Beauty · Body love · body positivity · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · love · Mom life · Poetry · Religion · Self-love · Words

Beautiful mama

Young girl is watching sunset over Tokyo

Beautiful mama, stop comparing yourself to that woman on Instagram, your friend who seems to have the perfect everything, your neighbors who just bought that new something or other. 

You are you and they are not.

Theodore Roosevelt once famously said that” Comparison is the the thief of joy” and no truer words have ever been spoken.

When we compare ourselves we fail ourselves.

Here’s why, there’s no one else, in this entire universe, who is you.

You are rare. 

A lone creation. 

God created you, beautiful mama, in his image and in his eyes you are flawless.

You’re not supposed to be an image of someone else.

He wants you to embrace your entire being and find true joy in the life he has given you.

He wants your body to tell a story of adventures, mistakes, babies, love, triumph, contentment, hurt.

You were never meant to remain small so He gave you the entire world as your playground.

Take up space.

Fill a room with your laughter.

Wear your bathing suit to the pool and jump in with your kids.

Do big and small things with great intention.

Dare yourself to be unafraid.

To let go of expections. 

To remember, 

you are perfect exactly as you are.

A stunning piece of art created by the king himself.

 

 

Photo credit:

Creator:praetorianphoto
Credit:Getty Images
Copyright:praetorianphoto

 

Body love · body positivity · boy mom · ditch the diet · Eating recovery · Happiness · Life · Mom life · Parenting · Relationships · Self confidence · Self-love · Words

My Three Sons

 

I missed the first few months of all three of my boys lives. Not physically but mentally. My mind was consumed with how my body looked after giving birth, all the weight I’d have to lose, the clothes I needed to fit back into, the exercises I’d have to do. My new mom mind was not preoccupied with all things baby, as it should have been, but on me getting my body back. I did this all three times I gave birth, not learning anything from the previous time. 

I was twenty-six when I gave birth to my first son and newly out of my bulimia. Becoming pregnant forced me into a reality check to lose the bingeing and purging cycle. I had more to think about than myself and so I quit cold turkey. I wanted to start being a good mom right away. As my belly grew though, I remember having concerns about my rising weight and worrying it would stay on me permanately but I ate what I craved and started a simple yoga routine. 

I was thirty when I gave birth to my second son and in-between those two pregnancies my bulimia was pretty much nil, but she would show up from time to time and remind me of certain foods that were off-limits. I gave birth, having gained the same amount of weight as the first time around, and yet still worried that I’d never lose the weight. 

My third pregnancy happened when I was thirty-four and my eating habits were still the same through the years, trying so hard to be ‘good’ when choosing foods and punishing myself when I ate badly. I gave birth that third time and yet still hated what I saw when I stripped down to take a shower. Nevermind that my body had just made a baby in a matter of months and grown that baby to perfection and then birthed that baby into the world, for a third time. My body was ugly, gross and I was completely ashamed and mortified with what I saw.

Three times I gave birth and three times my mind obsessed over my body, my weight, the number on the scale, the ‘before’ clothes I used to fit into, the food I ate. Three times, years apart, I missed out on my babies. I missed out on the joy of being present and building a bond. I missed out on little things and I missed out on big things. I robbed myself of a time I can never get back.

Now my sons are fifteen, eleven and five and I still struggle most days with my body image and my food. Bulimia is a constant thorn in my side and I have to work every day to keep her away. When I first started seeing a counselor in my early twenties, a few years into my eating disorder, she wisely told me that even if the act itself goes away, I would always have the disorder in my life, it would never really vanish and I would have to push it down continually. She was right. 

I am tired of trying to be this image of who I think I should be. I’m tired of not feeling good enough. I’m mad that this disorder has taken away so much for almost half of my life now. It won’t happen today or tomorrow or even next month but I want to get to that sweet spot where I can look in the mirror and see more than my dislikes. I want to see my beautiful body for all that it has done and continues to do for me day in and day out. 

I tell you my story so that if you are suffering you know that you are not alone. If you are pregnant and worried about weight I tell you it’s nothing to worry about. The weight will go away, but so will the time. Time that you will regret losing because it is precious and filled with so many new things. Time that you can never get back.

Maybe instead of looking in the mirror and defining our worth by what we see, we should look inward. Inward to see and feel and know just how amazingly miraculous our bodies are. They give us life, they carry us anywhere we want to go, they heal, they nurture others, they keep us healthy and able to do so much, they grow small humans. Seriously, when you stop and think about it, aren’t our bodies absolutely freaking amazing? 

Body love · body positivity · ditch the diet · Eating recovery · Food · Happiness · Life · Self confidence · Self-love · Words

A Revelation

As a woman, I am deeply influenced by the beauty standards set by our society. You know the ones? Perfect woman on magazine covers, Instagram, Facebook, on TV. Long, flawless legs, perfect skin void of any cellulite, wrinkles, scars, stretch marks. Just the right amount of cleavage and full lips. Long, gloriously thick hair cascading around their shoulders like a heavenly blanket. Then I look in the mirror and this is what I see: a woman with scars on her face from a bad breakout long ago, cellulite on my thighs, stretch marks on my stomach, small breasts, wrinkles, short, fine hair, basically I am a walking misrepresentation of all the woman I described above. So I tell myself that I am ugly, not enough, worthless, fat, gross. I begin to download calorie counting apps, making a plan to lose weight and look ‘perfect’. I think of ways that I can work out harder because obviously what I am doing isn’t working. My bulimia, that has been around for half of my life starts to rear her ugly head once again and promises me a way to control myself around all the ‘bad’ foods I eat. I go into a sort of tailspin, creating this new me in my head. How can I look more like these woman I see? 

This has been my life for far to long and I’m guessing I’m not alone. Everyday we are inundated with images of the ‘perfect’ woman. We feel ugly compared to her and so we punish ourselves with grueling workouts and extra healthy foods. We go on diet after diet in search of her. It is a devastating pattern that leaves us drained and depressed. I know because I have been there. I’m there now, actually. 

It’s time to change the meaning of health and beauty in our society starting now. Why do we have airbrushed woman in magazines? Why can’t we see the ‘real’ woman in the photos, her imperfections so to speak. These magazines are only reinforcing to us that we are not good enough because we have ‘flaws’, but are they really flaws if more woman than not have them? Are they really flaws if it is the norm? I think no!

Our bodies tell a story of pregnancy, adventures, risks taken, hard times, growth, pain, miracles. We don’t need to be hiding them away, we need to be celebrating them. As woman we need to band together and change this way of thinking that we aren’t enough.

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and that in and of itself is beautiful. Each one of us is unique in our own way. We can’t all be the same size or the same weight or the same height. How boring would that be anyhow? 

I believe in being healthy, finding workouts that you love, eating good foods that nourish you but I also believe in moderation because who the heck can go an entire lifetime not eating a cupcake or french fries or a crazy good cheeseburger?! Not me! 

Band with me today and lets give the middle finger to the diet industry.

Let’s rise up and stop trying to mold ourselves into someone else.

Let’s celebrate our bodies and find things we love about them.

Let’s enjoy a summer day on the beach with our families and not worry about what we look like in a bathing suit.

Because in the whole of it, does it really, truly matter? Looking back on our lives, if we are lucky enough to live to be old, will we be glad that we missed out on so much? Will we think it was worth it to spend our life worrying about what we weighed or how many calories we ate? Will we smile, thinking back about looking in the mirror at our then, younger bodies, and feeling unworthy? Nope. I think we will regret a lot. We will feel like we wasted so much precious time that we can never get back.

Today is not soon enough to begin to love yourself. Throw away your scale, delete the calorie counting apps, unfollow those workout ‘fitspo’ accounts. Doing this is a great place to start. I’m in. Are you? 

Body love · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Religion · Words

Lord, what is my assignment today?

i-dont-like-being-a-mother

As I stand looking in the mirror, glaring at a face that is so familiar to me, one I’ve seen a million times, I begin to pick myself apart.

This is a common thing for me, to stand before my own reflection and sift out all my imperfections.

Then something catches my eye and I turn to the corner of the brown framed mirror that hangs over my sink.

There I glance an image that I taped up just yesterday.

A reminder printed out on a small square piece of cardstock, so that every morning I can be reminded that I have more to give the world than how I look.

That my worth is not defined in the physical.

This note simply reads “Lord, what is my assignment today?”

Everything suddenly shifts and my perspective changes.

I have placed these words right where I know I will stand each morning and grumble about my shortcomings.

I am reminded that the Lord has a plan for me and it goes far beyond what I look like.

The Lord created me and I am his beautiful daughter.

He cherishes me and doesn’t see me as having flaws but as being human.

He didn’t create me to be perfect in body or perfect in any sense.

However, He did create me to fulfill a purpose. 

To go out into the world and do good and be a light to others. 

Everyday He gives me another chance and a whole lot of forgiveness and everyday he gives me his never-ending grace. 

It is time I give myself the same.

I am already perfect exactly as I am because I am made in His image.

When I glance back to the recognizable reflection in the mirror, I know for sure that my assignment today is to love myself and to trust Him and to truly know that I am more than my appearance. 

Now I challenge you to also ask “Lord, what is my assignment today?” and then turn away from looking outward and instead look within to find the answer.

It is there, just waiting to be discovered. 

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