Saturday, December 5, 2009

Battle Scars

When I was younger, I had a lot of self-image issues. As I made my way into adulthood, I began to slowly let those issues go and gained some semblance of acceptance of myself and the way I look and behave.
Through pregnancy, a lot of those old issues came back to haunt me. I was no longer able to maintain my athleticism, no longer a fit and youthful-looking woman, no longer "sexy," but most importantly, not able to do things I had formerly taken for granted, such as walking uphill without having to constantly stop for breath. Things like not being able to walk fast or, later, not being able to walk faster than a turtle! Things like not being able to lift heavy objects or exercise vigorously. I had to watch in dismay as by body not only began to change temporarily, but also change permanently!
After the baby, I've had to deal with these permanent changes. I've resented my body for growing wider- my ribcage had to expand, my stomach still carries a "pouch," my boobs have started to sag a little, and my hips have changed shape. Even worse, I've gained some rude little stretch marks on my belly and thighs!
Slowly, though, ever so slowly, I've come to not only accept my stretch marks and wider hips, but actually enjoy them! I think I'm probably the only person who actually LIKES my battle-scars, but I really think they don't look bad sitting there on my tummy. In fact I take a certain amount of pride in them. After all, I had to go through a lot to get them! My newfound hips are even kinda neat. Yes I look like a MOM, but after all I'm SUPPOSED to. Even though those ads for slim stretch-mark-free tummies would have me believe I need to gain "perfection" in order to be attractive, I don't believe them. I take pride in the fact that I see beauty in uniqueness, not in sameness.
Slowly, but surely, I've been letting go of my need to be "perfect" and gaining pride and confidence in my "imperfect" self. What concepts do you need to let go of in order to be happy with yourself as a person?



    Great post and a always so wise in your insight, process and personal surrender. I have never been thin so that was never an issue. I do like my face and hair and eyes and I see myself as attractive. After being diagnosed with M S and losing some of my stamina and strength I strugggle with some of those limitations. At the same time I am filled with gratitude for my mobility as I surrender to how it has changed. Using a cane and or my rollator, at first, were very hard, but now I see them as tools that help me get around safely and for longer periods. I adjust, over time - and then it feels natural and normal.

    Love to you and thank you for yor wonderful comment over at my place.

  2. Awesomely put! I too just had a baby about three months ago, and I see myself constantly going by the mirror everyday reminiscent on when things use to be tighter, higher, and put there place. I am gratefully back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and learning to accept my body how it is in its new form. Afterall we are WONDER WOMEN...Stretch Armstrong has nothing on us! lol. Stay encouraged.

    **Oh yeah, thanks for adding me!**