My heart cringed as I opened up another Facebook message. It was from someone I barely knew, and I could tell what it was the moment I opened it up. “How would you like to lose the rest of your baby weight? Now is the perfect time to get the body you have always wanted!” That was the sixth message like this I have gotten this month. THE SIXTH.
You see, it has taken me a long time, almost three years, to really become comfortable in my own skin. Since having my kids, things have shifted and moved, lifted and fallen, ballooned and deflated. But it hasn’t been until recent months that I have truly been finding joy and pride in my body. Joy and pride in what my body is capable of doing as a wife and a mom; giving and loving life.
I know that when these “Facebook Friends” message me, they see me and the extra bit of self I never used to have as an opportunity to “help others” and “grow their business.” And I mean, who doesn’t want to lose 10 extra pounds? But for someone who has TRIED to lose those 10 extra pounds and has seen it negatively effect the way she parents and raises her babies…their offer to “help” and singling me out just opens up a gaping hole in my heart that I am already trying so desperately to repair.
You see, my stubborn perfectionist heart struggles with finding a happy medium when it comes to my body.
For so many of us with this personality trait, it’s either all or nothing—moderation is a hard thing for us to grasp. I have tried many different approaches: counting calories, doing rigorous workouts, taking classes, obsessing over every little thing I put in my body, and reading up on all the latest healthy recipes until I am blue in the face. It effects my attitude, my energy level (still getting up in the middle of the night for feedings over here), and it drops my milk supply, and if the baby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
And every time I find myself in the middle of these “plans,” and feeling like a failure, I end up asking myself the same question: Has my body become my temple or my idol? For me, eating two healthy meals a day and one that maybe isn’t as healthy, enjoying a Coke every once in a while, snacking over a piece of pie with my best friend, running a slow mile with my girls in tow every day, and going out to eat at a favorite restaurant with my husband is my healthy temple. And at the end of the day, I am still full of life and proud of the way I live it as a mom; as an imperfect woman trying to raise children who love God and love others well.
So while I may not be able to do five pull ups, I can rock a sick baby. All. Night. Long.
And while I may be a little squishy around my tummy, my kids have more of me to hug.
And when my arm has a little extra wave when I gesture you hello, I can still play a mean game of hide and go seek. And win.
And although I don’t have a “summer ready body,” my husband still tells me I’m beautiful every day…and I believe him.
So the next time, dear Facebook friend, you ask me if I want to lose the rest of my baby weight and finally get the body I’ve always dreamed of, I will smile, look over at my babies and reply, “I do have the body I’ve always dreamed of. I’m a size mom. And that’s exactly the size I want to be.”