Monday, February 23, 2015

on body image

I've been hard on myself lately. At first, I celebrated because my physical recovery from labor and birth was easier than with my firstborn. I assumed that since it was easier, all the other things would also come quickly - like fitting back into regular pants.

And I've been disappointed and frustrated. I gained weight on my hips and thighs during this pregnancy, whereas I had not when I carried my son. It will be a longer process of exercise and healthy eating to get this weight off, and for now, it's not very possible for me to get much extra exercise in! And I'm sleep deprived and fighting a cold, so I'm resting as much as I can. Not a very helpful situation that way!

In the meantime, my husband has continued to praise me and say he loves the way I look. He likes the yoga pants. It's okay that I'm not the same shape. He loves me.

I know that I am loved and that my body did a beautiful thing in giving life to this little girl, and that it continues to do an amazing thing in nourishing her and providing the comfort she and her big brother need. The loads of laundry, hugs, diaper changes, clothing changes, swaddles, tossing footballs, coloring with crayons, cooking meals, wiping faces and dozens of messes are my gift to my children and my husband. Their clean faces and content smiles are the evidence of the work my body has done for them. Why should I be so hard on myself that it's not the shape I had hoped so soon?

I need patience and grace to wait and work through this time. I need to focus on the little things, the beautiful, good, wonderful things. The pounds gained by my chubby little cherub. The smiles and silly laughs of my toddler. The hugs and reassurance of my husband. The love and support of friends. The beauty of redemption and self sacrifice.

Breathing and trusting that things will be well. That all things are beautiful in their time, and that I will again reach my personal goals. All will be well.

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