A few weeks (months?) ago, I posted this on instagram, it it caused quite a stir amongst my friends and followers:
"I'm down on my body right now- weaning the baby has led to some extra
weight around my middle, making me have to pull out bigger sizes out of
the closet. I ordered 7 new pairs of jeans last week, hoping to find at
least one pair that would fit, and none do. I despise everything on my
side of the closet as it reminds me of the constant struggle to feel and
look "like myself." Because really, I accept the fact that my body is
forever changed- I even usually embrace it. But not feeling normal
really hurts, and some days it's just really difficult to look in the
So many women commented that they feel the same way, or have experienced these emotions in the past. They truly do, yet hardly anyone says it out loud. They battle these emotions in their heads, riding the roller coaster that brings them high when they're having a "good day" in their jeans, but frequently sitting at the bottom of the ramp, feeling overweight, pimply, bloated, disproportioned, sad, and miserable. And these aren't women who are trying to acheieve the look of a photoshopped magazine cover, or even women who are trying to hide the fact that their uterus has carried life. These are holy women, who embrace motherhood whole-heartedly, who just want to look in the mirror and recognize the person they feel like on the inside.
And that's the heart of my struggle.
I don't spend hours fretting over the image in the mirror. I don't have time for that. I feel super lucky when I can pull a somewhat-flattering outfit together out of a closet of ill-fitting and unflattering clothing. *sigh* Why do I have that clothing still? Because hormones. Because babies. Because breastfeeding. Because postpartum. It's all happened before and I can't say it will never happen again!
I'm trying not to complain, but instead to put words to the feelings that I think many women struggle with. I don't know if it's low self-esteem, vanity, pride, or some other sin that causes us to feel this way, but when it all boils down I hope that we can all come to terms with the fact that none of this matters to the One who loved us to death. He wants us to care for ourselves, to take care of our temples, but I'm not sure that he cares what size jeans I'm wearing this week. I think He'd be frustrated with me because I don't see myself the way He sees me- as His creation, the way He intended me to be. Just like when Ryan thinks I'm crazy for being frustrated with my body because he loves me just the way I am. He shows admiration and respect what my body has accomplished; he has such respect for me.
I don't think the roller coaster ride will end for me anytime soon, but I hope that over time I will develop more of a sense of respect for my ever-changing body. I know that for me, my frustration about my body image usually indicates that my emotions aren't quite stable (surprise suprise), so instead my energy should be focused on my interior- keeping my mind healthy, stabilizing my hormones, and allowing myself adequate rest and exercise time. Seems reasonable and logical typing it out, but why is it so difficult to live it?