I don’t love my mom body. I understand that it is a price of motherhood, but nobody looks in the mirror, sees a pot-belly pouch covered in stretch marks and says, “Damn that’s hot,” throws on a tube top and shakes it, shakes it—even if you can get some true truffle shuffle going with postpartum skin. You can call me shallow or tell me my idea of beauty is flawed all you want, but it isn’t beautiful, and more importantly in a lot of cases it isn’t healthy.
I’m not saying that I hate my body, there are parts that I like. I’m not saying that there are not parts of our bodies we just have to learn to accept even if we don’t love them (my nose is sort of hideous.) I’m saying the “love the body you’re in” trend can be a dangerous one. From 2008 when I had my first child until about a month ago a subtle change came about for me. I slowly stopped bothering to wear clothes that were even the least bit flattering. I stopped even trying to find clothes that worked with my new build. I kept telling myself that it was just more comfortable clothing or that no one was going to see me anyway, because it wasn’t like I ever left the house really, or I argued that all that “crap” was expensive and there were more important things to spend money on, but deep down I knew that wasn’t why. It was because when I put on clothes that weren’t baggy, I saw bulges here and there, and I thought it was gross, and even if I thought it was gross it was easier to believe that that’s just what having kids did to you. Instead of trying to change it, I worked hard to accept it, because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do—love the body I was in— a body that had gained 20 lbs through 4 children, a body with a BMI of 26.5%, an obese body by definition.
I wanted to jump all aboard that new-beauty train and write that off as a passage of motherhood. I wanted to blame my kids—cause whose got time for exercise with 4 kids? But then one morning I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted by what I saw, and a little imaginary foot kicked me straight in my excuse making ass, because you do not have to accept the things you can change. I spit that self-pity and compliance straight down the sink, and started a daily exercise program. Just 30 minutes a day, and about 2 lbs a week, I’m burpee-ing my way back to a healthier body worth loving.