Body image is something I know a lot of women struggle with, myself included. I have always been a little chubbier, maybe since I was around age 8 or 9. I used to look at other girls bodies and just wonder what it would be like to be thin, to have attention from boys, to be able to wear a bikini with confidence…to just be able to feel comfortable with what I was wearing and not leave the department store in tears becasue nothing fit me.
I hated my body. My arms were too flabby, my stomach was not flat, my thighs touched. I’d lose 20 pounds and gain it all back, and then some. i have always been active, although I have always been kinda lazy as well. When I was 20 I finished P90X and I had a whole new sense of accomplishment and confidence about me, I had a more toned body, I definitely did not have a six pack, but I wasn’t dieting, either. I lost about 30 pounds and went from a size 14 to a size 8 and, overall, I was happy with myself on the outside.
I still didn’t love myself, though. I was miserable in the inside, allowing myself to be used over and over again, I was a mess. I had this new body and with it came many new experiences that were not necessarially something to be praised. It was a learning expierence, though, and I know I am a stronger person now becasue I overcame that negative time in my life. Then I met my husband. I definitely don’t blame him for gaining my weight back, but it was definitely a contributing factor, I mean you get comfortable, it happens.
I had (have) an awesome man who loved me, loved my body just the way it was, and yet, I still didn’t love myself.
We got married and had a honeymoon baby. YAY! I gained over 50 pounds during my pregnancy, but I have managed to lose it all in about 9 months, which I would like to contribute to breastfeeding. :)
It has taken me a while, but I have learned to love myslef and my body, every bumb, every curve, every imperfection. When I sit and think about all there is to love about myself and my body, the imperfections don’t matter anymore. That’s not to say I want to stay bumpy and lumpy forever, but it just means that I can see past those, see who I really am, see my value and worth and know that those things can change. I will never be perfect, at least not on this Earth, but I can strive to be better.
I want to be the type of mom who is out making memories with her children, not sitting on the sidelines wishing I could keep up. I want to teach my children about what it is to love your body and what it is to have a healthy body image. I want to teach my children how to eat healthy and yet, it’s okay to have other types of food that aren’t so healthy, yet, in moderation. I want to teach my children that there is more to life than what you look like on the outside. That having the perfect body won’t make someone fall in love with you. That looks fade but your true beauty shines through when you put others before yourself.
I love my body because it is strong. It has helped me to hike mountains, climb ridiculous rock walls, and even run for miles. I love my body because it grew and gave birth to my precious baby. My tummy may have stretch marks now, but it’s still beautiful to me. I love my arms that are able to embrace my family and friends. I love my legs (thighs touching and all) because without them I wouldin’t be able to dance or swim or hike or walk with my son. I love my body.
Every monring, my 13 month old son sits up on his knees, lifts up my shirt, and blows raspberries on my tummy, followed by slobbery kisses. How can I deny the love of a child? How can I hate so much what he loves? Same with my husband. It isn’t fair to him when he loves me and the body I am in so much when all I do is complain about how much I hate it. Two of the most important people in my life love me the way I am. Every bump, every curve, and every imperfection.
So why shouldn’t I?