How many times have you pictured your head on someone else’s body and said “when I get fit and eat better that is what I will look like” – and it becomes your driving point, your motivation, your goal? But then you put in the work and slowly reality hits and that goal that you thought was so obtainable remains forever out of reach. Not because you are doing something wrong, but because that goal body is not YOUR body. Your body is uniquely your own – it won’t respond just like anyone else’s and it won’t look exactly like anyone else’s. A recalibration of thinking is needed as well as a strong dose of self-love and self-acceptance. This is a lesson I have had to learn and re-learn many times in my life. Here is my most recent experience…
My mom tapped on her checks and said sweetly “you are looking pregnant.” I don’t know how moms/husbands/etc. do it but they have the magical power to say minor things that pull at some major heart strings. Especially when it comes to things of the self-conscious nature – for me that is body image. It is something I’ve struggled with nearly all my life. From being told I had the build of a Rottweiler as a teen to struggling with the freshman 15 to gaining even more post college. The shape of my body weighs heavy on how I perceive myself.
At this moment, I am 35 years old, in the gym 4-5 times a week, logging my food/counting macros for nearly 2 years and the kicker – 21 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. And the fact is that I’m gaining weight and it shows in my face a lot. Added to the fact that I feel like I am gaining it at more of a rapid rate then I ideally had in my head. However, in the past months I have become acutely aware that my body is doing exactly what it needs to be doing and I am not in control (gulp).
Nevertheless, in my head I pictured my 3rd pregnancy as me being this tiny fit thing with a perfect round belly. After all, this past year I have been I the best shape of my life and ideally that should carry over into my pregnancy. However, my reality isn’t lining up to that self-imposed “perfectly fit pregnancy” picture. It has taken some major soul searching to accept, but now I am more than okay with my body. Because truth is that I am having a very healthy pregnancy. I had to adjust my priorities to encompass the health of this baby not the build of my body.
I have to tell myself daily that I will not lose sight of the big picture while focusing on things that don’t actually matter – what the scale says, appearance of more cellulite and/or stretch marks, etc. I will remain thankful that my body is capable, strong and providing shelter and nourishment for by child.
If this sounded vaguely familiar in whatever situation you might be in (pregnant or not), I would encourage you to remember you are unique, your body is doing incredible things and you are perfectly imperfect. Keep your focus on the important things, show yourself grace and LOVE yourself fully. Plus, chances are the little people you have growing up around you are taking note of how you treat yourself and following suit. Self-love is contagious.