My last post had a lot to do about my body and where I stand on the issue. Since I posted it has been on my mind a lot. Then I read Another Mother Runner's post about what a Mother Runner looks like. I'm inspired to do this and I'm inspired to really talk about my body. This hasn't always been the case.
I believe it was early high school (maybe middle school, I'm not sure exactly) when I was on a bus with some classmates. I don't remember the conversation word for word, but what I do remember is saying something about liking how my body looked. I don't remember what responses I got from that conversation immediately after those words either. What I remember is coming to school the next day and being accused of being conceited and full of myself and a couple of girls, my friends, were mad at me for it while I tried to find the words to unnecessarily explain myself.
That time period in a girl's life is extremely sensitive. We were dealing with trying to figure out who we were, dealing with so many changes as we transitioned from girl to young lady, and trying to find our place in the world. It is a stressful time where girls could easily take the left turn instead of the right. Eating disorders, drugs, drinking, sex, etc to allow themselves a place to destructively fit.
We should be encouraging each other to love ourselves so much earlier on in life than we do, but too often our peers don't allow it. It's not cool to love yourselves in school. It was heartbreaking to me that I was being "outed" because I said I liked something about myself to my classmates, to my friends.
From that moment on you would not find me talking about what I liked about myself. I have always been shy and have had low self esteem, as did many of the girls whether they admitted it or not, crushing me the one time I felt comfortable enough to share how I felt was damaging and has shaped the kind of person I grew to be. It kept that low self esteem alive for a very, very long time.
It's sad that the majority of girls, women, ladies have such issues with their physical appearance and it isn't until later in life that they learn to love themselves for who they are and what they look like, close to perfection or not. Me included. I'm still working on it. I'm still trying not to compare my physical appearance with the girl in the magazine or the girl in that picture with the inspirational quote who has lines and tone and skin to die for.
In all my vulnerability and nervousness while pushing the "Publish" button, I'm going to post this.
The things I love about ME. Too often in my posts I will write something that is positive, but quickly follow it up with something that counters it because that little voice in my head says I'm coming off as conceited. Sometimes I try to find balance and make sure I'm being equally positive and negative so people don't think I'm too happy or too depressed. This time I'm not going there. This is me. This is what I love about me. Love it or hate it. Praise it or punish it. I'm not apologizing or softening the lines.
This month is filled with things that deeply affect the human heart, especially a woman's; Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Some of you, like me, are personally affected by at least one of these.
Painful, life shattering moments that we didn't know how we would move on from. We didn't know what tomorrow looked like and if the pain would ever stop. Some of you are going through this now. But for those that found a way to put one foot in front of the other, we are stronger. Maybe we don't recognize it, but we are. So, this post is about celebrating who we are today and all the strength we have gained from each of our circumstances. This post is about loving ourselves for all we've been through, who we've become, and what we look like; scars, stretch marks, dimples and all.
I'm posting the picture I submitted to Another Mother Runner. I would encourage you to do the same. I would also encourage you to join me. In the comments if you feel lead to leave a message, please tell me something you love about yourself. It can be something about your physical body or who you are or both, hell make a long list. My smile will expand with each word you write and it will motivate me to keep going. To love myself more and celebrate you.
Last night I turned the camera on myself and was photo bombed by a 1 year old so I ran with it. I'm only going to post this one, my favorite decent one (one that is not in bikini bottoms) because I think it thoroughly shows all that I am proud of from the imperfect smile to the pasty white skin oh, and that little boy smiling on my shoulder.