Thankful Thursday: Body Image

Okay, I’m gonna take a deep breath and say it.

I Like My…Body.

Whew. I said it. And I mean it. This.Is.Big.

I don’t think I’ve ever said that before and meant it. Not once in my entire life. Not post-marathon, not post-triathalon(s), not in Playa when I was the skinniest I’ve been since high school, and not even on my wedding day when I’ve never felt more special. I have finally accepted my body for what it is and I love it.

I realized this the other day when writing out my NYR list. One of the biggest reasons I feel so at peace and balanced right now is all the pressure to be thinner, faster, prettier, or taller is gone. It just vanished.

Seven and half months ago, this was not the case. I was obsessed over the chicken wing flab that peaks out from under my arms and I hated the infamous donut roll that has resided on my mid-section. I was constantly worried about the six extra pounds I was carrying around. I wished my hair was long, wavier, blonder, more brunette, shorter, or anything but what it is. I thought my eyes were too close together and my teeth weren’t white enough. And how come when I smile I get insta-double-chin? What is that? Oh, and my thighs! Puh! I’ve had thunder thighs since I started playing soccer in junior high and I can top those off with a bubble butt.

WOAH.

Isn’t that the worst way possible to look at your own body? Could I be any more negative? I’ve gone over that list of self-imposed woes for years. YEARS. I can’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t point out something that was wrong with me.

Getting pregnant did not solve any of these issues. I have been complaining about my weight gain during my pregnancy as just another item on my long list of terrible things about myself. And I can surely tell you about the physical pangs of being pregnant. However, a little discomfort is to be expected when you’re carrying around 30 (gulp) extra pounds and it’s all parked in one location.

So recently, I vowed to no longer complain about weight or the size of my belly and to embrace the bump. And now, I’m amazed at what my body can do. I’m shocked that I can change shape so dramatically, still be psychically active, and actually feel really pretty. I love that my spouse (who has repeated for years that he likes my body just as it is) wraps his arms around me and rubs my belly and I don’t succumb to an instinctual urge to suck in my gut or flex my muscles.

I love this shape and I especially love my bump because I eat healthfully, I work out, and I’m growing just as nature intended. The ‘Ah-ha!’ moment occurred when I realized that sentence applies to the rest of my life, too. A little over seven months ago, I ate a balanced diet and worked out somewhat religiously. The body I had then was a result of nature and healthy habits. It was no less beautiful and no less functioning (even more functioning when it came to physical strength) than it is today.

So, WOMEN, listen up. Look at yourself and LOVE your body. It can do AMAZING things. Maybe your tummy isn’t as flat as the girl next to you or you’re six inches shorter than the woman that most people describe as beautiful. Maybe you’ll never look like Jennifer Aniston (sigh) and maybe your eyes could be about a quarter-inch further apart. But you need to LOVE every little piece of it.

Because they’re your eyes, they’re a really pretty blue, and they give you sight. Your short stature allows you to stand up and stretch your legs on an airplane even when stuck in the window seat. A little bit of love handle gives you a shape that is uniquely yours. And, most importantly, your body lets you think, love, feel, breath, and touch the world. We should all be thanking the universe, and our mothers, for our bodies – no matter the shape, size or perceived flaws.

Today, I am thankful for my body for the first time ever and I owe it all to a little man I haven’t even met yet.

via Quote Book.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

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11 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday: Body Image

  1. Love it! Loving yourself is so important and so hard to do. Sounds like you are having an awesome pregnancy. You are so lucky and that is an amazing thing!

  2. Stacy….I so appreciate your thoughts and wish I had figured it out at your stage in life….at 56, I am beginning to understand!!! Bless you my beautiful friend!!!

  3. I have never had “the perfect” figure. In fact, in high school and beyond, whenever I would see you around town, I was slightly envious of your slim figure and gorgeous hair, Stacey.

    After I moved away from Cheyenne, I saw some of these beautiful United States we live in, and realized that there are beautiful people everywhere, and I am one of them, and though I am by no means the MOST beautiful, I no longer feel “lesser than” the skinny chick, who turns out to have just as many hang ups as this short and curvy gal.

    Pregnancy was no less amazing for me, Stacey. I was constantly rubbing my belly and loving the little girl growing inside of me. I didn’t care so much about the couple of stretch marks I was getting, and my husband loved my (ridiculously large and perky) boobs. I wasn’t complaining, even when I literally had to roll out of bed every morning!

    And now, thanks to nursing for 7 months so far, I have dropped more than I gained during pregnancy, and even though (according to medical and industry “standards”) I am still slightly overweight, I love my body more than ever. I love that I am capable of feeding the child that grew inside of me for those long months. I love that I make a food (without any effort, might I add) that is more perfect than anything any scientist can create.

    I am no longer jealous of those who look great in tube tops and have 2% body fat. God made me exactly as I am. I am a mother, I am a wife, and I have two people who depend on my body — and for many reasons. I love being me. I feel beautiful, outside and in, and no one can destroy my self image, myself included.

    Pregnancy looks amazing on you, by the way, Stacey. Much love. :)

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