What is Beauty? Beauty is defined as the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.
If Beauty is defined as the quality in a person that gives pleasure to the senses then why do we question our worth on this?
I don’t know about you but I have struggled with body image (beauty) for as long as I can remember. It all started in early elementary school when I was a bit bigger than most girls my age, then it carried on to the same in middle school and my first year of high school. We all know that kids can be rough, not just physically but also emotionally. “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” is total bullshit. Words create craters in one’s spirit that sometimes never heal.
I’ll never forget my sophomore year of high school. I finally had a boyfriend and hang on ladies get this he was a junior! I felt like I was on top of the world. However as quick as that began it quickly ended. It ended because I was 15 and not ready to take the biggest step a girl decides to take. Sadly he had cheated on me with someone who would. I’m sure you’re thinking that something like this happens to every girl and you know what you may be right! Every girl might go through the same thing. However there is this thing called DNA and that shapes who we are and with that we respond differently to different situations. This my friends is what makes us unique. After the tumbleweed of years where you don’t feel good enough I took a spiral down the rabbit hole.
I decided changing my appearance would fix everything. It started with eating less and starting to exercise. All you basically need to do when you’re a teen right? From that I lost some weight; I can still remember the feeling of getting on the scale and being lighter. Its like this high of feeling accomplished and feeling better about yourself. That high is addicting. So I ate a little less, exercised a little more. I continued this cycle until I would eat lettuce bare and workout for 2 hours a day. The compliments were amazing, the feeling was amazing so I just kept going. There would be days I wouldn’t even eat a thing. I got down to 103 lbs. I had no boobs, no ass, no shape whatsoever but I was thin.
The next moment of this I will never forget. My sister who is six years older than me finally picked up that something was wrong. I’ll never forget her yelling at me and forcing me to eat something before leaving the house to head to a concert. Later that night I threw it up everything she made me eat. She kept close watch on me; every day she would monitor my food in take. I was so fearful of gaining weight so I did what I thought was the next possible step. I just kept throwing up when no one was around. So funny little thing about my sister…she apparently is Sherlock freaking Holmes. She caught on to my sneaking away escapades. I won’t continue all the details of recovery but my sister was amazing and helped me get back to “normal”. To be honest though I don’t think one is ever fully recovered or normal from events much like these.
Now onto the Mom Bod. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant? Elated, happy, scared, nervous, excited, hopeful? I’m sure there are a number of emotions/ words you all felt. Did anyone else feel fear of gaining weight? I know I did. It makes me feel terrible to this day that I felt that way. After that initial reaction I of course was so happy. I can still remember the feeling I got during my first Ultrasound 🙂 but we will save that for another blog. Throughout my pregnancy I made sure to eat a balanced diet and I monitored my weight daily. I was a slave to the scale. I gained 25 lbs and all everyone said was you look great pregnant! After my son was born I was one of the fortunate mothers that lost all the weight and more due to breastfeeding and healthy eating. I was the happiest I had been throughout my entire life, I was thin, had an amazing baby boy who stole my heart right from the beginning, an amazing job and great support from family and friends. Seriously I didn’t think life could be any better. It was after the breastfeeding stopped a year later that my weight anxiety came back because my weight began to fluctuate. So began the yo yo dieting that I’ve done for years and that became my life again. Once the weight gain started and the anxiety set in I noticed the stretch marks my little man gave me and I noticed how my breasts no longer looked the same.. They just look like deflated balloons. It’s terrible! It took over my life all over again and with that it took away some of the joy of motherhood.
So back to my original question… why do we pressure ourselves? why do value our worth on beauty?
I have a son that loves me for me but I still question my value based on the number that is on that scale. My belief is that from the teasing we endure as children, the media portraying airbrushed women, the pressure to not have a mom bod, and the scrutiny we put on each other is what has made life and honestly motherhood not as enjoyable as it could be. We stress about the things that do not make us beautiful. What truly makes us beautiful and extraordinary is who we are and what we do with our life. I’m not saying that I remember this everyday because I sure as hell don’t. I spent 15 minutes crying this morning while getting ready for work because I didn’t like the number on the scale and I thought my ass looked huge. Even through those bad moments where we cry and beat our selves up we need to try to rise above it.
So what I ask is that when you are done reading this blog post (hopefully you did read the whole thing) spend your day tomorrow complementing each other. Whether it is saying something nice about someone’s shoes, outfit, makeup, hair, laugh, smile, body or personality. Just say it and I hope that someone does that to you in return. We truly are all beautiful so lets work together to remind each other of that!