Confession: I hate my body.
There, I said it.
I said the thing that I know I’m not supposed to say that I know I’m not supposed to think that I know is something on which I’m supposed to have perspective because I find perspective in everything.
But, friends, that number looking up at me from the scale right now is one that I’ve never locked eyes with unless there was a tiny human growing in my belly. As a lifelong athlete, that’s just a hard pill to swallow.
I know you want to talk me out of it.
“But that body brought three humans into the world. That’s a beautiful thing.”
Yes, I know it did, and yes it is.
“The scale number doesn’t define you.”
Yes, I understand that too.
“You have your health, that’s what important.”
Yes, you’re right. You’re VERY right.
But right now, I can’t accept any of the perspective.
I dread putting clothes on in the morning. I REALLY dread going to work or social functions knowing that nothing in my closet fits me the way it did before. And I EXTRA dread walking into said work/social functions knowing that my insecurity is going to get in the way of me doing my best work or connecting with the people in the room.
But there’s nothing I dread more than losing my self love and my self confidence… not just for my own sake …but because I’ve got two little girls looking up to me to teach them how to have theirs.
In the last two months, my 8-year-old daughter has added a new set of glasses to her pretty little face and will go through nine months of expanders and braces — things that will alter her appearance, and things I wondered if she’d struggle with.
“I love myself, Mom!” is what I constantly hear from her.
AND I TAUGHT HER THAT, you guys.
I taught her how to love her reflection by talking about what I love about mine. I taught her that by showing her how to say positive affirmations to herself in the mirror. I taught her that by letting her dress herself and wear her hair the way that feels good to her. I taught her that by using language in store fitting rooms that included talking about how we “felt” in clothes and not about how we looked.
Yet here I am.
I feel ashamed I feel this way.
Because the truth is, saying these words about myself feels more repulsive than I’ve told myself that my reflection looks. I don’t deserve this kind of self-hate.
I know this isn’t the real me. The real me doesn’t obsess about weight and doesn’t push away perspective and doesn’t speak negatively to herself in the mirror.
When I get like this, I know it has nothing to do with my weight, and everything to do with everything else.
A stressful couple of months when I rarely practiced self care.
A busy calendar that has left no room for friendship and family time.
Career dreams from which I allow my doubting inner voice to keep me.
A nearly complete abandonment from anything that brings me joy.
A refusal to give in to those thoughts that are screaming, “Something has to change.”
I do love myself.
And I APPRECIATE my body.
I appreciate the way it has allowed me to use it to the sports that I love. The way it has stood under me on a stage while I’ve used my voice to make an impact. The way it has played a part in me becoming a mom. The way it lets me move in my happy place on a dance floor. The way it allows me to take in my husband’s comforting bear hugs.
But I want to get back to loving it — loving it with movement and exercise and healthy foods and a self care routine that allow it to feel strong.
Loving it by ultimately putting more work into loving the girl it belongs to.