The prompt: Write about a time you found yourself comparing yourself, unfavorably, with someone else. We want you to focus on the emotions involved and the outcome of your comparison, using 400 words.
This is me. This is what I look like. This is my size, my face, my hair. And it's enough. Spending time comparing any part of me to any part of someone else wastes my time. I have three kids, a husband and a home. I have plenty of other things to keep myself busy. I have plenty of people around me who don't care that I'm no super model.
This holds true for most times. The one exception: pregnancy. I'm already feeling out of sorts. Like something has taken over my body. That's because something HAS taken over my body. And that something caused growth in areas that I'd prefer to have no growth. Then I see the super models and actresses on tv and online who seem to have the perfect bellies. Like little basketballs tucked underneath their adorable, impossibly expensive maternity clothes. There's no swelling. No kankles. No extra weight gain.
The further along in the pregnancy I go the further along in jealousies I go. My belly eventually outgrows the maternity clothes and I spend the last two months tugging my shirts down and my pants up. You don't see the celebrities walking around trying to hold their pants up. The more I try to fit into my clothes the more embarrassed and angry I become.
The comparisons begin there but don't end there.
The comparisons get worse.
After the precious baby is here my body still doesn't seem my own and there's little I can do about it until I've healed. But, somehow, these same perfectly pregnant women return to their same perfect pre-baby bodies in just a few weeks.
Once again I walk around trying to fit into my clothes. I try to hide the belly that is still too large. I'm still embarrassed and prefer staying home as much as possible.
I wish this had a happy ending. A "but I learned my lesson the first time, so the next two pregnancies went without jealousy" ending. Sorry... that's just not the truth. It's not as if the comparisons cause major emotional and mental stress. It's as if teenage angst and insecurities rule my life until my body goes back to being mine and looking like its normal self.
So maybe there is happy ending. Pregnancy isn't forever and I do eventually get back to looking like myself. The first paragraph eventually holds true again. It just takes some time to get back to that place. And I like that place very, very much.