The Chicken Bride

I swear that this isn’t the start of a bad joke, at least I hope it isn’t.

If you have been around for a while you may know that I refer to my younger daughter as The Chicken. I’m sure that you are wondering why I refer to her as The Chicken, as many do, so a little back story.

When she was born the delivering doctor held her up and proclaimed that she was at least nine or ten pounds. He couldn’t prove this fact in the delivery room as the only scale in the maternity ward where she was born was located in the nursery.

The Chicken and her then boyfriend at Prom last year. Wow does a lot of stuff change in a year.

The Chicken and her then boyfriend at Prom last year. Wow does a lot of stuff change in a year.

I flatly told the doctor he was wrong. That there was no way that the baby he held in his arms weighed that much. He was surprised by my confidence and asked why I thought he was wrong.

I explained that my older daughter was nearly nine pounds and she had rolls for days. That this baby that he was holding was probably one of the thinnest babies I had ever seen. There were no rolls and her legs resembled those of a chicken. We said some other things in which I can’t remember because I had been up all night having a baby and it was nearly 5 o’clock in the morning.

What I do remember clearly is that at nearly 7 o’clock in the morning when I was just getting to sleep in my room the same doctor comes in and wakes me up to tell me that I was in fact wrong.

Apparently he had been delivering babies for nearly 30 years and was typically spot on with guesstimating birth weights on his deliveries. My flat refusal to accept his guesstimate and my reasoning why had him second guessing himself and so he followed my daughter to the nursery where he (in his own words) impatiently waited for them to clean her up and weigh her.

She was a whopping nine and a half pounds and even more astounding nearly 24 inches long! The latter would explain her lack of rolls as her sister while nearly nine pounds was only 17.5 inches long. Like I said that kid had rolls for days.

Last year The Chicken flew from the nest and next year she is getting married. It seems like just yesterday the husband was telling me that The Chicken’s then boyfriend came to ask him for permission to ask her to marry him and now the wedding is a little over a year away.

Some days I feel like I am blinking my life away because I swear just yesterday we were in that hospital room and I was staring at all of her perfect features, including those long chicken legs.

Do you have any advice for The Chicken and their fiancé as they prepare for their upcoming nuptials?

Body acceptance isn’t just for big girls

“You’re so skinny.”

“What’s your secret?”

“Why can’t my weight just fall off like that?”

“You’ve lost too much weight.”

“What are you trying to accomplish?”

“You don’t understand what it’s like to not be happy with your weight.”

And that the one thing I’ve heard no matter what size I am, “You need to get on this scale because I don’t believe that you weigh that much.”

At my heaviest, I probably wore a size 18 or 20. I say probably because I didn’t want to buy clothing larger than the one pair of size 16 pants that I owned. At home I lived in two different pairs of 2XL fleece pants purchased off a discount rack at our local drug store, along with-shirts and over sized sweatshirts that were promo items from a friend’s business.

I wasn’t happy with my limited options, so I cut out soda and started to walk daily. Most days I floated between 185 to 200 pounds depending on where I was in my cycle and how many snacks I consumed while my husband worked second shift and the girls were in bed. I was able to fit into a size 14 and while not great, my options at the thrift store opened up a bit more, especially when I realized maternity clothing fit me well, since I carried most of my weight in my core section.

When someone would find out how much I weighed they would tell me that they didn’t believe me and that they were surprised that I weighed that much. My tall frame and dressing to flatter my body type helped to hide the belly that people often confused for pregnancy. Years later I can still feel the phantom burn of hands on my belly from a particular instance where a woman argued with me about whether or not I was expecting, especially when she claimed that she felt a kick. I had Mexican for lunch, so she felt something.

Because of my weight and my Baptist faith I didn’t wear shorts; I found that dresses and skirts were easier to find at the thrift stores, so one hot summer day I decided that I would start the “Year Without Pants.” What started as an experiment became my signature look and I finally started to feel comfortable in my skin.

When I started working out of the house full time, I lost a little weight and now floated in between a size 12-16 depending on the time of the month and season. I accepted myself and was genuinely happy in the skin I was in and had amassed quite the wardrobe from thrifting and sale shopping. I often got compliments on how I looked and no longer took ‘you look so fancy’ as an insult.

This was taken on vacation in spring of 2014. My hands are resting on my thighs to keep the flowy dress from blowing up and flashing the world I felt very uncomfortable in this dress as it exposed my upper arms and with the breeze highlighted my larger core and legs since I had to hold my dress down on the breezy day.

This was taken on vacation in spring of 2014. My hands are resting on my thighs to keep the flowy dress from blowing up and flashing the world I felt very uncomfortable in this dress as it exposed my upper arms and with the breeze highlighted my larger core and legs since I had to hold my dress down on the breezy day.

About 18 months ago, more weight started dropping off. It didn’t really bother me at first because after a knee injury and the limited mobility it caused me during recovery, some of my favorite pieces of clothing were getting a bit tight.

First twenty pounds, then 30, and then during a routine physical, my doctor asked what I was doing to get rid the 45 pounds I had lost since my last physical. I told her I wasn’t trying to lose weight. We chalked it up to a changes in life and hormones with hitting middle age and agreed we would keep an eye on it. When I hit 75 pounds of unintentional weight loss in a little over a year, I earned myself a referral to the GI doctor and a full body CT scan.

People noticed that I was losing weight and would tell me how great I looked, but they often looked disappointed when I told them that I had no idea how the weight was coming off and that my doctors and I were looking into the cause.

My standard answer to inquiries about my weight became “undiagnosed medical condition” because it would normally stop the tirade of trying to convince me to divulge my secret. Surprisingly, on more than one occasion, I had someone tell me that they didn’t care what the cause of my weight loss was but they wished it would fall off them as effortlessly as it had for me.

There were others who were concerned I had lost too much weight and confronted me about eating disorders, trying to feed me every chance they had. When I would politely decline their food advances I was met with hostility, because clearly I wanted to be this way.

Yes, I wanted to have to carry a stadium chair around with me wherever I went because sitting on any surface caused great amounts of pain in my hips. I wanted to have to go out and buy all new clothes and shoes because everything I owned no longer fit me. Yes I said shoes, I lost a half of a size and buying a 10.5 shoe is next to impossible.

I especially wanted to see the annoyed look on people’s faces when I complained about my plight with losing all of this weight. Women think it’s okay to complain about clothes getting too tight, but the moment that you complain that yours are falling off, you get eye rolls and exasperated sighs.

“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Heather.”

I find myself struggling to accept this new version of me. I had accepted size 14 Heather. Size 14 Heather was pretty, she loved being in pictures and had accepted the skin she was in. I am working on loving the smaller version of myself. I am trying not to look at myself and think how gaunt and unhealthy I look. I’m not unhealthy, all of the numbers in my labs and on the scale point to a healthy weight.

Body acceptance isn’t just about accepting those bodies that are bigger, they are accepting all bodies. Each day I work on accepting this new smaller version of myself a little more and mourn size 14 Heather a little less. But man oh man, do I miss her boobs.

Leggings are not pants

Leggings aren’t pants is something I have heard others say and will admit that I have also said over and over.

Remember my friend Jenna? Last year as she was launching her LulaRoe business she asked friends to like her business page on Facebook. And this my friends is where I admit to you that I totally pity-liked her page.

Don’t look at me like that, you know that you that you have pity-liked pages too. If she had added me without asking I would have been annoyed and left the group right away, because nobody likes that friend. Seriously, nobody likes that friend. But because she asked for support and she was a friend, I liked her page. I will also admit that I had to Google exactly what this LulaRoe thing was and I couldn’t understand why women would gather together to purchase leggings just like they were Tupperware.

She and Denise, her business partner, had contests on their page and were giving away a pair of leggings. They went on about their buttery softness and while I didn’t understand what butter had to do with leggings I went ahead and entered because I have two daughters that liked wearing leggings no matter how much I told them that leggings weren’t pants.

You know where this is going don’t you?

I won a pair of leggings, because of course I did and then I went ahead and pity bought another pair because I have two daughters and I couldn’t give one child a pair of crazy, loud leggings and not the other. And this, my friends, is where I admit to that when I received said free leggings and pity purchased leggings that I tried them and OH MY GOODNESS! where had these leggings been all of my life? And since this post is some sort of confessional where I am clearing my conscience I’m going to go ahead and admit that the one reason that my oldest daughter was gifted a pair of leggings was that they were too short on me and she is four inches shorter than I am. I took those other leggings and wore them every chance I got and did’t even mention to my youngest that these leggings were supposed to be for her. Please forgive me Ariel.

I spotted them in the wild when I went to a vendor fair and a local-ish consultant was selling her crack Lula-goods and since I was losing weight and needed more clothes I kind of went a wee bit crazy buying different pieces that they had while my sister looked at me like I was crazy. Although ask her how many pairs of leggings she owns now, ahem.

Soon I was wearing my LulaRoe pieces nearly every day and the only other pieces of clothing I would wear were pieces that I loved. Some thought I was a LulaRoe snob, but I just liked the fact that I felt like I was wearing my pajamas all day long. And the prints! I mean where else can you get a red skirt that has pockets and purple German Shepherds all over it? Side note, this does not sell people on LulaRoe as most people aren’t looking for red skirts with any kind of animals on them.

Now Alexis and I have our own LulaRoe business, I mean you had to see that was coming. We launched in January and are slowly building up our Facebook group. You should totally come over and join us, its fun and I swear it’s not all LulaRoe as we talk about everything, well at least I do because we all know that I am a chronic over-sharer on the internet.

And because I would love to see all of you, this Sunday, April 30 we are going to have a Stop and Shop at Alexis’s house in Lakewood. I’ll be the one sitting and not doing too much as my lungs are still healing from the mother of all asthma flare ups. So if you are local or local-ish we would love to have you join us. You don’t have buy anything, it can totally be a pity-visit where you look at our lovelies and enter some raffles. Plus we will have cupcakes and who doesn’t like cupcakes? And if you are all, I can’t eat cupcakes there will be a veggie tray. Email us at LLRDurdil at gmail dot com for more details.

Follow us on Instagram here if you are so inclined and feel free to come back here on Wednesdays when I share what we wore for the week.

LulaRoe Drop N Shop

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