Truthfully, I was never uncomfortable in my own body until I realized that it made other people uncomfortable. Until I was told that I should feel uncomfortable in it. Let me tell you, having that realization as a child is heartbreaking. After having spent so many years feeling ashamed, hiding every jiggle and every roll behind baggy clothes, and just not feeling like I could be myself in my own skin–I took back my body. Deciding to become more body positive was one of the best decisions that I could have ever made for myself and for my family.
Learning to love your body again can seem super overwhelming and takes time and effort. But, you know what helped me learn to love my body more than I thought was possible? Pregnancy. That’s right, pregnancy. Having a big round belly, new stretch marks, even more cellulite, and the dreaded sagging breasts. Having such a strong connection to my children for 9 months, just the two of us. That is when I truly feel my most beautiful…no matter my size.
Both of my pregnancies have made me appreciate the hell out of my body, and I am always so in awe of it and what it’s capable of during pregnancy. All women need to realize how exceptional they are–our bodies literally grow human beings. We are stretched and pulled to the absolute limits, and our bodies are able to just bounce back. That is something to be so, so proud of. We are amazing!
It took me a while to realize that, especially during every doctor visit when I would see my weight go up a pound or two pounds, and I’ve never been one to shy away from talking about how hard pregnancy is on me. I will even make a joke or two about how my body “rejects” it, but once I start to level out (usually the last month or so–lol), I feel like a goddess. Sure, I can barely find a comfortable position when I’m sleeping, I get up every 5 minutes to pee, and I am a habitual user of “vagina ice”, but I am a baby making goddess damnit. You can’t tell me nothin’.
While my body most definitely isn’t everyone’s idea of perfect, it’s mine. Heck, some times it’s not mine and I think about losing a little weight here and gaining a little there (my butt..lol). We have to learn to be comfortable and accepting of our bodies because they are the only place that we have to live. I am so glad that, in my adulthood, I have learned to love myself again.
- My plus sized body has its imperfections, but it’s mine.
- My plus sized body is beautiful.
- My plus sized body is sexy.
- My plus sized body is strong.
- my plus sized body is capable.
- my plus sized body can create, grow, and nurture life. And it has, twice now.
All this to say that: We all just need to find what it is that makes us love and appreciate our bodies. For me, it’s pregnancy. For you, it may be something completely different. The important thing here is that we are all learning to grow more in love with our bodies, especially as we get older, because we don’t get another one.
The importance of having a partner who supports you is imperative here, too. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has picked me up from a low point, brushed me off, and reminded me how much I mean to him. If I could bottle the confidence that he gives me, some times without even realizing it, I would. And I’d give it to everyone. He has made me feel beautiful when I’ve felt my absolute worst, my ugliest, my fattest. Never once has he made me feel like I need to change or like I’m any less, and he has been such a big support for me during this self-love journey. It makes me so happy to know that my children, especially my daughter, will grow up seeing this strong man who loves his imperfect wife unconditionally.
Of course, my hope is that neither of my children ever have any body image issues. I realize that there’s a good chance they will, especially with society being as hypercritical as they are of everything these days. However, I promise to show them how to practice self-love, and how to speak kindness into others. So that not only do they grow up loving themselves, but they’re never the reason someone doesn’t love themselves.