BODY POSITIVITY: MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY BODY
By far, this has been the hardest blog post to write because it forces me to come to terms with a truth that I have been shrugging for the last three months. It was hard for me to take these images. Documenting a body that I don’t feel all too comfortable with. Work out gear is just not flattering. This is something that I had to say and had to do.
Three months ago my beautiful daughter was born, and while being pregnant with her, I never wanted my picture to be taken.
Now if you know me, this is a very odd thing to hear. Leading to my pregnancy, I liked having my picture taken, creating content and putting looks together. I had a good understanding of my body when it came to posing, and getting dressed. I knew what worked and how I would look in a certain outfit. There was this I had confidence in my body and my curves.
Once I started showing, and my face and body began to change – horrid thoughts started creeping in and shook my confidence. I hated having a camera on me and seeing my chubby face in photographs. I no longer felt like myself, and I had no idea how to dress or present myself – something I was so good at before.
Having such low self-esteem was something I did not expect during my pregnancy.
WHEN THE FLIP SWITCHED
My baby was born. Layla was here and I just felt in awe of this miracle my body created. All the bad thoughts I had before were worth it because my body was home to such a beautiful gift.
Postpartum hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew my body wouldn’t go back to normal immediately but my self-esteem was at an all-time low once the pain and euphoria of giving birth wore off. All I wanted was to put on my favourite pair of jeans and feel like myself again. I tried dressing like a did before and nothing looked right on me.
Walking past my full-length mirror made me cringe and I felt super embarrassed to get dressed or be naked in front of my husband. My stretch marks were dark and prominent and my belly skin was loose and flabby. I felt so ashamed and disgusted even though I knew my body just produced a child – I couldn’t give myself the time to heal. I just went to the “my body is gross” place.
GETTING TO THAT POSITIVE PLACE
How do I love my body again? How do improve how I see myself? I had to switch my thoughts and place my self-worth onto something concrete. What might that be?
Well, it is simple. My Little Girl. I want to love myself so that I can love her and that way one day she will know how to love herself too.
I also need to make peace with that which I can’t change. Yes, my hips are wider now but I can become fitter, eat better and live healthier.
Having a positive relationship with my body is not only for me, my self-worth and my sanity but it is also my daughter, my sisters-in-law, my cousins, my aunts, my mother and any wonderful females I surround myself with. Oh and also my loving husband because he deserves a woman that loves herself.
I had to give myself grace and embrace my new routine, living each day looking at myself in the mirror and saying “Damn, you are one fine mama” – making sure I love on myself every day. And you, reading this post, I want it to make you love yourself more.