"My Body is Home"

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I can write this post, but I read something so hateful this morning that I have to get this out. This isn't a post about loving your stretch marks or saggy skin. This is about loving your body as a whole.

I lost trust in my body over a year ago. From the day I found out my cervix was failing me, whatever self love I had stopped dead. I didn't know if I would carry the pregnancy to term or even close to term. A half dozen trips to Labor and Delivery because I thought I was in labor didn't help either. Laying in bed for nearly 4 months made me lose weight in the form of muscle. For once I was loving the numbers on the scale, but I was hating why they were so low. The thought of a long labor was nerve wracking. How would I handle those contractions?? I would get winded walking from the bedroom to the kitchen.

After R was born, I was thrilled to be a size smaller than I was pre-pregnancy. Everyone kept telling me how great and tiny I looked. Round the clock breastfeeding and an insatiable appetite made it hard to keep the weight off, but I knew that nourishing my tiny baby was more important than the label in my pants. The move to a new city, the PPD, and anxiety caused me to use food as a crutch and I gained weight. The poor food choices and lack of exercise caught up with me. I hated the way I looked in the mirror. I didn't bother to get dressed most days, staying in pajamas and ordering online so I wouldn't have to go to the store.

I was unhappy with so much and it was leaking into all aspects of my life: motherhood, being a wife, sister, friend, and daughter. Thankfully therapy has helped me come out of the fog of PPD and (most of the) anxiety. I'm at a point now where I joined a mom's fitness group and go at least twice a week for an hour. I can bring the baby, if I need to stop and nurse, it's no big deal. We all try to calm each others kids down when they're cranky from being in a stroller.

My body feels stronger. I feel stronger. I feel good. I am still not 100% where I want to be, but I know I'm getting there. I have more energy, I'm eating better. I'm making friends, including that mama tribe I (we) so desperately need. We are friends now, my body and I. Certainly not best friends, but we are getting there. I'm proud of the new muscles I'm building. I love being able to carry my 24 pound chunky baby, and it not hurt my arm or back.

I don't think I'll ever be 120 pounds, but that's okay. My job to be strong enough to keep up with my boys. I will not let anyone make me feel bad for the way I look. To all you mamas who are angry with your body, to those who've lost trust in it, know it gets better. To those who feel they need to come up with rules about who wears what and when, focus on yourself and your life. And kiss my ass.

Edit: Trigger warning The video "Body Love" by Mary Lambert made me cry hard. It's very powerful, but could be incredibly triggering for some.