Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's OK to Love Your Body

My back hurts. I have a pumpkin sized belly leading me everywhere I go, pulling my back into a constant arch and throwing me off balance. But you know what? I still love my body. Most days I hear several comments about the size of my belly. Some of them are said nicely and some are flat out rude. But you know what? I think my belly is beautiful.

Having to listen to constant comments about how "big" my belly is gets old of course. Some days all the comments add up and I go home and have a good cry. Other days I feel angry and want to lash out at these people and throw an insult back at them. But then I remember that first, I'm an emotional wreck right now, and second, it's how I interpret the comments that's the problem, not the comments themselves. (Although you should keep your big, fat mouth shut about size when you're talking to a pregnant woman.) Instead of being offended, I'm trying to interpret the comments in a positive light. I keep reminding myself that my big belly is an amazing thing. It's totally incredible that my belly can stretch to this size and then go back to where it was. Even more amazing is how incredibly out of shape I can feel right now, where just climbing a few flights of stairs puts me out of breath, but 8 months ago I was able to run 7 miles. And in the next 8 months, I'll probably be running that far again.

Being pregnant makes me think about my body constantly. It's quite irritating actually, it's such a physical experience it's hard to think about much else some days. But the good thing about this is I keep thinking about how to love my body instead of hate it. Earlier this year, I finished a book called Bodylove. I actually bought the book from a nutritionist about 6 years ago but never finished it. Every so often I would pick it up and read a chapter but was unable to complete the exercises because I couldn't make myself feel ok about my body. Some of the things I'd read sat in the back of my mind for several years though and I made some incredible progress. Once I finally read the entire book, I was able to finish the journey to truly loving my body.

In the years after Sebastian was born, I lost all the baby weight plus 20 pounds. So when I read the book this year, I kept questioning if I really loved my body, or I just loved my body now. When I had those extra 20 pounds on me, I hated myself. I was unable to look in the mirror and think a positive thought. When Sebastian was about 4 months old I started exercising a lot more than I had in years. At first I only lost the last 5 pounds of baby weight. But then I started to feel good. I felt strong and healthy and I quit weighing myself. That's when I was able to mentally work on caring about my body. When the number wasn't important anymore, it was how I felt. When I remember this period of time, I realize that I truly had started to love my body for what it was. The more I was able to change my mental picture of what it meant to be healthy, the healthier I became. My diet changed drastically over the next couple of years and I continued to increase my exercise. Then it was not about how much I weighed, it was about how good I felt.

Now with 27 pounds of baby, blood, fluid, fat, boobs, etc. on my body I can honestly say that I do love my body for what it is, right now even. I dislike being pregnant, I'm totally uncomfortable and I can't wait to be running again. But I love my body for what it's able to do. And I don't care what I weigh or how I look when it's all over, I just want to feel healthy again. So remember, it doesn't matter if you're small, medium, large, or extra large, learning how to love your body is the first step to truly being healthy. If you can love your body for where it's at, right now, then you can change it into what you want it to be. All you need is love. :)



P.S. I also recommend a book called Intuitive Eating. This one also took years of simmering in my mind to completely figure out, but it really did help.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. It reminds me of another blog I follow Espresso and Cream. She would post no fat talk Tuesdays and it would basically go into what you have. You weren't happy with you body and you learned to love it. Great read.

    http://sparklesandlattes.blogspot.com

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