So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I’ve carried this weight since I was 11. That’s when it came, unbidden, unwanted, and for me, unexpected.

It showed up everywhere, my legs, my stomach, my arms, and most of all my chest. Heavy. Unwieldy. It showed up and stole from me. It stole my childhood, my innocence, my ability to even dress myself anymore.

I remember being in the book aisle of my town’s K-Mart sobbing. Next to the girl’s clothing section, this was my favorite place to be. Among all the stories I could lose myself in. I was good at losing myself in other people’s worlds.

“Why can’t I have the skirt Mommy? I like it,” I hiccupped, embarrassed I was crying in public but unable to stop the liquid emotion from pouring out.

I saw my mom hesitate. She squatted down, eyes level with mine, her own liquid emotion there.

“It’s not flattering on you, honey. I’m so sorry but no.” She hugged me.

It was a cool white jean skirt with suspenders that I’d found in the girl’s aisle, a size 14x because the weight was my constant companion. I remember the feeling of shame because I had looked at myself in the mirror and seen it, the weight. But while I’d seen it, I didn’t realize what it was. I didn’t know it was a thing to fear. I had been too focused on childhood to realize this was something I should be aware of.

That day I changed my relationship with food. It was no longer simply a part of my day, it was everything I thought about. What to eat, when, how much. I had been promised five new outfits (a shopping spree!) if I could go down one clothing size. I went down four. That summer I also shot up a few inches and started my period.

Now a new weight was upon me.

This weight I couldn’t get rid of, no matter how much I restricted my diet. The only thing I could do with this weight was pack it into a bra that seemed too big for a young girl to even be able to hold and try to cover it with baggy shirts. It was a weight I carried in front of me, 24×7, a weight that caused men to stare, to leer, to make inappropriate comments, comments I didn’t even understand.

This weight was heavier than the extra flesh I’d carried on my hips and stomach. That weight was now gone, replaced with sharp bones and flatness. This weight made the boys at school drool, be nice to me one day then jeering the next. This weight confused me. This weight made me hide.

I have never been at peace in my body.

I have said and done horrible things to myself to try and tame the weight. All of it. The weight at my hips and stomach, the weight on my chest. I’ve gone up and down, restricted food, told myself it didn’t matter and eaten everything. I’ve worn loose clothing to hide, this clothing making me look bigger than I was. I’ve worn tight clothing but the tight always meant walking with my eyes down, because tight clothing brings eyes, and mine couldn’t meet them. I’d never understood the women who can own their weight. I’d tried. I’d marvel over women who had the weight—hips and stomach OR chest—and who exposed it, unabashedly, joyfully, sexually. Humanly. Exposing never seemed normal for me.

As I sit writing this, the liquid emotion is once again making its way down my cheeks as I think of all the time spent wasted. All the times my heart would begin to inch its way into my ears, drowning out everything because it was beating so hard as I walked through life with something on that was drawing looks, eyes down, feeling the stares, hearing the comments and scared that looking up, owning my body would invite something horrible. An invitation, a touch, violence.

I’m almost 44 and for the first time in my life, I am starting to feel lighter. The weight is still there, in fact, there’s more of it now.

A new inch or so on my hips, some new heft in my stomach. The weight of my chest all these years has bent my back, my shoulders slouch forward, shielding, hiding. My shoulders have permanent divots in them from a lifetime of bras. But now I’m working to straighten. To wear what makes me feel good, even if it proves my womanhood. To meet eyes, with kindness until they demonstrate they’re not worthy of my kindness and then I meet them with strength. I am working to make food my friend, not an enemy to be fought against at every meal.

Forty-four. That’s almost 32 years of hiding, fighting, fearing. I no longer want to live in fear and I no longer want to hide. I want to be seen, not for my weight or my clothes but for what I bring to the world through who I am inside.

I’m trying to raise young men who will meet eyes with kindness, who will appreciate beauty for more than what it can do for them. Who will understand beauty is so much more than flesh.

I’ve been heavy almost my whole life, but it hasn’t been because of my weight.

It’s the heaviness of being a woman, of not understanding the power I owned, of not valuing my space in this world. It’s the heaviness of carrying my fear. Fear of being seen and looking up.

I’m looking up now. I’m not scared.

I’m finally losing the weight, even as I gain some pounds. And that makes me happy.

You may also like:

Hey Moms, Lose the Weight

As Mothers, We Carry the Weight

Why I Stopped Criticizing My Body in Front of My Daughter

Heather LeRoss

Heather LeRoss is the mom to two smelly but sweet boys and step-mom to another boy (he’s less smelly). She spends her days spinning in circles of crazy wearing a tiara, gripping a glass of champagne. Heather is a lover of fine boxed wine and chocolate. She hopes to someday be known as “Heather” again and not, “those boys’ mom.” Follow the funny and heart feels on Tipsy Tiaras and on Facebook.

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

Witch, Please! Hocus Pocus 2 Release Date Means the Sanderson Sisters Countdown Is ON

In: Living
Bette Middler in Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+

“Lock up your children!” screeches Winifred Sanderson (played by Bette Midler) in the teaser trailer for Disney’s long-awaited Hocus Pocus 2 movie. But I say, “Mark your calendars!” Disney revealed the release date for this much-anticipated sequel and I’m happy to report that the Sanderson sisters will be flying above Salem and to your Disney+ stream on September 30th! The countdown is ON! Check out the trailer and get excited! But first, a confession:  I have to be honest, I was 16 when the original Hocus Pocus came out, but for some reason I never saw it until I was...

Keep Reading

Good Dads Make Great Grandpas

In: Grown Children, Living
Grandpa walking with two grandsons, color photo

This is not only written for my dad, but for all the dads out there who aren’t the typical, everyday dads. The hands-on dad, the dad who goes on bike rides, the dad who watches his grandbabies. The dad who creates a legacy whether he realizes it or not. The world needs more of you.  It’s not every day you get a dad who enters a diaper changing contest and comes in second place. Yes, that happened to my dad. He would take me up to the local mall to walk around and one of the stores was holding a...

Keep Reading

Dear Friend, I Don’t Want To Lose You

In: Friendship
Two women smiling, color photo

I’m sorry I don’t text you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t call you like I should. I’m sorry I don’t check in to see how you are. I’m sorry this friendship can feel one-sided at times. I’m sorry I’m so distant. The truth is I’m struggling. I’m struggling with life. I’m struggling with finances. I’m struggling with trying to please everyone and do everything. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it The problem is I try to please everyone—everyone who doesn’t matter. My problem is I’ve gotten so content with our friendship that I know you’ll...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

I Traded My Body for This Full Life

In: Living, Motherhood
Happy family smiling

It was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I was cradling my firstborn child—my rainbow baby—tenderly in my arms as she contentedly nursed. I looked down at this beautiful miracle, unable to mirror her blissful content. Six weeks after the birth, I was still feeling like garbage. Being a first-time mom, I figured the fatigue was par for the course. My other symptoms, however, were suspect. Will I see my daughter grow up? were my thoughts as the streams of grief flowed, pooling on her swaddle. At my medical check-up, I brought my concerns to my doctor...

Keep Reading

The Truth is I’m Drowning

In: Living
Woman with hand on face sad

I find myself sinking. Really disappearing. Everyone around me sees me. They see my smile, my involvement, my willingness to please and participate. No one notices how easily I shift between despair and real tears and conforming to what the situation requires of me. Sometimes this shift happens within the matter of minutes.  Not waving, but drowning. I’m on a weight loss journey. The scale told me I am down just over four pounds. And I feel really good about that. I know I have another 15 to 20 to go, but I am four down. I made a promise...

Keep Reading

Older Kids with Special Needs Can Get Overlooked, and it’s Lonely

In: Living, Motherhood
Two hands held together next to a wheelchair, black-and-white photo

Middle school is tough. I have three girls—two of them now teenagers—so I know firsthand how tween insecurities can quickly spiral into friend drama and subtle bullying. I’ve watched my girls get left out and left behind, and we’ve had lots and lots of talks about what it means to be a good friend. And as much as I want to tell you it doesn’t hit differently with my third daughter, I can’t. Because it does. When your tween daughter is in a wheelchair and has endured—and is still enduring—health and physical challenges that would destroy an adult, a mama’s...

Keep Reading

Not All Friendships Are Meant for Forever

In: Friendship
Sad woman looking at phone

There are friends for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. When we embark on a friendship, we have high hopes that those beginning seeds will blossom into forever. But the time and nurturing required of that kind of friendship is reserved for a few, special people who mesh into our souls and lives seamlessly year after year. There are reasons friendships are short-lived, and those are often obvious. Maybe it was to fulfill a need for you—whether physically or emotionally. These relationships are short, usually sweet, and the ending comes as swiftly as it began.  RELATED: Our Friendship Was...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime