Working on My Self Image Part 2
It’s been about a year since I’ve gotten on here to blog. At first I was just too overwhelmed and then there was too much I wanted to say, so I just didn’t say anything. I think I’ll post some thoughts and activities from the past year, but for now it’s best to just start where I am and fill in some gaps later on.
Last year I made a goal to find myself. I wanted to rediscover who I was as a person, not just as a mother or wife. It’s taken me on a beautiful journey that I want to record, so I don’t forget anything. The following is a post I started back in July and was an important step that got me to where I am today.
A podcast episode that changed how I saw myself was an episode of Awesome with Alison Podcast about building body image resilience with Beauty Redefined. I have followed Beauty Redefined for years and this episode was golden! So much so I listened to it multiple times, it really helped me challenge my thoughts towards my body. At the end of listening to it I was walking and crying because I realized I had an inner voice telling me I was not someone to be proud of until I was thinner, until I lost all the baby weight. Because of the episode I called out that voice and threatened it, I said I was going to find out if that was true from those I loved and respected the most: my husband and kids, my mom and sisters, and my close friend and cousin.
I was most nervous to ask my kids, they don’t have filters and will tell you how it is. I asked them while they were all eating breakfast, “Do you guys care that I still look pregnant? Do you think I’m not as good of a mom because I’m bigger?” They all looked at me with question in their eyes and said, “Why would that matter!?” They didn’t even notice and had no idea why I would even ask them such a silly question.
I then called Jacob on the phone and told him the conversation I had just had with our children. I then asked him if he often thought and was sad about my bigger body. If he wished I was thinner. My eyes filled with tears as he told me, “I’m only sad with your size because it makes YOU sad. I wouldn’t care otherwise. I married you! It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you’re still the same kind loving woman I married.”
Next up I Marco Polo’d my mom, sisters, and cousin, asking them if they noticed my increased weight when they saw me. If they thought to themselves that I should be thinner by now. They all said they don’t see my weight change, they just see me. My mom said, “You’re the picture of health in my mind when I can see all that you do with and for your family.”
And there I had it, the people closest to me, the only ones I truly cared about their opinion, never thought negatively about my weight until I bring it up. They see me as a loving human, not simply as a body that changes. This practice of questioning the thoughts I have about my body was HUGE for me. It not only was good for my body image, but it also helped me start to second guess other destructive thoughts I had about myself.
If you are constantly thinking about how you aren’t measuring up or how you are not where you “should” be, please take a minute to evaluate if those thoughts are true. Are these thoughts helping you become a better version of yourself, or are they just squashing your Spirit? If you’re not sure, talk to your loved ones; they are able to see you for who you really are and not just who you think you are. You are whole. You are worthy. And you are capable of wonderful things.