Friday, January 30, 2009

Body Image

So, I was thinking this morning how I'd like to remember the last time I didn't have negative thoughts when eating. I can't. I'd love to just be able to enjoy Pizza or Steak or Lasagna without worrying and stressing over the calories I'm consuming and what they will do to my (already overweight-although not obese yet) body.
Eating said foods causes extreme anxiety because I am wondering if I will be able to stop when it is time to stop. And if I will have the will-power to exercise it off the next morning.

The next thing I'd like to remember is when I didn't have negative thoughts when I look down at this body. This body has done something very important. Why can I not just embrace that? It's assisted God in the miracle of forming a new human being 3 different times. I have 3 beautiful babies to show for the scars on this body God has given me. I promised myself that every stretch mark would be a red badge of courage. That I would remember how I longed for a few stretch marks (or at least what they represent) when I had the unmarred skin of someone without children.

How do you look at people like Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie and all the other stars who have had (multiple) children and reconcile with the fact that they can still look the same or in some cases better than before children. I know that they have a small army of people helping them-including personal trainers, dieticians and chefs as well as nannies to watch the baby while they do all of this to get back in shape. And that's fine. I honestly would not trade my life for theirs for even a minute (ok, maybe just one minute-but then I'd want to come back) and I'm not asking for perfection out of this body--it's already given that 3 times over. I just want to feel good. To feel normal. To not feel like making jokes about cows or pigs when I think of my body and my self.

The good news? I am working out almost daily, watching (most of the time) what I'm eating and I think I'm getting somewhere with this journey. The thing is, I"m still going to have to accept some imperfection. I'm going to have to learn to have a happy medium. To still enjoy life and not worry about every single bite that goes into my mouth. To not obsess. To realize that this is real life. I only get one go-round and then it's over. And when I get to Heaven? Well, since Heaven is perfection...I guess there won't be any stretch marks or cellulite, right? So, in the scheme of eternal's all fleeting. Only what's done for God will last, right?


squirrelgirl said...

Oh, Cara... {hugs} Those pictures of "Celebrities After Baby" are all airbrushed to perfection. And that small army of support staff they have is a huge thing, too. Please try to be happy with your 3 beautiful kids and the body that bore them. It's fine to work on things - exercising and eating sensibly are certainly important (says the physical therapist in me) - but you're absolutely right: you should embrace those things you can't change (stretch marks and such) as part of the person you have become through your travels on the road of life. I don't dye my hair and I don't care if I have wrinkles on my face - that's who I have become because of my life experiences. And I'm OK with it. If other people aren't, that's their problem. I hope you can eventually let go of the body image issues and enjoy yourself, your kids and your wonderful life.

carebear7951 said...

You know, some ways I feel the same way as you-and truly the stretch marks don't bother me, it's the fat. I do dye my hair (so far) but not often. I'm not that concerned with it. I don't mind my 30-something's a lot wiser than the 20-something face I had.
I do love my body for bearing the babies I have. I just wish it hadn't gotten so fat (I can't even blame the babies...I weigh almost 20 lbs more than I did a year ago. Weaning Haley took it's toll!) You are right, I remembered the army of support but I forgot the airbrushing! :) thank you so much for your encouraging is so true. And maybe, just maybe I can remember to do Pilates. ;)

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