Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Having A Baby Helped Me Heart My Body

I hoped for a lot of things when I first started this blog, but I never imagined that six months in I would be posting photos of myself in my underwear and being happy about it. Last weekend I discovered an amazing site called We Heart Life. I came across this site after seeing posts connected to their I Heart My Body Day 2011. Amazing bloggers such as Edenland, Wheres My Glow, My Mummy Daze and Veggie Mama amongst others have all bared all(ish) and shared what it is they love about their bodies. As I read these posts I was struck by their beauty, these bodies had achieved wonderful things and deserved to be celebrated. I considered all that my own body had achieved and felt it deserved a little celebration too.

The truth is that before I had Skye, I didn’t heart my body, I was incredibly critical of the smallest flaw and it held me back from enjoying so many things. Despite my tiny frame I looked for something to criticise and wouldn’t allow myself to see past it. I spent many hours each week working out and logically I knew I was in great shape, but I was never content. There are very few photos of me taken at that time because I lacked the confidence to stand in front of a camera.

Once I had Skye I had a serious change of heart, I now admired my body and what it was capable of.  I was amazed by it’s ability to carry a growing life comfortably and then deliver this baby without complications. Even though there were initial difficulties in establishing breastfeeding, my milk supply never dwindled and I successfully breastfed until after Skye’s first birthday, to know that I was solely responsible for her nourishment for the first months of her life was both humbling and empowering.

Now I look at my body and I can finally say I am happy with what I see. It’s not my body that has changed, it’s the way I see it. I am beginning to understand what it means to be comfortable in my own skin and have stopped worrying about whether someone can see my stretch marks, or I’m a little bloated today, or that my boobs don’t sit like they once did. These physical characteristics play no part in how much my friends, family, husband or daughter love me. My lack of confidence may have.

Now I can see my body as it is. My body is strong, my bones are healthy, despite the time spent sitting in front of a computer screen in poor lighting, my eyesight is still sharp. Most days I have the energy to keep up with a busy and adventurous toddler, other days my body responds well to a little extra sleep. All in all my body allows me to do what I need to do when I need to do it. The difference now is that my mind is no longer holding me back from enjoying it.

Today I heart my body for what all that it has enabled me to do. I still exercise, but nowhere near the intensity I once did. I have learned to respect my body and give it what it needs rather than constantly worrying about the number on the scale. I made the decision to stop wasting my time focussing on things that no one else sees, or cares about and seize the opportunities live life when I get them. When I am old and withered I want to remember all of the fun times I had rather than all the things I missed.
I am also linking up with Diary of A Stay At Home Mum today for iBOT. So when you have had your fill of body love, be sure to check out the other, possibly fully clothed, posts on a day traditionally quiet in blogland.
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