I haven’t done a blog post in a while. Between speaking, planning our first conference, emails, Facebook, the blog, starting Instagram, other social medias, networking, being a mother to 5, and business owner……takes deep breath…..you get the point.
But something happened recently and I feel inspired to share. At the beginning of the year I blogged about how we share all things surrounding birth, but in 2013 I wanted to add motherhood into the mix. Part of this has been to share about loving ourselves…every ounce of us. Our weaknesses, strengths, forgiving ourselves, celebrating who we are, and that includes our bodies.
We recently did a ‘loving our bodies’, especially post partum, day on Facebook. It was amazing. So many women openly and bravely shared their pp bodies with hundreds of thousands of people. I thought every single picture sent in represented a strong, beautiful woman. Truly, I did.
We also made a Pinterest board titled “Lovin’ Our Bodies” and Meagan, one of my awesome team members, shared this picture with me…
And I cried. Not one post partum body that was shared that day represented ME. Here I was celebrating all other women, but not myself. This picture took my breath away. I felt this picture was a woman so full of joy and self love. It made me reflect on my big beautiful body that has nourished five gorgeous and healthy children.
See, I have not always been this size. My weight is something I’ve constantly struggled with, but this size…no. Two long, hard years of post partum depression just barely behind me though and I have found myself here, learning to love myself in the moment while constantly worrying about my weight. It’s a delicate thing.
I decided to love myself. To love all of me while on my journey of better health. It’s a daily struggle, but I’ve been doing it. I feel if I’m going to tell other women to love themselves for how they are and if I see such beauty in all of you (I so do), then I need to see that in me. It was going well and then I saw this…
Such an unflattering picture. Don’t people know you take pictures from above, not below? In all seriousness, I cried. I don’t mean a few tears. I bawled my f-ing eyes out for an hour straight. Then I cried again later…and again later. I felt shame. So much shame for putting myself out there and letting others see me…all of me. I felt embarrassed. I felt sad that out of all I have and am accomplishing in my life, that none of it seems to matter to me if I’m fat. I know I wouldn’t see that in one of you. I would see all the beauty in you. How you shine. What you have accomplished. I would love you. While I hate myself.
Logically I know this is ridiculous. I’m loving so much of my life and am so damn grateful. But that deep inner self talk is wretched. It has the ability to take hold of all the good I am and twisting it with self doubt until all logic is gone. Instead of seeing a woman who has worked so hard to get to this point or remembering what an awesome talk it was, or seeing that rad necklace, I see a fat face.
So what do I do? What do you do if you are like me…loving everyone else and hating yourself?
I had to think about it for a few days and this is what I decided. Start seeing yourself how others do. Start seeing yourself the way you would if YOU were someone else. If you were talking to a mama who looks like you and has accomplished as much as you have, what would you say to HER?
Would I tell that woman up there in that picture that she is fat? Hell no. I’d tell her how amazing she was for speaking for the first time to a crowd about birth and motherhood. I’d tell her that it was an amazing experience. I’d tell her that her outfit rocked. I’d remind her that family and friends support(ed) her and that many women shared how Birth Without Fear has helped their lives. I’d tell her how amazing she is that she gave life to five children and lives her life for them selflessly. I’d tell her weight comes and goes and that her beauty shines through regardless of the number on the scale. I’d tell her she is amazing and strong and perfect. I’d tell her I love her.
And I’d tell her to take flattering pictures like this.
What would you tell you if you were a friend?
Since sharing this post about 6 weeks ago, my eyes were opened via comments here and Facebook how I am so not alone. Most women struggle with something and their self image is not true to who they really are.
So, I have been learning to love myself and to be honest, I like me. All of me.
I also launched a BWF Self Love project on Instagram. I’ve been happier and peaceful about who I am. Not everyday is free from negative self talk, but I’m getting there. So can you. Join us in sharing your pictures (yes, be IN the pictures) on Facebook and Instagram!
No make up, editing, angles….just me.