Fight Fat Talk. Love Yourself. Take More Selfies.
I grew up thin. Very thin. Too thin. Not because I willed it. My body was just made that way.
It wasn’t until I became a mother at 25 that I developed “curves” for the first time. My body had gained weight in areas that were once near-skeletal before. My “young boy body” (that I like to call it now) had finally taken shape, which I had honestly never expected it to do. In some ways, this was the moment when I actually “matured” into a woman.
My husband embraced this new womanly figure, often praising the beauty of it, but I had a really, really tough time accepting the “changed me.” I had not prepared for it. Since I had lived most of my life “shapeless” (for lack of a better word), I had never experienced it any other way. When I looked into the mirror, I saw myself wearing a costume of another person. Someone not me. A costume of bumps, lumps and OMG – real breasts! It was a lot to take in.
For many years following the birth of my first child, I lacked confidence severely, which was something I had also never dealt with in the past. There was no pressure from my family and friends, either – it was entirely in my own head. I wasn’t even at an unhealthy weight, in fact, I had thinned down quite a bit. Even so, in my mind, I no longer possessed a desirable body. It wasn’t “perfect” and never would be again. I didn’t feel beautiful, so I gave up on confidence altogether.
I stopped shopping for myself. I rarely styled my hair. I felt very “meh” about fashion. I ate whatever I wanted and rarely slept. Looking back on it now, I honestly think I didn’t want anyone to notice me.
Then I had another baby. And my body changed even more.
While it did seem less devastating the second time around, it was still difficult to accept. I was getting older (early 30’s), so it was already tough keeping the extra weight off, much less after 9 months of pregnancy poundage. It was like a vicious cycle of insecurity that never seemed to end.
But it did. Though I’m not exactly sure why.
Something magical happened in my mid-30’s, and I’m still not absolutely sure why or what did it, but I decided to love myself. Perhaps the new-found confidence came from the blogging community that I discovered during that time, specifically the like-minded moms I befriended who where beyond supportive and inspiring. Maybe it was from getting older. What I do know is that I was tired of putting myself down, both physically and mentally. I was just…done. I wanted my confidence back.
Want to know why I take so many selfies on Instagram? Confidence.
I am not “obsessed” with myself or “showing off” or think I’m “hot stuff” (all things I’ve heard before) – I am simply embracing me. It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t like it. Not anymore. I want other women to feel this way, too, and embrace their eyes, lips, legs and hips. Every. Single. Part.
Confidence doesn’t make us selfish or arrogant. Instead, it frees up the mental space we need to love and enjoy others. As moms, this is SO important, as it inspires our sons and daughters to embrace their own bodies and minds, too, so they can focus on their own talents and dreams. If there were one wish that I hope for my children, it is that they can live out their talents and dreams without the burdens of insecurity and self-doubt.
Guess what happens when you start to love yourself? You soar! You’re capable of giving more love to the world than you ever found possible. New opportunities arrive. You even take better care of yourself. It’s like a speeding freight train that’s impossible to stop, unless you decide to put on the brakes. Don’t put on the brakes.
Love yourself, stay healthy and take more selfies.