before i got pregnant, grew a baby, birthed a baby, and have continued to grow that baby with my body alone--i had just has much concern about my body image as the next girl. i'd like to think i was a little less worried about it than some, and maybe i was. but i had my fair share of moments in which comparison knocked me down and out. and my fair share of moments when i was sure i'd be happier if...if...if...
but you know what i realized? i think i have a new appreciation for my body's purpose and my body's value since having a baby. i used to feel like my body's value was mostly found in how it looked. (funny, it's as if there's a billion dollar industry teaching me that or something?) if it looked good, it was fulfilling its purpose. if it looked just, eh, it wasn't quite as valuable. and i had some times when i felt "dang lookin' good" and many more times where i felt very "eh."
this morning i was looking in the mirror and i thought, "dang you grew a baby with that body. and you've been keeping her alive with that body. and you've done it with less sleep than you've ever not-slept. and every day somehow that body stretches to new limits to take care of and provide for other human beings. dang that's one crazy rad body." and for maybe the very first time ever, i looked in the mirror and i wasn't looking at what my body looked like, but i was genuinely looking at it and admiring what it was capable of. and i felt amazing and proud and grateful to be created in the image of God. and to be created woman. (no offense guys).
one of the most influential and encouraging people in my life surrounding florence's birth was my birth instructor, and she sent me a postcard with this quote--which is still on my fridge and probably will be forever:
"remember this, for it is as true as true gets: your body is not a lemon. you are not a machine. the Creator is not a careless mechanic. human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, i recommend that you learn to think positively about your body."
-ina may gaskin
i'm a health nut, yes. i one-hundred-and-twenty percent believe in taking care of my body. but i think i may be past that ever-lovin' phase where i care so stinking much about how it looks and constantly comparing and all that (let's be real--middle school) bologna. thanks florence for helping mamma grow up a bit. i'll help you too, when it's your turn.