I know I'm not alone when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with my body.
I've criticised and scrutinised every part of it.
When I fell pregnant with Chloé I was overjoyed yet terrified simultaneously. I was afraid that she would have my same insecurities in a bodily-conscious world where we are encouraged to fix all our imperfections instead of embrace them.
During my pregnancy I accepted all the changes my body went through and once Chloé was born & she was more aware I made a concerted effort to be mindful what I would say about my body and appearance. I wanted her to feel comfortable and confident in the skin she was in. Now I know you are probably thinking-she is only three years old. She doesn't understand. This couldn't be more incorrect-this little girl picks up and feeds off of every action that we do & word that we say. Riaan and I are her role models and she mimics every single thing we do, literally. We call her our little parrot.
During my pregnancy with Olivier the negative mindset quickly crept back-I struggled with three months of bed rest and post pregnancy absolutely no energy or time to exercise. Lets just say my body felt foreign to me and I battled to come to terms with the changes (are these changes permanent? How am I going to accept them? Is my skin pigment going to disappear? Cellulite in places I thought weren't possible? Will my stomach ever be flat & toned again?), I boxed all my bikinis and called it a day.
I must admit, being mindful, conscious & positive about what I say to myself encourages me to eat nutritious foods that feeds the body instead of resorting to emotional eating. My body is still not what it looked like 'pre babies', but my mindset is changing and the better I feel from consuming healthy food & exercising when I can along with starting to consciously love the body I have, the guilt is slowly disappearing.
Fast Forward to Wednesday 9th August 2017-Woman's day. The last few weeks I had been doing a lot of reflecting & meditating. I woke up feeling slightly bloated, I threw on a dress that still had it's tag on it and that I was keeping to wear when I finally lost those last few kg's and I was examining my pregnancy pigmentation on my skin. That morning I had an interaction with my daughter that hit a button and I spent the morning further reflecting and writing in my journal.
'My feet have walked many beautiful different countries & villages. My mouth has consumed different foods & the most important part to communicate positive thoughts. My eyes have seen historical monuments, places and witnessed sadness & joyfulness. My arms have carried my babes, embraced family & friends, carried grocery packets and aided in my creativity. My hands have held others, made meals, driven cars around the country-to hospitals-to birthday parties-to funerals. My fingers have wiped away tears, plaited Chloés’ hair, helped a chocking child, intertwined with my husbands and written what is on my mind, my legs have carried my growing stomach(s), allowed me to exercise, run after & play with my children. I could go on, but in this moment I realised that there is more to me and how my body has endured so much and helped me see & accomplish everything in my life that instead of disliking what it looks like I should thank it for what it has aided me to do.
I had to accept and embrace who I had become-not just my mind, but my exterior. I knew it would be a difficult road, but I needed to practice what I was preaching and even though I knew it was/is going to be tough, I needed to do it for myself and in turn for my children-to become a positive influence in their lives & to make them feel loved, accepted and confident in every aspect of their lives. I want to be part of a movement where all Women can love themselves-every perfectly imperfect part.
So here's to acceptance, love, positivity, embracing the changes & looking forward.
You are enough & You are beautiful.