Ever since, oh...probably a few months after my son was born, but especially last summer, my MIL, and mom, have been on me about gaining weight. They essentially think that in breastfeeding my son, it's sucking nutrients out of me and I need to eat more. I eat when I'm hungry. Same as I did when pregnant, same as I did before I got pregnant. I've never been a big person; I've always been slender, and very lightweight. In 5th grade I maxed out at 55 lbs, I was the lightest of everyone in my class, beside a little boy who weighed around the same as I. But in gym class, I had the strongest arm muscles out of everyone, due to climbing trees every day. In high school I maxed out at 112 lbs. I'm 5'2", been that way since high school, haven't changed. I am 16 lbs lighter now than I was before I got pregnant, and gained 30 lbs during pregnancy. I am not bothered by my weight. I do not think I'm underweight like my mom and MIL have been pressuring me into believing, but my MIL's words have been irritating me. I know she means well, but she won't believe me when I say I'm fine. I have strength, I have energy, I sleep well. Numbers on a scale mean nothing to me, I go entirely off of how the person is feeling. Everyone has their unique weight.. and this is mine.
Last summer when my mom and MIL saw me in a bathing suit, I got hounded. "Your legs are sticks!" "I can count every rib you have!" "Your hips are poking out!" "I can feel/count every single one of your vertebrae if I run my fingers down your back!"
I do not believe my legs have gotten either thicker, or thinner, since high school. As far as my hips go, which are, yes, more defined now that I've given birth, to that I say......I've given birth. They got wider. My son pushed them apart like the gates of heaven in order to get out, lol. It's got nothing to do with me being underweight, but the rest of body just hasn't filled them out. As far as my ribs go, she's speaking of my ribs easily seen on my chest. I'm not sure if it's some sort of lack of collagen(although I'd think I'm too young for it..), mixed with weighed-down breasts from breastfeeding stretching the skin over them, but they got less visible when I put a bra on which pushed them up together a bit. They're still noticeable, though.
Anyway. My MIL told me back around Thanksgiving that if I don't gain a few pounds during Thanksgiving and Christmas, she's going to do something akin to force-feeding me. She hasn't said anything to me since the last time she brought it up, in which I told her, "Look, I appreciate your concern, really... but the only thing different about my body are my hips from giving birth. I eat well, and have lots of energy. Trust me, I am fine."
Honestly, I think what's going on is this: Neither of them breastfed. My mom was forced to bottle-feed me, because I was born via C-Section, and she was in so much pain that baby-me on her belly when she tried to nurse me was brutally painful, and she never figured out side-lay nursing. As far as my dad joining in with my mom, HIS mom only nursed her kids until they were 6 months old. My MIL tried to breastfeed her son, but after his circumcision, he refused to nurse. My son is going on 2 years old, and still nursing frequently. I think the concept of this is so ....abnormal in this culture, that they mentally think he should be weaned from my breasts completely, and taking in all his nutrients through solids and liquids. This leads to them seeing me as underweight. My MIL pretty much had a spaz attack when I told her I have no intentions of weaning my son based on my timing, and that babies can wean anywhere from 3 years to 7 years at the latest(according to a biological study I read in which the researcher likened the natural weaning age of human infants, to those of chimpanzee infants, and that 7 years old was the latest age at which either could wean. Dunno if this is technically true, but I said it as a roundabout range.
Another theory of mine as to what's causing them to think I'm underweight is perhaps that my hair is now short. I cut it short two years ago in November, and it sort of seems like after that was when they really started hounding me about my weight. Before that, I had long hair...for YEARS. Ever since my mom stopped dictating the length of my hair as a child it had been long. Perhaps short hair makes me look underweight? I know style/length can seriously affect the age a person looks. I'm in the process of growing my hair out, probably out to be a little longer than my chin, not strictly to see if this was the root cause of their beliefs, but because I'm looking for a change in my hair. How it will effect how they see the state of my body is just a bonus.
This is what I think their problem is. Has ANYONE confronted something like this from their families?