3 Lies We Believe About Our Bodies
I think you will all agree with me when I say, body image is one of the biggest things moms these day struggle with. After I had my daughter I was surprised at just how much I struggled with my image now that I had crossed over from maidenhood to motherhood. It was hard to put in words and confusing for me, not something women generally talked about or shared. Weight seemed to be a taboo subject. No one wanted to admit they wrestled with insecurity. Everyone seemed to portray the confidant, put-together mother they believed they were expected to be.
My Search to Understand
In my quest to understand this new body I had acquired, I watched a short video. A young woman with curves and twin boys. She talked about how our bodies make a change from maidenhood to motherhood when we birth children. Unfortunately, our society insists we try to reverse the process and hang onto maidenhood as long as we possibly can. For what felt like the first time, I was watching a beautiful woman celebrate her body as a mama AND put words to pressures I felt but couldn’t name. At the end of the video the interviewer asked what her favorite part of her body was.
Her answer surprised me.
This curvy woman chose her arms. Not sculpted, perfectly fit and toned arms but arms that looked just like mine. And do you know why she chose her arms? She said it was because they were strong mama arms. Arms that had carried two boys, one of them through cancer. Arms that represented how strong she was as a woman, a wife, a mother. I’ve thought a lot about her comments.
They changed me.
They began a shift deep within me to look at my body and instead of finding the flaws, to find the things that make me beautiful.
So I want to say something here. I’m not going to preach and I’m not going to get on my soap box. (At least I’m going to give it my best shot.) It’s time we mamas reclaim our bodies. There is so much to love about who we are and I’m not just talking about the things we are gifted at or the things we accomplish (though we should definitely still celebrate those too). I understand this is difficult. Especially when it’s swimsuit season or your expected to find a pair of denim that fits in all the right places without being too baggy or making you look as though you are stuck in the 80s (those are really high expectations!!). I also understand it’s hard to remember to love ourselves when we buy into the lie surrounding us that motherhood is something to be ashamed of.
This post isn’t going to erase years of body shaming but hopefully it does inspire you to begin to see yourself a little differently and, like me, begin a shift towards a new way of thinking.
To do that, we need to put words to three of the biggest lies I think we mamas believe.
3 Lies We Believe About Our Bodies
“Life will be better/easier once I lose weight”
“If I accept how I look, at the size I am, I will never be motivated to lose weight.”
“I am not sexy at the size I am.”
Now that we’ve identified the lies we so easily believe I want you to do 2 things.
Find a girlfriend you love and trust. Ask her to name one PHYSICAL thing about you that she loves and finds beautiful and why she finds it beautiful. Write it down and for a week, read it out loud to yourself each morning.
Do something off your bucket list. (Don’t have a bucket list, stay tuned, I’ll help you see why it’s so important and help you write one!!) Stop waiting for life to get better/easier until you’ve lost the weight. You deserve happiness now and it’s attainable!! Understand, believing life will be different once you lose weight is a total LIE. Life will still be difficult, complicated and messy. And there will always be something you’ll want to change. Stop striving and find the beauty in each day. We are on this earth far too short a time to suddenly find ourselves looking back with regret that we never took that Zumba class, learned a foreign language, stayed overnight in a tree-house, whatever. (Whew. I’m done. Almost stepped on that soap box though…)
Ladies, our daughters and sons are watching us. And if I would never verbalize one of those lies to my daughter, then why would I want to train her mind, through the choices I make, to think them? Mamas, we need to learn to love ourselves so we are fully equipped to love our little ones.
So, what is my favorite thing about my body? My legs. Because with them I’ve adventured all over the world. I’m proud of the stories my legs tell. Stories about the people I’ve met and the things I’ve been able to do. How about you? What’s your favorite body part and why? Let me know in the comments!! I’d love to hear from you.