Monday, July 22, 2013

I love my body. I love my body. I love my body.

I've fallen into the trap of admiring photo shopped celebrity bodies and the unreachable standard that they've set many times over the years. I've silently and not-so-silently criticized my belly, thighs, arms and breasts over the years. I've reaffirmed my choices to not critique my body out loud in front of my daughter many times, and then slipped back to where I was before - making snide comments about the way I look as effortlessly anything else that I might do.

Lately, I've been told a couple times by my observant and loving husband that I shouldn't talk like that, and how he wishes that my negativity would stop. 

So I've been trying so hard to change my tune.

Here's the synopsis. Since August of 2010, I've gained 70 pounds, lost 75, breastfed for 20 months straight, gained 60 pounds, lost 37 and breastfed for another 3 months so far. I've developed more stretch marks than I could count, more varicose veins than I had before, my hips have widened permanently, my breasts have sagged. My hair has fallen out and returned to a 100% natural color, my skin has wrinkled in expected and unexpected places. My arms have strengthened, my back has weakened. 

And I have two beautiful and healthy children as a result of all of this. I adore them. At this moment, one is snoozing on my chest and the other is sitting next to me, clutching my arm with hers and stroking my skin, which is perfect to her. And I have my body to thank for these two souls.

My body has been at the mercy of child-bearing and baby-raising in the last three years. Clearly I'm still baby-raising, and obviously I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the universe. But it's hard to see yourself in the mirror and not recognize the body that's looking back - even with the major boost of self confidence that carrying and birthing two children has done for me.

So, I've decided it's time for a personal makeover. It's time to reclaim some of my body and to treat it properly. My back injury has gotten worse, and I need to address the root causes and find solutions (and I KNOW exercise is a huge part of the solution). It's time to feel better about the way I look and feel, and it's time to feel strong and capable again. I think my child-bearing days are over, but even if they're not, there's no excuse for waiting anymore. I have time and motivation.

And it starts with how I talk to myself. Lately on our trecks up the hill where we live, while I'm pushing the double stroller and panting for breath, I've been repeating to myself, "I love my body, I love my body, I love my body. I love my hips, they birthed my babies. I love my breasts, they sustain my babies. I love my arms, they carry my babies..." (you get the picture).

It is about the way I look, but so much more than that - it's how I feel about myself and how I treat myself. My body has done amazing things, and I'm going to thank it by getting it back into strong and working shape. I've decided to take a huge leap out of my comfort zone and sign up for my first 5K. The last time I ran a whole mile was probably in elementary school (I am SO not a runner), so this is a big thing for me, but I'm super excited to do something completely new and challenging, while hopefully getting a bit stronger and more fit. 5K, bring it on!
My very first day of 5K training. Hello, gorgeous.
Obligatory "before" shot


  1. Go Mama go! I'm joining in next week!

  2. You're beautiful - honestly, I have always thought that you are one of the most physically (and otherwise, OF COURSE) beautiful women I have ever known. But it's still tough and we still have to fight the fight simply because we change so much over such a short period of time. Shit, having kids is as hard on our bodies as puberty was!

    What 5k are you doing? I'll come run it with you :-)

    For the record, a woman would have to be supernatural NOT to huff and puff up a hill behind a double stroller. I think mine, with both kids, weighs in the neighborhood of 100 lbs, easily. Who, besides a mother, would willingly push 100 lbs up a hill in front of them? I can't run behind that uphill. I always count my blessings that we don't roll backwards. And I live on a hill, so this is often.