Who knew that it took being stretched to my limits – in every sense of the word- to totally appreciate this body of mine.
That’s the power of motherhood.
Yet, if we turn the clock right back, it’s hard to believe that instead of celebrating my youth I spent much of it hiding in my own skin. Prime example which I will admit; I spent the beginning of my 21st party locking myself away in my room crying because I thought I was too ugly to face all of my guests. Meanwhile my mother had to coax me out of there by telling me how beautiful I really was, even if I didn’t see it at the time. I’m glad I listened (thanks, Mum!) as it was one of the best parties I ever had and one of the few I still remember, everyone had a ball in the end (including me!) and nobody knew what happened behind closed doors and how uncomfortable I really felt inside.
Today I finally wear my body proudly and health and happiness come from the inside out. I don’t go into a mad panic when the sun comes out in all its glory – instead, I embrace it and happily get out one of my favourite summer dresses to celebrate the occasion. Not because I have reached the epitome of perfection but because I am finally starting to feel comfortable in my own skin and that’s such a great feeling.
After all, this body has given birth to two amazing little humans and this brain of mine finally gets it.
I don’t just look at my body as a collection of spare parts anymore to be judged, criticised or compared. What a grand waste of time and a life that was.
When I really stop to think about it, this body did the impossible, it created miracles from conception to growing my children, then birthing them into the world (au natural so I felt every bit of it!) and nurturing them from my own magic milk that I somehow created.
Speaking of magic, I can also thank my body for helping me to return to my pre-baby weight simply by sitting around all day with my feet up, gazing in awe at my delicious babies while feeding them with my own body. How amazing is that?!!
When we feel good about ourselves, we are more likely to take better care of ourselves (which incidentally helps us to look and feel amazing) so it just keeps getting better. A positive spiral, so to speak. So now I am on the journey of self-care which is what happens when you look after everyone else’s needs as a mother for way too long and finally realise you need to look after your own needs too in order for the cup to overflow. (and not bubble up in not so pleasant ways lol)
I am not even sure when exactly it all clicked but at some point I realised it was less about what others thought of me and more about what I thought about myself that really counts. And hopefully we are thinking good things!!
So if you ever catch yourself looking in judgement at this beautiful body of yours in the mirror, please stop for a moment and remember all the incredible and miraculous things it has done for you and continues to do for you every single day without you even thinking about it.
The next level of appreciation for me is when you start to see people you love unwell or leave this earth altogether, then you really start to get a reality check on how precious our life really is, the importance of self-care and how our body functions (and makes us feel) becomes so much more important than how it looks.
Every breath, every heartbeat, every step is a miracle. How blessed are we?
Be kind to yourself – it will take you much further!
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