I’ve struggled with body image issues for years. Like a yo-yo, my weight would rise and fall at the flip of my emotions.
I also heard from a very early age that nothing I did was ever quite good enough — and I internalized that message that I was never quite good enough.
My stomach wasn’t flat, my calves were too big, my nose too crooked and my freckles something that needed to be covered.
It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I started making peace with my body’s supposed imperfections.
My legs were now strong enough that they could carry me (and the 80 pounds I gained) through the months-long task of growing another human. And finally, I wanted my stomach to be the biggest part of me — to show the world just what my body was capable of.
When I had my son is when I think I finally understood that it didn’t matter what I looked like. I could be sleep-deprived, unwashed and covered in spit up and he could care less. He simply wanted the comfort of being near me. And that was good enough. More than that, it was more than enough.
The features I’d once obsessed over changing in myself were now the most beautiful parts of him. They say that if we could only see ourselves the way that others see us that our whole perspective would change. I think that seeing yourself in another (who is wholly half of you) also has that power.
As he grows older, my body is still softer and larger than it once was — but I’m not upset by it the way I once was. I’ve finally come to a place where I can just be in the skin that I’m in for the moment.
If he accepts by body and sees the beauty in it, flaws and all, how can I feel anything but love towards it as well?
The way he nuzzles into my breasts for comfort, or kneads my stomach while laughing maniacally – or the happy screams when he shoves my ‘big’ bum around the house.
There’s nothing but love there — and love is all that matters.