My body is a wonderland…

How’s your body? I pretty much love mine. But, I haven’t always loved it. Oh no. Not by a long shot. As far as I am concerned, I never loved my body – truly loved it – until I was pregnant. I loved getting bigger, rounder, and filling out. I actually had boobs (a welcome surprise). I had power. I was making people!! My body was a factory of people! I loved it. I got soft and round and had reason to eat whatever. Now, my body is what it is. I’ve given birth, gained weight, lost weight, been back and forth. And it fluctuates all the time. Hormones, exercise, and the occasional snack right before bed all shape my figure in different ways. Exercise is fun, but who has time for it all the time? And I did well with running until it started to kill my knees. But that’s ok. I’m still decently active with the kids, and I do what I can. And that’s enough for me.

My body has never been model “perfect”. I’ve never had the flat tummy, the curves in all the right places, etc. I’m more Reubenesque – my tummy is rounded, I have hips, a short torso, long and lean legs, and absolutely zero in the chest department. Even after four pregnancies, one of which tore my abdominal walls from side to side and all down the front, so that flat tummy will really never be, I have never really had the frame for which fashion designers like to design. I have always dealt with it, never really was super excited about it, but now, I have three girls…

And those three girls need healthy body image role models. They don’t need to hear any negative body talk from anybody, especially me. They need to know that no matter what their bodies look like, no matter how big or small, lean or round, thin or thick, they are beautiful. And they need to know that I am beautiful – and I need to show them this. Everyday.

I need summer clothes like plants need water, and I found some excellent deals on clothes. So, the other day, I ordered clothes online. Who has time to try on clothes with kids? I had the thought that I would order them in the size I wear, and if they were hideous or tight, I would send them back. No problem. I was ready for whatever happened…

They came today, and I was so anxious to see if my choice of size (medium) was a good call or one I would regret. As I opened the packages and pulled out the clothes, putting them on and examining myself in the mirror, I realized that, yes, my body may be softer in some places than I would ideally like, but it’s powerful. And it’s beautiful. And damnit, I deserve to wear clothes that show it off. With each piece (a tshirt material dress, some tshirts, some tanks), I felt better and better about my choices. My rounded belly doesn’t look as rounded in the mirror as it does in my head. My hips don’t look so hippy to the world as they do to my own eyes. And, damnit, I am proud of my body and what it has achieved. I need my girls to see that Mommy is beautiful – and can wear whatever she chooses (within reason, of course, spandex never works for anyone) – and that their bodies are beautiful, too.

I love my curves, my soft belly, and my legs-for-days. Sure, I eat right (most of the time) and exercise when I can. I would love to drop a few pounds like anyone else. I also love food as fuel, and food as fun. I watch what I eat and try not to overindulge (often). My frame does not define me, but how I embrace it does. I may never rock a bikini (I said within reason, folks), but I will never shy away from wearing a bathing suit or a shirt that may be just a bit too tight. You won’t see me on a catwalk, but you will see me having fun with my family, laughing and enjoying myself, and not sucking one little bit of my body in. I’m having far too much fun enjoying my life and belly laughs to worry about one insignificant belly roll.

My body has been with me for 32 years and counting…
It deserves to be loved and cared for…
It may fluctuate with time…
But, I only get one.


Dear Caelan, Ellery, and Finola:
You. Are. Beautiful.
Know it.

And how does this make you feel?

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