Before I started my weight loss journey I didn't give much thought to how my body looked. I took the time to look presentable in public but I never lamented my thunder thighs or jiggly butt. I suppose I became accustomed to being a "voluptuous curvy girl" and accepted myself as a size 16. However, when I finally decided to live healthy and incorporate exercise and good food in my life on a regular basis things started to change. As the weight started to come off I became more and more aware of my body. The dimples in my thighs, the stretch marks on my stomach and the fact that I actually have a stomach become evident as the pounds dropped. When you are big all around it is easier to ignore the bulging tummy because everything is bulging and it is statusquo.
But as my waist cinches and my breasts get smaller I can see a change. My belly that was flat before I had my son is now puffy. The c-section and a prior surgery have left my stomach muscles weak and it is more apparent that I have a belly now. Although I never had this problem before, I sometimes have a muffin top depending on the fit of jeans. Despite my elation about losing almost 35 pounds, I find myself sometimes doing the negative self talk thing. Just today I told my girlfriend I wear a size 10 and qualified it by saying "but only in the stretchy jeans".
I look at my belly and think - "wow, it is big and I have so much work to do" rather than celebrating how far I've come. I see the stretch marks on my sides from birthing my son and think that I may never feel comfortable in a two piece again. Most of the time I am positive but like all people I have my moments. I recently started reading a book by celebrity trainer Kacy Duke called "The Show It Love Workout" and I am truly enjoying it. Unlike other exercise books this one begins by focusing on emotions. I am in the first chapter "I Am" and this chapter is all about being thankful for my body.
Thankful for this belly that held my son for 9.5 months and delivered a healthy baby. Thankful for these boobs that are droopy but who cares, they nourished my son for the first 13 months of his life. Thankful for this stretch marks that are evidence of the beautiful body I had when I was pregnant. And thankful for these thunder thighs that carry me on a daily basis and enable me to walk and exercise. I am truly thankful for my body - as it is. With this acceptance I can move on and continue my journey. I may or may not lose any more weight but I will be fit and healthy because I am committed to maintaining this lifestyle. Not because I want to change my body but because I want to live and be healthy for the rest of my lifetime. Scale or no scale.
And so, to celebrate my love of self, I am posting this picture. Here I am in all my glory, 167.6 pounds. I may lose a few more or gain a few more but I can honestly say that I am happy! Self-Love comes first and everything else will fall into place. Remember that. And if you are so inclined, post a photo of yourself too!