I ran into my friend at the mall the other day. She took one look at me wearing my new dress and said “wow you look so pretty and skinny!”
Ugh I replied as I poked my tummy and said “it’s SOOOO squishy”
As the words escaped my mouth it turned into one of those moments where everything happens in slow motion and you try to reach for the words that have just leapt from your mouth and take them back.
Not only had I just body shamed myself, something I’m WAY against for the record.
I did it in front of my 2.5 year old daughter.
With her big eyes she was standing there hand in mine, watching me push and poke on my 5 week postpartum tummy. She was listening to me explain that my abs just weren’t hard like they used to be. I was complaining about the body that produced the miracle that is her best friend and baby sister Lucy. THIS could potentially be the moment that HER issues with her body could start if something doesn’t change.
And THAT is something I am not ok with.
Let’s venture off topic for a second.
A couple of months ago my sweet two year old came walking over to me carrying a cup that she found outside. What she said to me next may have been the most hilarious thing I’ve heard in my entire life.
“Mom there is a F*CKING ant in here”
I’m sorry… WHAT did you just say child?
“Honey I think it’s just an ant.”
“No mom it’s a F*CKING ant.”
See we had just recently been dealing with an ant problem in her toy room. Those (f**king) ants kept coming back despite all my methods to eradicate them. Somewhere along the lines I must have lost my temper and called them f*cking ants… in front of my daughter.
Needless to say my husband and I quickly worked to correct this grammatical issue our sweet daughter was having.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the little people in our lives… they are ALWAYS listening. Always observing us and taking it all in.
And they may not respond to what we say or do immediately… they may ponder on it and wait for the right moment for that F bomb to come out.
Or the right moment to poke at their tummy and say “It’s so squishy” with a level of disgust in their voice that they have only learned from you.
I can correct Piper’s potty mouth… No problems there. But if she continues to see me and hear me degrading my body, poking my belly, and pointing out my flaws… I will (unintentionally) teach her how to do that to herself.
That child is beautiful and the thought of her hating on the miracle that is her body makes me want to cry.
So yes this is a story about not shaming myself in front of my child but it’s also a story about not shaming myself at all.
Because my body is a miracle too. It has done miraculous things. It deserves appreciation for that. It is ok for me to want to look and feel the way that I did pre-pregnancy, but it’s not ok to hate on myself everyday between now and the time it takes me to get there. If I do that… If I hate on myself in the time that it takes.. I won’t be able to stop hating on it when I attain whatever it is that I’m working towards. It won’t be enough. Nothing will ever be enough until I love my body as it is right now.
According to the Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders 80% of 13 year old girls have tried to lose weight. 80 FREAKING PERCENT. And half of girls between 10 and 13 see themselves as overweight. I don’t want my daughters to be in that camp. I don’t want them to look at their bodies with shame and disgust pushing off liking themselves until they achieve their “goal weight”
They’re already amazing
So am I
And so are you.
Don’t let where you want to be stop you from enjoying you, exactly as you are, right now.