I’ve been thinking of this one for a while now. A blog post about my body journey. It’s just such a critical topic for women to be able to connect over, I think. I think that I have spent way too much time in my life obsessing over it. I have spent way to much time not enjoying what I have.
Right now, today, I am a few kilograms heavier than I would like to be. And for me, that is okay and also it’s not okay. What I mean is that I do embrace that my weight and the shape of my body does not define me. I walk around at home in my undies, catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I feel like, that’s me, that’s all me. I am okay with me.
I read once that it is really good for a woman to look at her nude body in the mirror once a day. Who knows what the source of that is, sounds pretty naturalist and earthy. I wouldn’t say it’s something that I go out of my way to do everyday, but I do think it’s important to remain connected to the body I live in, to know it and love it for even its flaws.
So I am okay with my body. I do want to make some changes to it though. Like me body does not define me, neither do my clothes, but I try to make an effort to dress in a way that best expresses who I am. As I journey in this body, being okay with what it is today, I am also working on losing weight to return to a place where I felt my best.
Where was that? Where was I my best? I was always striving to lose more, look more like the references of beauty that I beheld as ideal. I look at photos of myself before babies (they are basically to blame here), and I think, “why was I not loving myself more?”
I don’t need to look ideal anymore. Unless I am honest with you. If I choose to scroll too long through the feed of a beautiful mom with an ideal body, then I do need to look ideal. But I have learnt that it’s a choice. I can stop looking, I can stop and choose to be okay with me.
Perhaps my babies are to thank then? Either that or being in my 30s. Possibly both. This body of mine, we have been through a lot together. I have known it as a bearer of life that stretches and gives way to nourish another, and I have allowed it to commit fully to this purpose while I learnt to let go of my ideals. Or perhaps I just discovered moments when those ideals did not even matter, at all.
So I journey on. Having come through a season of nurturing young babies and a young business, I am finding I once again have a bit of capacity to focus on myself. I feel that am my best right now (not the best I will ever be, but my best yet). My best me would love to lose some of the weight that I have put on over the past few years. My best me reminds me not to make it an obsession, and to love the body in the mirror, today.
I was inspired to write this post after taking part in an initiative by a lovely local mom blogger, Being Me Jen. She is passionate about inspiring other moms and women to make time for themselves and focus on their well-being. You can read her feature on me, here.
A few practical things that have helped me in this journey:
1. I never say that I feel fat
I used to, but after I got married I decided not to use this language. With a partner to share my life with, it would have been so easy to impose this burden on him. And that is what it is; a burden, a bad feeling. Instead I say things like, “I need to get my fitness back on track, I would like to lose a few kgs, will you help me?”
There are many times that I have felt like saying, “I feel fat.” But I stop myself.
2. I have decided never to say anything negative about my body in front of my daughter – ever
She is still young, but it’s a decision I will commit to. Even the little things like, “I won’t have another slice of cake, I’m having a fat day.” I don’t want anything like that to shape her perception of self. We will talk about self-image and I will encourage her towards a healthy lifestyle, but she won’t hear me voice my insecurities while she is still young and still forming her self image.
3. I choose not to obsess
As I touched on earlier, I can choose to stop scrolling through Instagram feeds of beautiful women (who all probably have the same body insecurities as the rest of us) if looking is making me feel bad. I do not control the media messages of what beauty is, but I do control what I choose to look at.
4. Pursuing purpose
I definitely, definitely have found that I am most okay with me and the body I have when I am pursuing something greater than myself. For me, I do find this in my relationship with God and my belief that I am here with a purpose. When I just get on with pursuing that, it brings a peace to my life.