Monday, September 17, 2012

Body Image in a Post-Partum World

**In an effort to actually do the things I pin, as well as post on a more regular basis, I'm following this list of blog topics found here. Not in order, and not in any sort of time frame, but easy come easy go.**

Today seems like an appropriate day to write about this topic because, as it turns out, I just learned I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Not the actual jeans I wore because, like an idiot, I threw those out, but the same size from my favorite store. Cue the party music and happy dances!

Like most women, I don't have the best body image. There seems to always be something to criticize but oh, what I wouldn't give for the body I used to have, the body I used to think needed so much improving (am I right, ladies?)! To be honest, I don't know if I'm really "okay" with my body, but I am much more okay with it than I was pre-pregnancy. Which might sound funny, considering I've got at least an extra ten pounds on me and way more stretch marks and loose skin. But how could I not be proud of this body? It's allowed me to play collegiate-level volleyball, run farther than I ever thought I could, and it's housed my daughter. My body created another person. That's amazing. To quote Katt Williams, "Your body is not ruined. You're a goddamn tiger who earned her stripes."

But just thinking those things isn't enough for me to say, "Hey, my body's been through a lot, who cares if it looks saggy and puffy at the same time?" Knowing what it's accomplished doesn't mean I'm satisfied with where it stands. In fact, because of all my body has been through, I know it can get better. And for the last four or five months I've been working hard, both at the gym and at home, trying to watch what I eat. I'm not perfect. I'll binge. I'll miss a week of workouts. But I always go back. And keep trying. And I won't give up. Because I have a little person who is counting on me to be healthy and fit enough to play with her and be there for her as she grows up. It's not just about me and what I think of my body anymore. It's about my daughter and what she needs from me. And she needs a mom who not only is capable, but a mom who will show her how to love her own body and that it's okay if she's not perfect, because no one is.

So it really does't matter if I think my body is good enough, because in a sense it has to be. Or at least I have to show Emily that I'm okay with it. And if there are times when I'm not, then I will go to the gym and I will watch my portions until I'm happy with my body again. I don't get the luxury of complaining anymore. It's either shut up or take action, and I choose to take action.

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