Saturday, May 26, 2018

Body image and cuss words and running through the sprinklers.

Matt was home sick in bed for a few days, and on one of those days, when he groggily woke up at noon, I was outside running through the sprinklers with the kids. He noticed and brought the camera out to take pictures of us. My gut reaction was to tell him, You can put the camera back inside. I don’t need documentation of me in a bathing suit. Obviously, I am someone who enjoys taking photographs of times I want to remember, snapshots of joyful moments in life. This was definitely a memory I wanted to keep, and yet, all I could think about in the moment was how I looked in a bathing suit. 

Sometimes it just feels good to journal using the word fuck. You've been warned.

We sacrifice a lot as mothers, but the one thing that is currently staring me in the face is the sacrifice of one’s body. As a mother, your stomach will stretch and grow beyond what seems humanly possible, your breasts will grow bigger than you ever imagined and will actually keep a human alive for the first six months of their life, and then they will never be the same. Your hair will fall out after you have a baby, and you will think, okay, I get why other parts of my body must be sacrificed, but my hair? What is the biological purpose here? Just to make sure I feel humble? Your brain will be a bit cloudy for awhile or forever (still to be determined). This is not even including the actual aftermath of the process of birth, which is like coming off of a battlefield victorious, but wounded.

Last June, almost a year ago, when I was in the fog of postpartum depression, Matt took me to Palm Springs for our anniversary in an attempt to try to support me. I put on a bikini and looked in the mirror, and I remember thinking, wow, I look good, and then, that is so fucked up, because I am too skinny. I had subconsciously stopped eating the way I should for someone who is mothering and breastfeeding and consuming food and actually enjoying life.

But, some part of my subconscious that society has instilled within me said:
Yes, you are too skinny, and you look good. 
You are sickly skinny, 
and you look good. 

Now, my body feels healthy and happy and fuller.

I try to eat healthy, enjoy food, enjoy a cocktail, enjoy an IPA, enjoy exercising, and enjoy being active with my kids. 

More importantly, my spirit is healthy and happy and fuller. 

My body carried two babies and birthed them, and my stomach will probably never be flat or toned. As I work out, I feel my back, butt, legs, and arms getting stronger and more muscular, but my stomach is still squishy. Yet, I am so happy with the journey my stomach has gone on to get me to this point in life.

Why is it within me to look at photos of myself in a bathing suit and think, hmmm, should I start counting calories, should I work out more, should I start doing one hundred sit ups every day, should I…

I am fucking running through the sprinklers in the backyard with my kids. That is fucking beautiful and so am I.
So is my body.
So are all of our bodies. 

So here are the pictures of this beautiful moment.
May my daughter and son somehow grow up in a culture where squishy stomachs that have a backstory are celebrated. 


Disclaimer: I posted the pictures that are more flattering than others. I cringe at myself that I even feel the need to filter through them, but I do; my self image is still a work in progress. So, these are the best angles of me fucking frolicking through the sprinklers in a bathing suit with my kids. 

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