As a mom to a 3 month old and bonus mom to an almost 10 year old and 6 year old, all girls, my goal is for them to feel loved and supported as they venture through life. Knowing that at some point their bodies will begin to change, I want to share my story in hopes that they learn to embrace not only their physical but take care of their mental as well. Here is my journey;
As a young teen and into my early 20s, I struggled with accepting my body. I often heard, from those I had considered close to me and random commentators, descriptions of my body and nicknames that eluded to me being big, needing to lose weight and not looking professional because my curves showed through anything that was more fitted than a potato sack. I struggled with an eating disorder in an attempt to control my physical body. I had allowed the opinions of others to dictate my sense of self-worth and confidence when it came to MY body. My actions were then reflective of the lack of self-confidence and love I had for myself.
In an effort to change the perception I held of myself, I began a journey into self-acceptance. Through reading, activities and dialogue I evolved into a space of learning to love my body and my mind. However, I have found self-love and acceptance to be a constant practice. When I found out I was pregnant I became nervous. How much weight is OK to gain? Should I not give into cravings if they are “unhealthy”? What if I don’t “snap back”? A barrage of questions raced through my mind as I grappled with the image of what my body was supposed to look like during and after pregnancy.
In all honesty, any ideas of how I was supposed to look stopped after I found out I was having a girl. Low self-esteem and confidence is not something I wanted my daughter to internalize. I wanted to be able to teach my daughter the importance of loving her full self. Especially with environmental and societal pressures that spotlight and focus on how girls/women are supposed to exist.
I let my body change in how it was meant to be in order to accommodate another life. I gained a total of 28 pounds during pregnancy, all of which I lost in the weeks after giving birth to my daughter, Kehlani. This is not an ode to “snapping back”. My body is softer and nothing went back to where it originally was. Yet I find extreme beauty and a sense of pride in my changed body. A woman is an amazing being. To have a body that was designed to give life is incredible and I feel honored to have taken part in that experience.
I truly appreciate who I am and the experiences that have shaped me. I have made a commitment to keep learning and loving myself because I know that my daughters are not only watching, they are learning.
For more My Post Baby Body Realness please go here.