choosing to love my post-baby body

This post is a compilation of thoughts I've had over the past five months.

I am 29 years old. I believe I have disliked my body for at least the last fifteen years. Fifteen! I can probably count on two hands the amount of times I've looked in the mirror and thought, "You do look beautiful today" or "You look better than you think you look." Most days I avoid mirrors just to avoid the negative thoughts. I am so tired of hating my body. It's exhausting.

Today as I showered alone (a rare treat), I looked down at my current body and decided it was time to show it some love.

Today I vow to stop criticizing every curve, bump, dry spot, bald spot, soft spot, wrinkle, blister, split end.

I am me. I am imperfect, but I was created in the image of a perfect being. He would not want me to loathe myself as much as I do. I doubt He even sees all the imperfections I so readily see every time I look in the mirror. I truly believe He thinks I am beautiful. He sees and has always seen a treasure in me. It is time I see it too.

I remember a time I really valued my body for what it was. I was thirteen and I was skating on empty ice. I felt powerful as I lifted my immature body off the ice and jumped and twirled in the air. I felt magical. At that time, I had never once considered my body as an awkward thing. My mother had taught me to be grateful for a healthy and strong body that allowed me to compete on the ice. She and I both knew it was a exceptional talent.

Just as clear as I remember that day on the ice, I also recall the beginning of my self-degradation period. I had just turned fourteen and found myself lost in a sea of high school boys and girls. It was as if all of a sudden I recognized all my flaws and wished I could hide away in secret hallways or abandoned classrooms. I was a budding teenager and found myself grimacing at my small breasts, flat butt, and knobby knees. As time passed and my body changed, I just continued to find reasons to dislike so many of my body parts.

Fast forward fifteen years and add countless batches of Eliza's chocolate chip cookies, too many salty steak fries, three babies, periods of inactivity due to too much work and my body looks a lot different than it did years ago. My body dramatically changed after Elle. I am curvy in areas I have never been curvy. I am wider in the hips and ribs. My hair is brittle and falls out more than I wish it did. My skin is excessively dry and requires lotion. I detest lotion but highly doubt my skin will maintain any moisture without it.

Needless to say, I look different. I only have a few pounds to lose to reach my pre-pregnancy weight, but even when I do reach my goal, I doubt I will look as I did a year ago. As I thought about this fact in my peaceful shower, I decided that I am okay with my current body. I will lose those few pounds (it's not really like me to keep them hanging around), but I am satisfied with who I am and what I look like.

Why the sudden shift in opinion? Because I can't stop thinking about what my mom taught me so long ago. I am grateful for a healthy and strong body that has allowed me to create and grow three beautiful princesses. I also can't stop thinking of all my girlfriends who have not been blessed with children and are anxiously awaiting the moment they experience pregnancy. Their years of waiting will help them love their pregnant and post-pregnant bodies. They will not focus on the imperfections because they will be too focused on the the perfect little being in their arms.

So there it is. I am choosing to love myself. No more self-loathing. No more avoiding mirrors. I am going to look in the mirror and try and see what my maker sees in me. I am also going to see the mom that I am and be proud of what my body created. It is pretty amazing when you think about it. 


  1. What an admirable aim! I have to say, though I know my body's far from perfect, generally I'm happy with the fact that I'm here and reasonably healthy. That said, I'm 38 weeks pregnant with my second and couldn't help but have a vain moment where I whinged to Steve about the appearance of my first ever red stretch mark- I caught myself and realised how lucky I was to be pregnant with this baby and have vowed to complain no more! I'm going to aim to be more like your 13 year old self and just be impressed at what my body is capable of. xxx

  2. I find myself having to make this kind of goal right now as well. My third child is six months old and I need to lose a little weight still, but I'm getting there. I'm terribly frustrated lately because I have never felt this way. I too was blessed with parents who taught me to appreciate my body, particularly a father who never, ever said anything but beautiful things about the physical appearance of his five daughters. He also made sure to teach his son how to buoy up the women in his life. Lately though, I've been depressed. My body is not what it used to be after three children either and for months I have struggled with it, like never, ever before. I was watching a friend my mine, whose body is not perfect at all by social standards, but you would never know that by the way she carries herself. She values it and believes she is beautiful regardless. I have decided to try and imitate her attitude about it and so far it is working and I am beginning to find myself loving my body again.


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley