Learning to Love My Body

“The most powerful thing anyone can say to us is what we say to ourselves.” 

— Christine D’Ercole

Sigh. Honestly, I did not want to get vulnerable this week in a blog post.

But here I am, exposing it all, peeling layers of my skin back again. It has been heavy on my heart so it’s time that I become more transparent about it.

The topic of my weight has always been an uncomfortable one for me. I have a long, deep-rooted history of not loving my body. As far as I can remember, I have always felt “fat.” Growing up, I was a chunky baby. So much so, that my nickname was Baby Huey. I remember at the age of 8, I asked my mother why my stomach wasn’t flat like Britney Spears (thank you, Hit Me Baby One More Time). When I was 10, I was clothes shopping with my father and was being extremely picky because I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and did not like how the clothes looked on my body. Out of frustration, he picked up a size 16 in Women’s and asked if I thought this would fit me. Please know that my father is an amazing one, but he is also very impatient and blunt. When I was 12 years old, I introduced myself to a diet and exercised after every meal (I know, unhealthy). When I was 14 years old, one of my aunts told me I should do more sit-ups because I have too many rolls…while sitting down?? Right. I could go on and one, so many examples.

I was always a curvier girl.

Always bigger than my friends. Always longing to be smaller. Throughout the years, my weight yo-yoed. I always seem to find myself right where I started- attempting to lose more weight or be more toned. And now, here I am at about 5 months postpartum, and I am the biggest I’ve ever been. What the hell was I complaining about before?!

Photography by Sophie Izquierdo

Admittedly, I did not gain as much weight during my pregnancy as I thought. I was so sure that I would balloon like a blowfish. But no; I ended my pregnancy at a solid 27 lbs. The first few weeks of postpartum, the weight seemed to melt off easily. I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight at 6 weeks postpartum. Then the holidays happened. For the past few months, I cannot seem to shake off the extra 8-10 lbs. that I carry. And I know what you are thinking, “You’re only about 10 lbs. away from your pre-pregnancy weight.” But after giving birth, my body is not quite the same. Nothing seems to sit how it used to if you know what I’m saying. I feel incredibly soft and squishy and honestly, unattractive. I yearn for my pre-pregnancy body. I try to eat right and go to the gym. Some weeks, I’m successful. Other weeks, not so much. Between working full-time from home in a demanding HR position while caring for my daughter, and blogging on the side, every minute of the day seems to be accounted for. I try to schedule as much me-time as possible, but I often find myself taking shortcuts to nurture myself.

Becoming a mother is such a beautiful experience but I would be lying if I said it doesn’t strip certain parts of yourself away.

You truly become a new version of yourself that appears unrecognizable at times. You are constantly trying to recalibrate, reacquaint, and reinvent, all at the same time. And after a long day, when you’re in the need of a shower and with baby spit up and drool all over your clothes, that is enough to make you feel unattractive. And then you take off your clothes to take a shower, pass by the mirror, and you wonder, will I ever feel like myself again? Will I ever look like myself again? It’s a difficult journey of emotions that require processing at various levels.

I am trying to be more kind to myself. I acknowledge that having this body as a woman is a gift. This body brought life into this world. It endured 9 months of morphing and stretching to become a cozy little home for a human that I was literally creating in my body. How amazing is that?

Photography by Enjoy Ya Selfie, Tampa, FL

Some days I feel REALLY good in my own skin, so much that I think to myself, “Wow, I look amazing after having a child.” And then there are times when I want to avoid a mirror altogether. My quest for loving my body is a work in progress. I AM a work in progress. I am actively rewiring my self-image. I am raising a daughter who will unintentionally mimic my actions and reflect my perspectives and views. My daughter will learn about self-love based on examples of how I love myself. And because of this, it is necessary for me to learn to love my body again. I’m breaking generational curses, erasing past traumas, and creating a new cycle of love and acceptance, for her.

To all the women reading this, you are beautiful.

Whether big or small, still beautiful. That number on the scale is not a rating of your worth. To my mommas out there, you are still attractive and desirable. It’s okay if your body does not look the same. Let go of that pressure because I can almost guarantee that it is self-inflicted…I speak from experience. Sending love to you all ❤

Although this blog post is mostly geared towards women, gentleman, feel free to chime in! To all my readers,  do you struggle with your self-image because of weight? What are some ways you combat these negative feelings? I would love to hear from you all!

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Posted by

Like a lotus flower, I emerge from dark, murky waters to reveal my beauty. Feeling and healing on this journey of life; glowing and flowing. I have always loved writing, but it has taken me 29 trips around the sun before I had to confidence to share publicly. I hope my writing, which is near and dear to my heart, sparks light and love in all of you. Make yourself at home and enjoy the ride!

49 thoughts on “Learning to Love My Body

  1. Love this! What an incredibly honest and courageous post love that you bought up this topic as I’m sure it really resonates with so many people, especially moms. I admit it took me decades to finally love my body (seriously I think I was like 36 maybe 38?). I’m 44 now and I can now say I really love my body finally and wished I had not wasted so many years trying to cover it up by avoiding activities I loved like being at the pool or the beach. Thanks for sharing your story and your journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, it’s amazing how hard we are on ourselves! I can definitely related to avoiding certain activities and covering up my body out of shame. I am so glad that you reached a point where you can fully love the body you are in. There’s hope for me after all 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sure if I feel like this, there are so many other women out there who may feel like this too. Happy to share. Thank you for reading and commenting! xx

      Liked by 1 person

    2. ‘My quest for loving my body is a work in progress.’ I always feel the same way when I look myself in the mirror. I feel incomplete. I blame the Kardashians for that. All those extremely “perfect” (maybe photoshopped?) bodies all over Instagram really make me dislike my own body even though I try to remind myself my body is completely fine. You look amazing in the pictures. You are a beautiful woman, indeed. Thank you for sharing this encouraging message with all women out there who struggle with their self-image.

      Best wishes.

      Norma
      https://NormaPassarell.com

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, society has created unrealistic expectations of how we should look. It can be so toxic! Thank you so much for the kind words, and for reading and commenting!

        P.S. I am trying to subscribe to your blog but keep receiving an error message. Is there any way to invite me? Would love to continue to connect!

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      2. Hello again, Angie! Thank you for your interest in subscribing to my email list.

        I’ve fixed the subscription form issue. I was still setting up my blog as it’s pretty new. Now you can subscribe with no problems. I’ve tried and it works! The subscription box is at the bottom of my sidebar: normapassarell.com

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this is so true. It’s is definitely a learning curve when it comes to fully accepting and loving ourselves. Society has conditioned us to be too overcritical, which is a shame. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! xx

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  2. I love this post. I think we all have our moments, but it’s so important to our love ourselves in every season. This is very real & encouraging 💜 I love it.
    You’re so beautiful btw. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I love this! I have to admit I really struggle with loving my body too, I think we all have good and bad days and it’s definitely a work in progress. Thank you so much for sharing your experience on such an important topic – and know that you’re absolutely beautiful x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words xx
      Yes, definitely a work in progress and I’m trying to be kind to myself during the process. Some days are easier than others. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Let me start by saying that YOU LOOK GREAT! I say that with all sincerity. You are beautiful and you have a beautiful figure. Your baby is ADORABLE. I can understand what you’re saying. In so many ways, my body is 100% different than it was before I had my kiddo. It’s not the same and it doesn’t feel right. I am in a weird headspace about it. I’ve been trying to find the words and courage to write a post on my own feelings about my body. Not with regard to post pregnancy body though. Just about being a big girl. I’m even struggling now to put it into words.

    Anyway, I think you should feel proud of where you are. You are doing your best and you have done an amazing job. Find something that you like about your body today. What do you like right now? Celebrate that part of yourself and work to love and accept the rest. I am trying to do the same.

    ~ Cassie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Seriously, I appreciate it. Often, we’re too busy criticizing ourselves, we forget to take the hate goggles off.

      The last paragraph truly touches my heart. You are right. Thank you for that reminder ❤️ and for reading and commenting!

      Like

  5. Very relatable topic, society has been driving us crazy with body images we’ve been trying to keep up with. I became happiest when i stopped caring and started appreciating my body.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely blame society for brainwashing so many people into seeing beauty as one dimensional with no grey areas. I’m working on trying to care less- just takes a lot of rewiring. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Like

  6. I’ve also always had problems with my body, when I was a kid it was because I was too skinny, now it’s because I’m overweight. Then there was the issues with being the wrong skin colour because if years of relentless racism. I’m not aiming to love my body, I’d be happy with just being indifferent to it. Good luck with your journey to proper body acceptance and love

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an incredibly courageous post to write, I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you but I thank you. Thank you for sharing such a open and honest chat about your body because so many women around the world can relate. I haven’t had a baby, but all my life I’ve had a awful relationship with my body and the way it looks. Like you mentioned, during my younger years I always had comments thrown at my body, it was very harmful to how I look at my body now. But after reading this I feel heard. I feel like I’m understood. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It always makes me sad to hear so many women having the same experience as me. It only reassures the fact of how hard society places expectations on women- from how we look to how we should behave. I’m glad this post made you feel heard. It becomes easier when you know you’re not alone. Thank you for reading and commenting! xo

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  8. I’m 7 months, almost 8 postpartum and I feel this. I didn’t think I would feel squishy afterwards! I can’t lose these last ten pounds. I see the weight in my face. I feel so insecure in my body. But hearing you echo my thoughts and frustrations makes me feel…more normal. Women’s bodies are always morphing, we aren’t like men. And it’s wild that we as women criticize other women’s bodies knowing this. Thank you for sharing, this was such an important post for us to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes. I see the weight in my face as well. It can be frustrating at times, especially when you are actively trying to lose weight. But as a mother (especially a new one) it’s difficult to juggle so much between caring for the household, the children, and trying to find time to care for yourself. I completely understand all of it! And although women criticize other women for how their bodies look, it is up to us if we want to give those people that power to negatively affect us. I’ve learned that I am way too hard on myself. I hope you know you are beautiful just the way you are! Thank you for reading and commenting. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Feeling so very conscious about my body and weight, this post was a little hard for me to read. Not in a bad way – but we do seem to have had a similar process and how difficult has it been! Thank you for sharing such a great post – hopefully more people get to see this and feel the positivity you are radiating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can definitely understand but at least you know you are not alone! So many women feel the same and its disheartening because it just show that society has been entirely too hard on women when it comes to expectations placed on us, telling us how we should look, or what we should wear, or even how we should act. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Like

  10. This is really relatable! I think many of us have a love-hate relationship with our bodies. we appreciate it for all that it does.. but there are certain things that we don’t like about it or things that we resent. it is definitely important to learn to love your body but doing so can sometimes be the hardest thing in the world especially in this appearance obsessed world 🙂

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  11. You both look beautiful, I professionally carried 6 my stomach hasn’t had muscles in 15 years, my size 8 and six pack well and truly now a keg of baby shaped again! Finally my turn to rebuild and collect! I see myself as 174 percent of a size 8! your like me solid and toned in all the right places, the joy of a healthy diet! On my sixth I remapped my world to catch them all, as there houses collapsed and am now looking at a new future with my international husbandry levels!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A great blog.
    I was bullied a lot for being overweight. I was uncomfortable in going to public places with too many people. Then in 2016 , I joined gym and lost 23 kgs. That made me really confident. This process happened with me several times as I wasn’t consistent. 😅
    Right now, I’m again overweight and my favourite clothes are tight to me. I have 2 category of clothing, for weight and for extra weight. So these days I’m wearing extra weight clothing. I keep telling my weight clothes that I will be able to wear you soon. I’ve done it thrice, I can do it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The great thing about weight loss is once you have get into the routine, it becomes second nature to do it all over again. It’s smart that you keep 2 categories of clothing though lol

      Like

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