An Obscenely Overdue Thank You

I stepped on the scale this morning…like I do every morning and the number gave me pause. It was the same number that flashed the day before my maternity leave ended with baby # 1 in 2006. In 2012, that same number means something so profoundly different. I just had a real, honest epiphany. I have spent my life hating my body. I have spent my life being disappointed, cruel, unkind and sometimes, quite violent to this gift I was given. A perfectly healthy body. A body with legs that work and arms that hold and a stomach that has carried my four babies to term. I have been so terribly ungrateful. I am ashamed.

It started how it does with any girl I suppose. A cruel comment, An unsupportive family member, the feeling that you could be just a little thinner, just a little more toned, just a little more like Sara (or fill in the blank), just a little cuter and my rear could be just a little higher, smaller and more perfect. I should be perfect. Then, you agonize, you plan, you starve, you obsess, you fight, you fail. You do not stop to give thanks.

In 2006, I looked at that scale and was disgusted. I immediately joined Weight Watchers. I worked out excessively, I measured myself weekly and participated in group weigh-ins where teams of scared women prayed for those numbers to fall. Praying that the moment of weakness we had at the family BBQ wouldn’t be expressed on the scale. It worked. The numbers fell and I never looked better in pictures. So what.

Today, in 2012, I looked at that scale and cried. I cried because I am done. I am done letting a number follow me around and distract me from the amazing gifts my body has THANKLESSLY and endlessly given me. Despite all of my years of hatred and abuse, my body loved me enough to give me four healthy, beautiful children. As if that wasn’t enough, working arms to hold them, working feet and legs to chase them, balance and coordination to care for them, breasts to feed them, a soft lap for them to sit on, strong shoulders to lay their sleepy heads on and fingers to grasp theirs.

Dearest, truest and most generous body of mine, Thank you, thank you. A million times, Thank You. You are so loved and I’m going to start acting like it.





Comments

  1. I am speechless.

  2. Way to go! That’s a beautiful tribute.

  3. You are beautiful inside and out!

  4. Beautiful. I had a bit of a landmark moment the other night as well. My hubby and I were soaking in our jacuzzi tub, and when he reached over to me and put his arm around me, I didn’t reposition his hand so it wasn’t on my “baby pooch.” Ever since I had my son, I’ve carefully positioned myself so that he would never brush across or handle my “pooch.” I was so embarrassed that my belly wasn’t flat like it used to be. But for the first time the other night, he reached over to put his arm around me, and I decided I was done being ashamed of my post-baby belly.

    Like you said…our bodies are amazing and wonderful. Why on earth did I think I had to hide or be embarrassed about the evidence of having my two children? I should be proud of that little pooch…because it’s a reminder that my body has brought new life into this world, and that in itself is a miracle.

    My husband didn’t make a comment about my poochy belly…he just wrapped his arm around me, pulled me close and kissed me. Then he told me I was beautiful. Why on earth had I wasted so much time worrying about what would “happen” if he felt my wiggly belly? Well, I’m done wasting time and energy worrying about it. My husband loves my body exactly the way it is…he has enormous respect for the fact that my body bore him two beautiful, perfect children. So why on earth should I ever be ashamed of it?

    I hope all women can see themselves, and the evidence of bearing children, as beautiful, wonderful and miraculous. I loved this post! Following you!

    Smiles, Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood

  5. Wow. This post is REALLY timely. And beautiful!

    I have hated my body since I put on weight when my dad died suddenly two years ago. My husband always tells me I’m beautiful and he doesn’t care that I am 15 pounds heavier than I was when we met. But I wasn’t *hearing* him. I shrugged it off as something he “had to say” since I am his wife.

    And I’ve been beating myself up over my belly pooch and my bigger bum and bigger thighs. I cringe from embarrassment when my husband tries to touch any of those areas.

    But like Jenn above, I had an ephinany last night. I finally listened to my husband. And I let him touch my belly. And I felt this odd release of relief. Of not hiding and hating anymore. I’m not sure why his words finally sunk in. But they did.

    Thank you for sharing!

    JD @ Honest Mom

  6. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you. I may bookmark this post and read weekly.

    Did I say thank you?

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