This is me. As I am today.
Last week, I told my fiance to tell me if I ever have a pimple because I don’t look in the mirror anymore. It made me pause and think.
When was the last time I took a good look at myself? And I don’t mean figuratively or introspectively because I do that on a daily basis. I go days, weeks even without more than a glance in the mirror to make sure my hair isn’t half out of the pony tail on my way out the door.
I take off my glasses before completely undressing before a shower so I can’t properly see myself in the giant mirror that takes up a whole wall. Any why do I do these things?
This was even more brought to my mind recently as my mom and I searched for clothes for my brother’s wedding. I knew I wanted a nice shirt and pants (nursing friendly!) and I encouraged my mom to find a dress (she never wears dresses). I don’t think I heard one positive comment about herself on any of our shopping trips or while we were trying on things at home or even the day of. It was always, “it’s good enough. With spanx I’ll look good enough. I don’t look too fat, right?” I thought she looked beautiful in everything she tried on. What bothered me was most, personally, was that several times she told me she had spanx I could wear. It made me feel insecure, like she thought I needed them or she thought I felt bad enough that I thought I needed them. If that makes any sense.
I am a plus size woman. I have been since I can remember.
It used to bother me.
I like my body more after having a baby.
It’s more than just the fact that my body did amazing things in carrying and birthing a child. Even with all my new stretch marks and the extra skin on my stomach, I still feel better about the way I look than before I was pregnant. I remember coming home from the hospital after having Jeffrey, and thinking I looked good. I didn’t still have a pregnant bump like some woman, and I didn’t look at myself as being huge anymore. And even though I am 25lbs less than I was pre-pregnancy and I still wear size 14/16…I feel good about myself. Or I don’t feel bad.
Part of it’s that I view myself different as a mother and from who I was before. Part of it is that, yes I have a son so body issues aren’t quite as important but being a role model to myself as woman who likes and respects herself is important. Part of it is that I don’t complain or hate myself because if I wanted to change it, I have the power to. I could exercise more and eat better, but I’m not ready too, I’m too lazy and I accept that for the moment. At some point that will change but it won’t be because I think I’m fat and ugly. It’s because I want to be able to chase my son around at the park and not have to say no when he wants to go for a bike ride because I would be too winded. It will change for the convenience of not having to hunt hunt hunt for clothes to wear (plus size stores are so limited). It will change when I remember that when I do eat healthy and work out, I feel like a better me.
But for now, this is me.
I took these pictures because I thought I needed the time in the mirror, to remember that I don’t hate my body, and that it’s okay to inspect it once in a while. I have flaws and I embrace them. I have beautiful parts of me and I embrace them.
When was the last time you took a moment to look in the mirror? Maybe it’s time.