Recently, I caught a glimpse of my naked body in the mirror. The c-section scar from the birth of my son two years ago is fading, but the softness of age and motherhood hangs heavy. This reflection is one I often avoid confronting, as most women I know often do.
Recently, I’ve started to understand that this body, regardless of weight or shape, has made me feel both strong and weak. This body has allowed me to be a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and a friend. And the people that love me most in life love me for a whole lot more than what I look like in the mirror.
Recently, I have realized that this body, regardless of weight and shape, has been with me through 35 years of life. This body has carried me through childhood without a single broken bone or hospital visit. It has stayed with me when I fueled it with a college diet of beer, pizza, and all things cheap. This body has carried me across the finish line of a half marathon, but also been overcome with laziness and fatigue. It has been through fertility treatments, miscarriage and 8 months of pregnancy. This body has allowed me to nurse my son for a year. It has carried me through a full day’s work on only a few hours of sleep. It is always with me, always there for me.
Recently, I’ve realized my husband has loved me through thick and thin, yet we are both much happier when I’m not hyperfocused on the scale. I’ve realized that sometimes the best workouts are heart pounding rounds of weights and burpees,while other times I find the most strength and happiness short family walks around the neighborhood. Some days, I feel best after eating fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market, while other days I feel most well filling my soul with wine and a group of friends.
Recently, I’ve grown tired of trying to change my body into something it is not. I realize now that I want to be healthy more than I want to be skinny. I want to be a positive role model for those I love. I want to show my son that loving someone is much deeper than what is on the outside. I want to teach my son that health is more than kale salads and supplements. I want to teach him that healthy is a balance of broccoli and birthday cake, family walks and sleeping in.
Recently, I’ve learned that this body is not going to be my favorite thing every day, but it is me (and just one part of what makes me, me) and there is nothing wrong with that.