As I scurried around the kitchen at 6am getting everything organized to start my day before Jackson needed a bottle, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Where there was once a girl in cute pajamas stood a woman in an oversized t-shirt with breastmilk stains.
As I stepped out of the shower, I looked at my naked body in the mirror. Where there was once a girl with definition in her arms, bum and abdomen stood a woman with some cellulite and a soft belly.
As I gathered my belongings to head out for some errands, I paused in front of the hallway mirror. Where there was once a girl with smooth hair, make up and skinny jeans stood a woman in joggers, a sweatshirt, glasses and a messy bun.
As I brushed my teeth at the end of the night, I watched myself in the mirror. Where there was once a girl with smooth skin and bright eyes at any hour of the day or night stood a woman with laugh lines (aka wrinkles) and tired eyes.
If you told me a couple years ago that I would be proud of this woman I have become, I would have told you not in a million years. That old me was mostly concerned with my physical appearance, despite the cost it took me to achieve it. It never crossed my mind that I may have been stressing my body too much, not eating enough healthy foods, or neglecting my mental health. And at the end of the day, it didn’t matter how fit or lean or “in-shape” I was because I never would have been satisfied anyways.
Where the old me would have seen a mess of a woman, the today me sees something so much more. Today I see a body that has endured years of IVF treatments and hormone injections, grown a baby from microscopic to a living/breathing soul, and had my abdomen cut open to bring my child into this world. Today I see a body that works full time as a physician assistant, cooks dinner every night, keeps up a home and raises a child. Today I see a body that has been broken so many times but is somehow more beautiful despite all its cracks. Today I see a body that is strong and resilient.
My focus has shifted, and my mindset has changed. My priorities have become creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, nourishing my mind and body and caring for my family. When I stopped worrying about my physical appearance and began focusing on feeling good, I found so much more peace. Feeling proud in my own skin is a really great place to be.
The thing we need to remember is our bodies never fail us but often times we fail our bodies. We abuse them. We punish them. We tell them they aren’t enough. Yet, despite all this, they keep showing up. So, take care of that body you live in. Be proud of everything it’s endured. Honor and respect each imperfection. After all, you only get one.