Can we talk body image?
I’m not a twig. I won’t ever be. I’m curvy, wavy, lumpy, fluffy. Whatever you want to call it, it’s not so straight. But I’m also not one of those women who is in love with her fat. You will not find my celebrating the excess around my middle or the shape of my thighs. I can celebrate the shape of my body, celebrate that I am in fact a woman and shaped like a woman. It’s just so easy to be unsatisfied with what I see in the mirror.
Wearing actual clothes this month has made me think of my body more than ever before. The way clothes fit or fall. My waistline and hemlines and necklines. Focusing on my clothes makes me look at what’s underneath in a different way.
Earlier this week, I saw a photo of myself from almost four years ago. At the time, I was nursing Julia, she was 7 months old, and I was the new mother who poured every second of myself into her. My hair was in a pony tail. I had bags under my eyes. I was smiling. But what I noticed in the photo was my round face. My full-moon face. Wide cheeks. I don’t think I’d lost an ounce of baby weight at that point. I lumbered. I was uncomfortable in my skin and clothes.
I’ve lost. 50 some odd pounds since then. It was all my baby weight, and then some. My body has changed. Everything is longer. I won’t say lean, yet, but I’m leaner. I’ve changed my eating habits. I’m (mostly) gluten free. Started exercising more. I’m making myself a priority.
But this month, I realize that I’ve gained more than I’ve lost. I’ve gained strength. I’ve regained some of myself. I’ve gained some self confidence back that I’d lost somewhere as my weight went up and my me time went down. And when I get dressed in the mornings, yes this means I have more options. All those clothes that didn’t fit before I look good in now. Some are loose even.
Here’s what I know. My body is far from perfect. I wear battle scars from surgery and stretch marks from pregnancy. When I wave, my upper arms wave too. I have a more than a muffin top. And I know have more weight to loose to be fully healthy.
I’m not a twig. I won’t ever be. But somewhere in the middle of all that I don’t love about my body, I can see it in a different way too. I can celebrate how far it’s come. How much it has done for me. And enjoy the challenge of how far I have yet to go.
And in the meantime, I’ll enjoy wearing my clothes.