Motherhood has brought so many wonderful and challenging changes to my life. I have grown as a person as a mother. A lot of the changes are beautiful. I’m protective and loving. I take baths more often to relax. I love to spend time out in nature even more now that I can see my son enjoy it. I’ve learned how to forgive faster. My heart has grown larger. A few changes are not as fun. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, obviously, but there are so many amazing things to find between the challenges, hair pulling, and deep, shaky breaths.
There’s one major change that has taken a bit longer to accept, though. It’s one I’m trying to shift focus on as I work on myself. It’s something I hear a lot of moms talk about, too.
On the positive side, my body has been through a lot. It grew a human being, which is pretty rad. It also survived a risky c-section at Dartmouth. It has gone through the yo-yo of strength vs neglect. It has experienced hurt, and loss, and illness. And it’s still here.
The side I’m trying so hard to handle, though, is the change in shape. There are certain areas that don’t defy gravity as well as they used to. My stomach hasn’t been the same. I’ll be the first to admit that accepting these things, while working on a healthier self, has been hard. I go through phases of whole foods and daily exercise and/ or yoga, and complete and utter self neglect and vegan-junk-food, while I push to take care of others. During the self neglect, I become more tired, more moody, and less happy overall.
I’m working to change that, for good, but I know now that I can’t wait for my ideal body before I love who I am again. I need to, in fact, do the complete opposite. In order to work towards optimal health, I need to show myself love. I need to nourish my body with foods that will improve, not hinder my health. I need to open up the flood of endorphins and strength from exercise. I need to let my body heal with baths and massage. I need to love my mind, body, and soul if I’m going to heal.
Of course, we are more than our bodies, but when you have a long history on the subject, body changes can be hard to ignore.
I am not in my ideal body.
But I can still find little moments where I feel sexy. It isn’t easy to capture in an image, because I’m setting timers in my living room, with very little control over angles. I run back and forth, re-setting the timer and getting back into position. Yes, I should buy a remote, but for now- this is what I do. And here it is, a single image that makes me feel incredible.
I am not in my ideal body, but I can still feel beautiful.
PS: Moms, I challenge you today to look in the mirror and point out what you love. Ignore the urge to look at what You’d like to fix, and stare at the parts of your body that make you smile. Go a step further and comment below with ONE thing you LOVE about yourself!