02 October 2014

To My Daughter, I Will Beg

"One-Hundred and Seven Pounds. 

I worked hard for that weight. I was light. I was frail. I counted my corn kernels. My skin was colorless, punctuated with clogged pores, and my eyes were yellowing. My external organs corroding as if to prove that my insides were struggling. 
But you could see my collar bones,
and that is what mattered.
I had finally crossed the threshold into the "underweight" category, according to the BMI calculator that haunted me. I was greedy for less (and less, and less). I celebrated my weakness, I translated it into strength. I bled insecurity. The word "ugly" had a debilitating kind of dominance over me. If you told me I was "fat," I would have come apart.
Because that is what mattered. 
I was emotionally, mentally, and cellularly starving.
It took me years to learn what I know now, but it was not until her that I really got it.
Seven Pounds and Twelve Ounces of Redemption. A tiny girl full of a giant dose of clarity. It took my body swelling with child. My bones bearing the weight of another human being. The expanding, the shrinking, the scarring, the tearing - all of it - to accept my body in its glory.
My body, that I hated so deeply before, built my daughter's body.
That is nothing short of a miracle, to me.
From the moment we met, the responsibility to teach her how to love herself sat squarely, tirelessly, on my shoulders..."

I am over at Coffee + Crumbs again today, sharing something I feel deeply about. I wrote a piece on my relationship with my body, my battle with loving myself, and the importance of  teaching my daughter the greatest realization I have ever had,

"you do not have to be beautiful"


  1. So much truth here. I am not a mama yet but it already overwhelms me to think of the things I want and need my children to know—and how often this world we live in will counter and contradict me. Such an immense, amazing responsibility we have as mothers.

  2. This is so powerful, and heart warming to say the least. I'm so happy I came across this and one day want my own daughter to read this, and every little girl in the world

  3. This is beautiful! I love your honesty, and the lesson you learned! Sometimes it takes so long for us to realize what we have

  4. N'timma, what a beautiful post. Thank you. I just wrote a comment here, but it disappeared, so I'll try again!

    I have been anorexic for the past 39 years, and I'm doing a show about my journey. I also have a website in conjunction with the show, and I would love to post your blog on my site. With attribution, of course. I think that it would help many people. Here's my site: www.doesthisshowmakemelookfat.com

    Please let me know if you'd be willing to share it here.

    Thank you for your openness, honesty, and courage.

    All the best, Cathy Ladman