Mama is back and feeling GOOD.
For several months after having Jael, I really was not feeling good about myself. At all. I was hiding in baggy clothes and trying to avoid pictures as much as possible.
When my body was changing during pregnancy, I could literally feel and see the reason why it was happening, every single second of every single day. It didn’t get to me because I knew my body was doing amazing things. I actually felt pretty confident throughout my entire pregnancy, despite the fact that I gained 40 lbs.
However, once she was born, my body was still different but I was no longer carrying a baby inside of me. My new body felt foreign and purposeless. The stretch marks, the extra flab, the exploding boobs…it just felt wrong.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that isn’t true. My body has been nourishing that little body of hers for 17 months now and still going. My body has survived some very harsh things I’ve done to it over the years and not only did it survive but it thrived by accomplishing some pretty amazing things.
Fast forward to now – I am 45 lbs lighter than I was at the end of my pregnancy and I feel stronger, healthier, and more confident than I ever have.
However, this newfound confidence did not come from the weight loss. GASP.
My whole life, weight loss and a particular look were ALWAYS what I was striving for. I thought that if I could just reach a certain weight, a certain dress size, a certain look…I would be happy. I. WAS. WRONG.
You see, your outer appearance certainly plays a role in how you feel about yourself BUT it is NOT the whole picture. If it was, I’d still be miserable because I am not at the weight, dress size, or look I used to desire so badly. I actually did achieve that at one point but guess what..I still wasn’t happy.
What it took to get me to this point was a HUGE shift in my mindset. I had to start loving myself from the inside out. I had to start appreciating my body for where it is NOW, not where I hope it will be someday.
The thing is, if you can’t love your body at all stages, you will never love your body. If you can’t love your body now, you better believe you’ll still find things to pick apart once you reach that “goal weight”. If you don’t love your body now, it’s because something is missing emotionally/mentally/spiritually.
So, instead of always waiting to fit into a certain pant size and feeling uncomfortable in my skin until then, I decided to wear clothes that flatter my body the way it looks NOW (thank Jesus for Zyia!).
Instead of accepting defeat with my lifeless, dull, thinning, brittle hair that made me feel self-conscious and ended up in a bun every day, I decided to stop cheating myself with cheap products that don’t work and, instead, start using products derived from the earth that would nourish my hair and bring it back to life. Side note: your hair isn’t the problem – it’s your products.
Instead of caking makeup on the spots on my face that make me self-conscious and always having to angle my face a particular way in pictures or avoid pictures altogether, I decided to ditch the cheap shitty stuff that doesn’t work and, instead, treat my skin right by nourishing it with plant-derived skincare.
Instead of constantly dieting and feeling deprived and miserable, I decided to genuinely nourish my body with nutrient-dense food AND my mind with indulgent foods from time to time.
Instead of exercising in a way that feels like a chore, I decided to switch up my workouts to a format that I genuinely look forward to every day, which keeps me motivated and makes this an actual lifestyle for me.
Instead of trying to fit into the mold of what society deems beautiful, I decided to say SCREW IT, I’m beautiful the way God made me.
Instead of spending time with people who make me feel like I don’t matter, I’m surrounding myself with moms who uplift me and teammates who are aways building each other up.
So, yes, I do recognize that there are always improvements that could be made. I can always get stronger, healthier, and perform better from my current state. I’ll always have weaknesses that I can work on. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t love myself NOW and ALWAYS, no matter how I look.
I urge you to treat yourself with the love and kindness you would treat your best friend with. I urge you to take care of yourself mind, body, and soul. I urge you to look deep and recognize that you deserve to feel good about yourself.
So, treat yourself to those things that make you feel good whether it be a kickass workout, a new skincare routine, hair products that make your hair look flawless, clothes that accentuate your body, or whatever else. But DON’T forget to take care of the rest, as well.
Fill up your cup, on a daily basis, with positive self-talk and positive mantras, no matter how silly it may feel. What you tell yourself on a daily basis is what you start to believe about yourself. Give yourself daily reminders of how badass you are and that you can do anything you set your mind to and work hard for. Even if you don’t actually feel that way or believe those things, the more you say them to yourself, the more they will manifest into true belief. Talk to Jesus and let Him fill your soul with joy and gratitude.
Bottom line: stop wasting time *wishing* things were different. Recognize that improvements can always be made but that you are also beautiful and worthy RIGHT NOW.