A Long Look in the Mirror - Loving All of Me

This isn’t a story of Triumph, this isn’t a story of overcoming obstacles, this isn’t a story of defeat either… This is a story of finally becoming friends with who I see in the mirror.

I know who I am. I like who I am.

I have anxiety, little bit neurotic, definitely opinionated, and I’m very loud. But this isn’t the story of liking who my personality is. This is the story of finally befriending the image I see in the mirror.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my body isn’t what it used to be. Hell it’s been through a lot. But my body is pretty awesome, it grew and gave birth to a healthy baby at the age of 41. That’s pretty amazing.

My body has tiger stripes, may look vaguely familiar to the topography of a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie in some places. But I’m becoming okay with that. Because it’s strong.

It can carry around a 25lb baby all day long. Heck I can still pick up 125lb 15 year old from time to time.

My body is a part of who I am, but it’s not who I am. I am a whole person.

Sadly I think our society puts too much emphasis on what we look like and not Who We Are. Maybe that’s some of our issues… Heck that’s probably a lot of our issues, but I digress.

Yesterday I had an eye-opening experience. After having a second child at 41, and taking a year off from the gym to be with said baby. My body has definitely become much squishier then I would generally like.

Yesterday, I was shopping for some new clothes. Nothing really fit. I think that’s a problem for a lot of people. So I decided to wander over to the actual women’s department, you know where the sizes started X and go up to 3x. Which for a formerly thin-ish, very fit person can be a little scary.

I found several items and took them into the dressing room, most of them didn’t fit me correctly because I’m tall, I have no hips or behind to speak of, I have very long still relatively thin legs. My problem is my enormous chest, and what looks to be a rounded out, possibly still pregnant belly. It is not.

I did find a plus size Nike sweatshirt, who knew those existed?! And a scoop neck t-shirt that was a little bit more forgiving in the middle, perfect. That’s not really the aha moment…

The aha moment came when the young girl that was working in that department rang me up. And I actually had to say the words out loud, “I’m getting older, and just had a baby, things are getting harder to find that fit.” Which sounds like a simple phrase and start of a conversation. But honestly I had never vocalize the fact that I was now plus size.

So, this morning as I was getting ready for work I looked in the mirror. I thought sure you have a belly, but you also have fabulous hair. Not that physicality really matters, but it makes us feel better. But you have an awesome life. You’ve two great kids, you have a husband that you’re madly in love with. You have a roof over your head, you have a car to drive, a job to go to. These are all wonderful things.

So who cares about your baby belly. It’s time to lift each other up, make sure the people you love know that you love them. Heck, even the people that you’ve  just met, show them kindness. We all have weird, neurotic issues we’re dealing with. Even if they’re not traumatic, they can be traumatic to ourselves.

So I guess the moral of this is, I’m going to work on getting back to the gym because it makes me feel good. But I’m also going to enjoy the fact that I can snuggle up on the sofa, and watch TV at night after the kids go to bed, and sneak chocolate chip cookies with my husband. Maybe it’s in sweatpants that don’t squish my baby belly, but that belly grew two awesome kids in it. And I’m now okay with the fact, and can say out loud, that I’m bigger than I was, but I’m still the same person. And I like that loud, anxiety ridden, crazy girl.

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