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Motherhood and Body Image

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Motherhood and Body ImageI remember before I had kids I was self conscious of my stomach. Whether I weighed 130 or 140 or 150, I felt I had a pooch that needed to be disguised and camouflaged. After carrying three babies, I now realize I had no idea what a soft stomach really looked like. I shake my head at that young and insecure version of myself.

Becoming a mother means having to make a lot of adjustments both mentally and physically. It doesn’t help that as we adjust to our new bodies and work through how we feel about our new selves that are staring back at us from the mirror, we are faced with a constant onslaught of airbrushed perfection. I suppose that’s why I feel much more comfortable viewing the female form through oil paintings of soft, round and curvacious women even centuries ago than I do looking at the women in a current issue of Vogue or the like.

I know I’m not alone in my struggles to accept my new shape. I’m not alone in my desire to lose the pooch. But here’s the thing; that pooch shouldn’t be viewed with disdain. It should be seen as a medal of honor. My body grew, carried, birthed and nourished three lives. How awesome is that?! Instead of being ashamed of my softened shape, I should be proud of the story it has to tell. We all should be proud of what our bodies have done.

And, so, I share four links today from posts and sites that say it well. Love your bodies, ladies. Don’t compare yourselves to the Photoshopped models (even they don’t look like their printed images). Instead embrace the magic of what your body was created to do, and embrace the battle wounds and scars that come with it.

This Is My Body, Sacred and Scarred

“My glory years are officially over, too, Sarah. Or rather, my glory years have been transferred from my broken body to something deeper and less physical and far more profound than a mere body. Not that that matters during the crying moments. It doesn’t. Because broken bodies must be mourned.” ~ from Five Kids is a Lot of Kids

The Shape of a Mother

“It occurred to me that a post-pregnancy body is one of this society’s greatest secrets; all we see of the female body is that which is airbrushed and perfect, and if we look any different, we hide it from the light of day in fear of being seen. That makes me want to cry. Sure we all talk about the sagging boobs and other parts, but no one ever sees them. Or if they do, it’s in comical form, mocking the beauty that created and nourished our children.” ~ from The Shape of a Mother

On fitness, souls and women

“Here’s the deal; we live in a society crumbling at it’s foundation. This world needs us – goodhearted, kind, capable women. And yet, so many of us spend years of life hating these bodies we’ve been given and yearning desperately to be different. We’ve believed this load of junk that we are what we look like. Well, I am done.” ~ from The Farmer’s Wife Tells All

Embracing Your Pregnant Body

“Some women talk about pregnancy as being similar to training for a mountain climb: a time to strengthen the body and build stamina for the hard work of labor and childbirth, to be mindful of what they eat, and to prepare body and mind for the big event and the prize waiting at the end. It may seem silly, but the E.V.E.R.E.S.T. acronym can help you remember to care for your body during the months before childbirth.” ~ from Giving Birth with Confidence

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