I originally had written the following post as a contest submission a few years ago, and while cleaning out my computer found it. I wanted to post it for you all to read.
I told myself when I decided to sit down and write this that I would be honest……..not only with myself but my readers as well. I’ve always struggled with my body image and self-esteem. Seeing my body as something beautiful has always been a difficult thing for me. I’ve always been short, had big legs that were mismatched from my body and I’ve always been kind of awkward. After having children that struggle has become more of a battle, a war within myself. I have yet to lose a lot of my pregnancy weight, in fact I’ve put some weight on. Mostly in part because I’ve created such an elaborate love affair with food and also because in some ways I’ve given up. I look in the mirror and see a disfigured belly from the three different times it’s stretched and un-stretched, breasts that sag due to breastfeeding and that space between my thighs that used to be somewhat cute and never touched, now it does. Oh, and how did I forget the stretchmarks that seem to cover all the parts of my body that are supposed to be beautiful. Sitting here, writing this is difficult but I need to do this for me……….and for her. My sons have a strong, confident role model in their lives, I want to be that for her. I don’t want her to grow up and look up to the 95 pound pop star, I want her to look up to me. I want to be the strong, influential woman in her life. Even if I never fully regain my pre-children figure, I want to love my body, for once feel beautiful in it. It has sheltered, birthed and nurtured three wonderful kids and the stretchmarks and weight are testimony to the lives it has created. I want my daughter to know that no matter what her body looks like, that she is beautiful and that she will be strong and I want her to learn that from me.
Since this was written, my body has gone through another baby but I am not as self conscious about my postpartum body. I’ve been working out and taking care of my body better giving me just that much more self esteem.