Body image is something that I have struggled with my whole life. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware that I was chubbier than other kids I knew, and I have always been uncomfortable with my size.
Looking back at pictures, I can see now that I was a perfectly normal size. However, that body dysmorphia is something that has grown with me, and it remains with me today.
However, I have come quite far in the battle with my body. I no longer have an eating disorder, but the disordered thoughts still run rampant at times. It is something I have learnt to live with over the years and I have trained myself to ignore that nasty whisper in my ear, telling me awful, untrue things about myself and convincing me that weight loss is the answer.
Today, I was changing my clothes with my 3 year old in the room, and as I lifted my top and exposed my stomach he ran over to me and started engaging in some belly-love, much like he did when I was pregnant with his little brother.
Watching him wobble and squish the jelly-like flesh (to a rousing chorus of “Wibbly wobbly belly! Squish squishy tummy!” might I add…) would have reduced me to tears a few years ago. However, today it was endearing. The squishiness reminded me of the amazing things that my body has achieved. Not only did it grow two amazing children, it has sustained them outside of the womb as well.
So no, my stomach is no longer flat and toned like it was when I was 18. It is covered in stretchmarks, and my previously neat and tidy dragon tattoo now intermingles with the silvery lines that snake across my belly. My breasts are no longer pert or firm, and my hips are decidedly wider than they were before my beautiful babies were born. And you know what? It’s all worth it. Every mark, every bump, every lump and every wobble is worth it. My stretchmarks are my badges of honour for growing my beautiful children within my body. My curvy hips are my trophies for pushing them into the world. My voluptuous breasts are my medals for having nourished them. I am proud.
My body is amazing. And so is yours. Mamas, the next time you feel those negative thoughts about your body creep in, cast them aside. Look at your children – remember how much they love you. Remind yourself of how truly awesome your body is for having brought them into the world.
If you could see yourself through their eyes, just for a minute, you’d never worry about the size of your bum ever again.