have higher self-esteem. Just think if all the women of the world made a pledge "We're not going to look in a mirror below our waists. We will not turn around in a mirror and obsess about the size of our God given "back", as J-Lo would call it? I think we'd all be a little plumper and a lot happier don't you?

I was going to see a few of my good friends today who hadn't seen me in weeks. I did not want the first reaction to be "Oh my goodness...look how big you are!" I had that happen with my other friend Trista the other day that by the way looks fabulous because she was off to Hawaii and ten pounds lighter than normal. Her jaw dropped and she kept repeating over and over "No Way! Wow! No Way!" That is exactly what she said when I told her Ron and I are going to have a baby! "No Way! Wow! You? No Way!!!" I love her. She's so supportive and nurturing. I felt bigger than ever because I've just recently put on 10 lbs in the past month. My whole goal for pregnancy was/is 25 lbs. I'm up to 20 and I'm only 29 weeks. Yeah I'm depressed, being the goal setter that I am.

So I had decided to wear my cutest blue maternity dress with my brand new 38-C nursing bra, which was still too tight around my back. Mind you I started out as a 34-b and now I have to use the bra extender I bought from the maternity shop on a 38 bra. What happened? Those bra extenders you buy are really cheap and make the backs looser so they don't cut off your circulation as much.

The problem with my outfit is that the bra was so much material in the front it kept sticking out of the armpits of my cute dress. I don't know how the well-endowed women of America do when they're prego? That's a lot of bra! I thought I wanted to have a bigger chest before I was pregnant. Now I realize I don't need the upkeep.
Anyway, my feet were still tingling but I really wanted to wear my cute pink shoes to the shower. They are flats after all and have adorable bows on them. They were not comfortable from the moment I put them on. But I refused to give into the fact that my swollen feet could be making some of my shoes uncomfortable. Some women even warned me my foot would grow a whole shoe size. That would be a terrible feat if you ask me. I love my shoes. I got that little habit from my own mother who thinks good shoes are a sign of good breeding and Godliness. I didn't even think to bring a back up pair of more comfortable shoes for later in the day. I waddled out to my car and drove in the hot summer sun to the shower. I arrive to see my girlfriends all looking radiant and thin. Even the one who has a 6-month-old son looks like a poster girl for "Slim Fast." She's a model and so is her husband. So I think it's in her job description to look thin and beautiful at all times. I'm glad I didn't become a super model like I planned when I was 7. Everyone was really polite and ooohed and aaaahed over my little pregnant belly and noone said how huge I looked. I took my place outside to enjoy a lovely lunch of salads and fruit and later some strawberry shortcake. I felt proud of myself for not totally indulging into too much sugar filled dessert or soda that day because I had been trying to watch my calories a little more since my last Dr. appt and my 10 lb weight gain. At 2:00pm it was time to go and my feet were officially killing me. I made it back to my car and concluded I'd be driving straight home in these shoes and unable to do any errands. I decided to take the scenic route home through the pier and downtown areas of the beach communities. One of my favorite times living in southern California has always been summer because we'd have beach parties and bar b ques and everyone would be out mingling all over the streets enjoying ice cream cones and other summer treats. It's a great vibe. This particular summer has in some way gone too quickly because it was early August and I hadn't been to the beach one time. It seemed to be passing me by. Ron and I had just discussed having a couple beach days soon before it was too late and I was looking forward to that very much. I started driving and got in the typical Saturday traffic pile up in Manhattan Beach on the main drag. I looked around and saw a sea of summer tan bodies walking up and down the sidewalks laughing and having a wonderful time. Then it hit me. All of the female tanned physiques were not only young and gorgeous but absolutely the size of a toothpick. There were no protruding bellies, no bathing suits with skirts to hide enormously growing backsides. There wasn't one bit of fat to be seen and believe me I looked. These girls and women looked like models out of a Sports Illustrated calendar, every one of them. All I could think was that my thighs now rubbed together every time I walked. What a depressing emotional scene I was subjecting myself to. Yes I was hormonal and 7 months pregnant but this didn't occur to me right then. All I could concentrate on was that I was no longer one of these happy go lucky ice cream eating bikini babes. I 'm not saying I was a twig but I admit I could hold my own on a Saturday afternoon at the beach in a two-piece without feeling like a total outcast. Maybe it's California but there seemed to be not a single woman over the size of Child's 6X and absolutely no pregnant women. Maybe there was an ordinance outlawing them from being seen in public?

I decided to exit this scene quickly and take another route home. It's not that I' m feeling sorry for myself, well ok maybe a little. It's just that nothing can really prepare you for all the changes your body will go through and how you will react to them. I don't hear many women talking about their feelings and I think there needs to be more dialogue. I'm assuming other women out there love their babies but aren't completely elated with the varicose veins all over their bodies and the stretch marks and other normality's that come with carrying the little munchkins? I'll be honest; I'm not loving it.

I went with my friend Gina later that day to actually buy myself a bathing suit that would be sufficient for the rest of the summer and it would be something I could be comfortable in. I went to the bathing suit store and looked around at the two pieces. I was looking in the regular section of suits not maternity because I just wasn't thinking I'd need a "pregnant" bathing suit.

I found some cute regular ones though. I didn't want to try them on but Gina insisted. I decided to compromise and just try on a few tops. This store just carried small, medium, large and XL. I gathered some cute suits and headed to the dreaded "dressing room." One thing I think women who are pregnant need to do is avoid dressing rooms altogether. The fluorescent lighting is no one's friend and neither is a 3-way mirror. I choose to live in my denial about my backside and its ever-expanding shape. This reinforced my decision to undress from the waist up with my eyes closed and only try on the bathing suit tops. The first one was a small and I looked like Pamela Anderson falling out of it everywhere. This was not a mommy appropriate size but I managed to squeeze myself into a medium and not feel too X-rated for pool parties with my in laws.

I had gathered some of the bottom bathing suit pieces that looked like shorts. This was a new experience for me buying either the "shorts bottom" or the "shorts plus skirt" bathing suit bottom. My mom had been famous for always wearing these suits when I was a kid that had these fluffy skirts at the rear end and to me that just draws more attention to that area by decorating it with little ruffles and flowers. My mom weighs all of 106 lbs and still insists on wearing a skirt bathing suit. So now I was turning into my mom? No, I resisted and surveyed the board shorts looking pieces. The small would be too small and I could live with that. The medium looked big to me so I decided to show it to the sales lady. She took one look at me, then one look at the suit and said, "You need to buy a large honey!" I was so insulted. I had never heard those words in my life. I'm 5"2 and had been a size 3 or 4 up until recently and the thought of buying a "large" anything was just a bit emotional. To all the ladies reading this I know we're all created in different shapes and sizes so I'm just writing this to convey my situation. It's not about the exact size but the surprisingly fast change in size I was experiencing in my body. It was just something different.

I know we all have our PMS days where we can't fit into our skinny jeans and we resort to our fat pants that are a size bigger than normal. But this was different...this was a large. Did my behind really convey the message to this clerk that I needed a size large as not to scare the little children at the community pool? The medium looked big enough and it wasn't like it was some string bikini. I fretted and fumed inside and then finally grabbed the large bottom and medium top and begrudgingly went to check out. I got a slurpee to make me feel better and that definitely worked. Nothing like an entire cup of icee sugar water to cure what ails you.
I got home and laid my new suit out on the bed. Since no one was home I thought "what the heck" and decided to try on my new hot suit for summer.
I put the top on and wiggled and wrangled everything in place as best I could. It was time to put on the dreaded bottom piece. I pulled it up over my right leg and the strangest thing happened. I must have been trying to put it on backwards or something because I couldn't get it over my thigh. I flipped it off and tried again knowing this way was correct. This definitely must have been a mistake because I could not get the suit up in any way shape or form over both of my thighs to even try to tie it at my hipbones. This was one of those low waisted suits so the belly wasn't even an issue. I tried and tried. I looked like I was doing some type of hip hop dance in my bathroom jumping up and down all over the place.

But to no avail this baby was about to rip into pieces if I yanked it any harder. Then it hit me like a mac truck. This darn "large" sucker was too small! My big fat behind had grown so much it wouldn't even fit into this large women's bathing suit. When did this happen? How did I not see it? Well maybe that's because I've been ignoring mirrors for the past few months but surely I would have noticed right? Or at least my husband would have noticed? Yeah right, as if he would dare make as single comment about my size and live to see another day. I couldn't believe what was happening at this very moment. I took a few deep breaths and decided to do something important.

I looked long and hard in the mirror at the woman facing me. It wasn't easy but I really checked her out. I checked out the spider vain with blue lines, the breakouts, the expanded bust line and then her belly and beyond. I got the realization that in some way this woman must be beautiful. In some way this woman with the cellulite and puffy feet must be happy with herself because inside of her big old belly was the most beautiful thing God has ever created on the entire earth...a human life. Not only that but a little baby girl who would grow up and probably look somewhat like her. So as I stared at this woman I had to make some choices. I could choose to keep obsessing and comparing myself to what I used to be, what I 'm not now and what I won't be again. Or I could find it in my heart to realize that in fact this stage in my life was the most important one of all and I was created by God to do this very job. I was made to live on this earth and bring this other little soul into existence to possibly shake up the world in her own way. So the deal is that to do that I was going to face some big changes in pretty much every area of my mind and body. It's not like there was any turning back. So was I ready to face the rest of this journey and embrace it or would I continue on my spiral of denial followed by frustrations with my changing self? It's not an easy thing to do, to take the positive route. I'm not perfect and since then I'm not saying I walk by mirrors and applaud. I just decided I'd do my best not to condemn myself and my body for adjusting to the amazing miracle inside of me. Do I still use the olive oils and tummy butters? You bet ya.
After that afternoon I went back to the store and looked at the "maternity suits. I kept the top I had purchased and went and got myself a nice comfy XL large bottom. It's a little too big but it works. It makes me feel good and when I strutted my stuff at the family pool party yesterday I really had a great time. My little niece kept coming up to my belly and saying" Hi Baby!" She's 5 and I wouldn't want her to ever be ashamed of her body no matter what size she is. I hope I can pass that along to my daughter. The women of tomorrow deserve to be proud of themselves inside and out more than the generation I grew up in. I hope she doesn't read fashion mags and Hollywood stuff and feel less than absolutely beautiful. I don't know what the answer is to helping the girls of today be more confident women of tomorrow but I'm sure going to try and find out.