Thursday, March 21, 2013

{day twenty nine} at the foot of the cross I lay my body...

I treated myself to a Frosty on Monday because it had been a stressful day.

During a meeting on Wednesday, I ate three pieces of chocolate from the candy dish that taunted me from the center of the table.  And then I stumbled upon two more pieces later in the day and ate those too.

I bypassed the salad bar in the cafeteria this afternoon and opted for a grilled cheese and waffle fries.  

It's no wonder the pants I wore to work today were a little more snug than two weeks ago.  I blame it on the dryer.  Not the diet.  

Ten years ago, I would have viewed this week as a failure because of my food choices.  I would have worried and worried and anxiously devised a plan not to fail again.  Then I would have pulled myself out of bed at 5am to walk three miles, shower, go to work, drink a SlimFast for breakfast and another for lunch, I'd head home for work, lace up the tennis shoes, and hit the pavement for another 3 to 4 mile walk.  I  may or may not have a banana or some celery or something else of equal nutritional value for supper.   

Clothes didn't fit well back then either.  But I think it had more to do with the fact that I didn't fit in my own skin.  I wasn't sure who I was or where I was going.

As I approach 34 and have almost 2 years of mommyhood under my belt, I'm learning to wear my skin nicely.  I learning to be kinder to my waistline if the pants are just a little too snug.  I'm discovering that this body of mine will never be like it was when 20 felt old and the future seemed like something that would never come.  I'm learning there is no such thing as the perfect size and that skinny is unattainable.  I know because even at a size 2 with hair falling out, I still hadn't reached skinny.  I'm learning to appreciate the fact my body has been stretched and shifted in order to bring forth life.  

Miracles happen when a woman gives birth.  And sometimes that miracle is discovering her own beauty as she cuddles a swaddled bundle of sacrifice and sweetness.

These days I'd rather push a stroller at a leisurely pace and stop to pick dandelions instead of hoofing it at a near jog for three miles without stopping to appreciate the beauty of the landscape.

These days I'd rather heft a 28 pound toddler high above my head instead of circuiting training at the gym.  And if my arms still seem to jiggle in those sleeveless shirts, at least I know I can hoist a tiny body over my head and laugh while I do it.

These days I'd rather wear jeans with more breathing room instead of thinking that jeans are only fashionable in single digit sizes.  

These days I'd rather dance to toddler tunes in socks and pajamas instead of in three inch heels in a smoky bar to a cover band whose music really isn't that good.

These are the days.  The days I thought would never come.  The days where I can teach my girl to be kinder to her body.  To appreciate it as a work of art at the hands of her Creator.  I'm teaching her that beauty is not defined by the size of her thighs or the color of her eyes.  And pretty is not a size; pretty is as pretty does.  I'm showing her that strength comes from the heart not the gym.  I'm whispering to her that beauty is in the eye of the Beholder; the One who knows every hair on her hand and holds every tear that falls from her eyes.

Yes, these days my body fits me like my favorite pair of pajama pants and fuzzy socks.  Comfy and warm.  After all, my body is a miracle maker.  And I don't miracles lightly--my body or my daughter.

What about you?  How has your body image shaped who you are today?

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