Let’s be real and talk about the mom life struggle. Yeah you know the real stuff, the stuff no one tells you is going to happen to your BODY! The stretch marks, the wide hips, the bladder control issues, the boobs…or lack thereof. I mean I’m sorry I love my kids, but dangit they do a toll on the woman’s body. That body that we lure our husbands in with…oh I mean our minds…right definitely our brains gets em. Come on ladies let’s be honest when we become mothers it is yes beautiful and miraculous but um it’s also something that can leave us feeling very ugly about ourselves.
Body shaming (to ourselves) can lead to so many issues…depression of course, binge eating, anorexia, or even the need to surgically change ourselves. For me it played a big roll in my divorce or so I thought at the time.
Let me back up a bit…to before my first marriage ended. I had, had two kids. I gained probably 30 lbs with those pregnancies. The affects of pregnancy are not always noticed right away, because for me it was like one lb added on to another and after time there I was, the same weight when I was 9 months pregnant with my last, no baby in my belly (just a food baby). I found myself spending more money on clothes that I thought would make me feel better about myself. Listen, before anyone jumps down my throat for being the “skinny girl” who gained some weight, I’m here to tell you that no matter your size we all are self conscious! I can be skinny fat! It’s allowed, so back off!! We as women are all unhappy about something on our body.
So about a year before the big D…divorce, I decided to join my local CrossFit gym. I started going once a day and within months my body was changing for the good! Then I started twice a day. It consumed me. Nothing else mattered as much as those gym sessions because for the first time in a long time I felt like I could look hot for my husband again!
I do not by any means want to bash on my ex, but I felt for some reason I needed to look good for him to notice me, again. Our love life had fizzled and so getting in shape seemed to be the answer! I was of course ridiculously wrong. This mindset I think gets so many of us women in trouble! We think “if I look good, my husband will love me more” it sounds crazy quite frankly when you say it out loud, yet we keep thinking it! I wish sometimes I could go back and slap my former self for some of my ludicrous thought processes.
Anyway…obviously getting fit didn’t save my marriage. I struggled with all of it for a few months after…what was wrong with me? I had gotten in the best shape of my life and he didn’t want me? I compared myself to his wife now too. I know I know!! But come on divorced ladies we all do this! She’s this tiny little thing who can eat a whole bag of potato chips and lose weight and I was so jealous of her body! It is I think normal as women to envy other women’s bodies. However when it gets to a point where we hate ourselves more because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others that is when we enter the danger zone! That was my problem. I was approaching it all wrong. The question I should have been asking is “why don’t I like myself?”
Something I have since learned is that we as women need to first love ourselves before we can be loved by others. We seek this affirmation from others and approval from our spouse as to quite the Demons that tell us otherwise, but the truth is, if we can’t silence that negativity in our head then no one is going to be able to do it for us. Infact they will probably get sick of constantly arguing how good we look to us. Oh you women know what I’m talking about…
“Do I look ok babe?”
“Yes you look beautiful!”
“Oh you’re just saying that because your my husband”
“No really you look great!”
“Ugh…I’m going to change.”
Thank the heavens I came to my senses. Yes, it was too late to salvage my first marriage and no my body was not the reason I got divorced, as much as I’d like to think it was. Looking back I know my ex husband didn’t care about that, but I think I cared too much for the both of us. I couldn’t change it now, but going forward I decided to just love myself.
I’ve spent these last 3 years now focused on loving me. It’s been an uphill battle that sometimes I fall on my butt and slide down the hill a bit, but I’ve learned to always get back up. Find what it is that makes you feel good! For me, it’s eating right! For me, I knew if I could change my eating habits I could change my life. I started the WHOLE30 meal plans and fit in some kickboxing too, but no more crazy two a days as the CrossFit queen. Now I’m just doing me. Some of my friends have asked me to post the results…this is my result…I feel amazing. What does the number on the scale matter?! I can’t believe I cut out the grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes for a month, but I am dang proud of myself for it. That’s what I’m talking about here! We need to be proud of ourselves and our accomplishments that make us feel amazing! Screw the scale.
As for my husbands approval, I don’t ask. Although he is constantly complimenting me, I know that if I wore a brown sac he’d love me or if I put on that 30lbs again he would still hold me close at night. Infact this guy…swoon…He secretly bought me a swimsuit I’d had my eye on for a long time as his way of saying “you did it babe, and I’m so proud of you” not “now you look hot so you can wear this”. So, honestly what’s changed the most is how I look at myself naked in the mirror.
That’s right, stand in front of your mirror naked and just look at your gorgeous body ladies! Examine yourself. I know this sounds crazy, but don’t think about your pre baby body, look at the body you have earned. The body you spent 9 months as a human incubator for, the body that makes you pee when you laugh, the body that cracks when ya walk up the stairs, the body God gave you. Find something that makes you proud to have that body. Even if it’s only one thing…find it and own it. Your body is just that, yours. None of us are alike and thank you God for that. What a freaking boring world that would be!
It’s not easy to love ourselves. Especially after babies, or divorce, but it is possible. A woman who loves herself is noticeably glowing and radiant. I have seen these women, they come in all shapes and sizes but they have one thing in common, the smile that tells their story of positivity and triumph over it all! I want to be this kind of woman! Don’t you?!
We women are a force to be reckoned with! Don’t let anyone, or anything tell you you’re not pretty enough! Mommas we must unite and own these stretch marks, and saggy boobs, cuz ain’t no diet or exercise gonna change those things! Yet, remember love yourself above all else, whatever diet or exercise or ice cream binging you are doing, do it for you!!