Let me tell you about my body: it. has. changed.
I wrote about my body here. I reposted it here. The repost was interesting, to say the least. It turned into something very different than what I had actually written. And my regular Zen Parents commented in ways that proved the point of the post so beautifully, it was almost serendipitous...almost. See screen shots of the thread below.
Though I weigh many, many pounds LESS than I did before pregnancy, my body has changed, my weight has shifted and rearranged - I am in a bigger size now than I was when I weighed much more. My weight used to be much more evenly proportioned. Now, my legs and arms are thinner, my butt is smaller, the area where my c-section scar can be found is much bigger, my middle is thicker. It just is.
Shocking though it apparently is to some, I do not sit on the couch all day eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. And I exercise every day. I don't know any mother who doesn't! Running around after a toddler all day is a butt-kicking workout for anyone.
I was, at one point, in incredible shape. I used to work out about 8 hours a week. I had sculpted muscles, no detectable body fat, and I was STILL bigger than society would want me to be, still would never make it in Hollywood. My hips have always been high (I have never had a waist - all boob and hip) and wide, making for good curves, in my opinion, but too big, nevertheless, in society's eyes. My butt has always been non-existent. No matter how much I killed myself with trainers, I am just the female Hank Hill. So be it. My boobs have always been quite large. At one point, in high school, I considered a reduction, but decided against it. They are now not as perky as they once were and that's OK with me. Despite all the imperfections, I still had a hot little body. I didn't have anyone commenting to me that I should exercise, that I should stop eating junk, that I should set a better example, that I was unhealthy. Let me write that again: I had several imperfections according to society and I was beautiful.
Now, I'm not that body anymore, but I'm more happy. I know...shocking! It's true. I can actually look different than society, the media, many of you want me to look and be as happy as a clam. I have the same imperfections now, tacked on with a couple extra, and I'm happier now. What's the difference? I have experience, different priorities, different values, and a healthier self-esteem. Here's the math: me + imperfections - head noises as a result of society's static = me. Yup. Still me. I'm the same person regardless of the gray hair, regardless of whether or not I've "let myself go" (according to the comments), regardless of a couple extra pounds. And guess what: I'm a better version of me now than I was then. I never would've been the mom I am now when I was the old me.
Am I asking you to be like me? Never. Am I happy, healthy, safe, and a dang good mom? Yup. Does it look the way you want it to look? Evidently not. That's something for those who dislike it to come to terms with, not me. I have my own business to worry about.
To reiterate the point of this and the former post, the point is that loving oneself is a far more important lesson for me to teach my son than is fitting in to a mold set forth by, well, who cares who.