Yesterday I read an incredible blog post ( http://revolutionfromhome.com/2013/06/why-the-world-needs-to-see-our-stretch-marks-this-summer/)that kinda slapped me in the face about my body image issues. It challenged us as women, and moms in particular not to just accept our bodies (and the changes that come for most of us by having babies) but to love them. To celebrate where we are and what along the journey has brought us here.
For me, this acceptance vs love thing hit home. You see, I have this complex, where, except in the case of Scott, Lexi, Mike, Kelly, and some people from church (who I know love me very much), I feel like most people in my life accept me. They don’t hate me, they tolerate me, on a good day they enjoy my company. Now, I’m not saying that’s true, it’s just an insecurity/self worth thing, and I’m working on it. But I am intimately familiar with the difference between being loved and accepted. This is a change I need to make in how I view myself. Especially because some days I don’t even accept me.
I need to make this change now. Right now, because I do not want to pass this on to Lexi. I want her to love herself and her body and learn how strong and beautiful it is and how to take good care of it. I don’t want her to compare herself to others and feel like a failure for not measuring up-at least as far as I can prevent it, I know everyone struggles to a point with this.
So, the first step is this: deciding to make a change. Deciding to believe the things that inspire me, like “Strong is the new skinny” and yes, push myself to be stronger, better, able to work harder-but for the purpose of being the best me, not to be as model thin and “perfect” looking as my little sister (who doesn’t have an endocrine disorder, has not carried a child, and doesn’t have one to take care of 24/7). If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about me. Please help me with my self talk.
Step 2 is to remove the things that are discouraging me. One major way I can do this is to get rid of some clothes. I have many clothes in many sizes, “for when I can fit them” or in the case of the ones that are too big “in case I need them”, which, in both cases is kind of self defeating. Keeping the larger clothes shows that part of me expects failure, and the smaller ones are just unfair. I don’t know what my body is gonna look like at a size 8, but I’m fairly certain the jeans I wore when I was 17 are not gonna be the same ones I wear at 31. I have curves now! So, what I think I’ll do, is go through my closet and pare down, with the intention of buying smaller clothes as I fit them. I may keep a few favorite items, but only if they are realistic. No more mental torture from clothes. One thing I learned while pregnant: so much better to have a small wardrobe that I feel great in than a huge one that makes me depressed. 🙂