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How I Learned to Love My Body

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

“You Look Like a Runner.” They'd say...

Yeah, like a groundhog being chased by a broomstick... wobbly & out of breath with the innate urge to dive into a hole & disappear as quickly as possible. If that’s what that statement means then yes, I am definitely a runner! But if you were going for sleek & ultra fit then that’s not quite descriptive of this postpartum body.

Photo by Heather Hurt Photography

My youngest son, Solomon, is in the range of 12 wks old right now. I’ve honestly lost count at this point, but if you’d like to know how many times I’ve scrubbed pee off the floor, rugs, car seats, random places I walk and inadvertently “puddle jump” in, I’d be happy to tell you...oh, potty training. It’s so sweet, but I digress...

So back to the groundhog. You know, a few years ago I stood looking in the mirror at a very different postpartum body. I was overweight, dimpled, and I felt unrecognizable. I was actually so embarrassed by my weight gain through pregnancy with my first that I avoided seeing many people I knew when I’d go back to my hometown. People had always commented on how “skinny” I was, and honestly it had become my identity.

“If I can stay skinny then people will love me, and if I can’t then they will leave me.”

It was as sure as truth in my mind. I remember saying it with absolutely conviction as a counselor asked me about my beliefs about my body.

Now, I know now that that is a lie, but it was a defining belief in my mind for YEARS. So defining in fact that growing up I had an eating disorder that I lived in denial of, just bypassing my need to eat by ignoring my body’s signs of hunger. That’s what led me to the floor, crumpled over, shaking involuntarily with mass anxiety as my body plummeted into a perpetual state of blood sugar crisis. Late for work, I grabbed my sandwich & force fed myself as I cautiously drove to work another 12hr night shift.

I’ve learned over the years? My value has no correlation to my size. I’ve got a jeans draw full of all my phases of pants- my postpartum immediately after baby size, the transition between, my slim and not yet pregnant, then back to pregnancy and sizing up again. It’s normal. It’s a big drawer. 😉 But I have favorite pairs of jeans in all my categories that I look forward to wearing in each phase. Yes, even the sizing up!

I now believe that “I’ve been bigger & I’ve been smaller, but I have NEVER been more beautiful.”

I learned that phrase in the mirror that day 4 years ago as I looked on at myself in postpartum recovery after my firstborn, sixty pounds heavier. I’m thankful for those pounds and for my body, because I learned such a powerful lesson. I wrestled with shame for months 🤼‍♀️until I pinned it down- “1...2...3! We have a winner!” Many hours of counseling, soul healing, and intentional re-discovery of my true value brought me to this precious confidence.

I am not a size, and neither are you.

You are a magical human being with a soul so rich and so beautiful that people when they get to know you will see and love you for who you are. I have stories of rejection. We all do. But friend, please let’s fight SELF rejection. I have battled and overcome it. I now smile as things look different in my body than in years passed. Back in the days when people used to say “You look like a Runner.” 🏃‍♀️ And I just smile and remind myself...

“I have been bigger & I have been smaller, but I have never been more beautiful.” Take that phrase & run with it. Write it on a postcard and tell yourself in the mirror everyday until it becomes your mantra.

This is not pep talk. It’s transformational thinking!

If you want to find love for yourself in all your phases, break free from shame, and live in emotional victory then you need to take my class Victory on the Emotional Journey! It will change your life.

#postpartumbody #postpartumfitness #mombody #postpartumdepression #selflove

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