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Tag Archives: self-esteem

Love The Belly

Before I got pregnant I hated my stomach. Don’t all women?? Well, all women from our culture/society?? We are bombarded with images of perfectly flat, toned or ripped abdomens and we look down at our own sorry, flabby flesh and fall into bouts of depression or self-loathing over it.

I used to hate my stomach and considered it the worst of my physical features.  I tried to keep it in shape.  I did the core work-outs and the crunches and the lower ab leg lifts and the fat-burning exercises and … and… and… and… I still hated the stomach that just didn’t want to do what I wanted it to do.

When I got pregnant I watched my stomach grow and grow and grow and grow and then it grew some more.  It had to expand to hold a 9+ pound baby and everything that baby needed in utero. I look back at pictures and can NOT believe that was ME.  Funny thing, though… when I was going through the pregnancy I never felt big. I never felt as big as I was, that’s for sure. And I loved my belly.

I am now two years past my son’s birth. And my stomach hasn’t quite recovered from carrying that sweet baby.  Granted, I never seem to find the time to exercise it, either.  So there’s that.  I look down when I am doing a plank exercise (or just sitting on the couch) and see how gravity pulls that excess belly toward the earth.  And to think it was never close to that prior to pregnancy and yet I hated it then.

But now I just smile when I see it. Some excess, wrinkly skin that would have freaked me out 4 years ago makes happy today. This belly grew a baby.  A baby I wanted for so long.  This belly protected the most precious person I have ever met, gave him a warm, nourishing home.  And eventually I will work it out more, try to get a stronger overall core. But I no longer obsess or lament this belly. I caress it and appreciate it for being strong enough to bring a new life into my life. This belly is my badge of motherhood and I love it just as it is right now.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Memories

An organizer of a class reunion posted on the group’s facebook page asking for each of us to post three memories we have of our time together.  My family moved away from my childhood home at the end of seventh grade so I don’t have high school memories to share.  But that request got me reminiscing about my childhood and my 13 years in that small, wide-spot-in-the-road kind of town.

The good and not-so-good memories churn around, swirling in my mind.  Its funny how the not-so-good ones seem to jump front and center. And I think of people and experiences I haven’t thought of for years. Being teased and called names.  That sucked.  And yet, without those experiences, maybe I wouldn’t be who I am today. ????

My mom was awesome on one particular incident.  Before the 80s big hair was ‘in’, she braided my long hair and I slept on the braids.  Then I had super kinky, big hair the next morning when we took out the braids. I loved it. These two brothers in 5th grade called me Amazon at school. I was too proud to cry in front of them but I bawled when I got home and mom asked about the compliments I got on my hair. I was never doing my hair that way again!

She sat me down and asked me if I knew what an Amazon was? I had to admit that I didn’t know. She told me that an Amazon woman was a tall, strong, beautiful warrior-woman. She said the next time those boys called me that to consider it a compliment and say, “Thank you.”  I was skeptical. But I was also still at an age when I thought my parents knew everything (vs them knowing nothing once I turned 14).

Not too long after the first time, we braided my hair again. The most braids we ever got in were 17. Talk about big hair. I took a deep breath and got on the bus. Then I got to school. Then I heard it. “Hey Amazon!” And lots of giggles and snorting. Summoning up my best imitation of my mother (who was the tallest mom around at 5’10”), I stood up nice and tall, threw my shoulders back, and I looked those stupid boys in the eyes and said, “Hmmph… thank you, I take that as a compliment.” And I walked right by them, head held high, flouncing my hair.

My mom helped me; but she didn’t call the school and complain or tell the principal to do something about those boys. Mom helped me feel good about myself, helped me fight my own battles.  She helped me turn something difficult into something positive for myself. And she’s done that my whole life.

Even though its the crappy memories that bubble up more prominently, I still say I had a magical and wonderful childhood because my mother helped make it so.  Thanks, mom.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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