Thursday, December 6, 2012

My body is amazing (but I still hate it a little)

Welcome to the Body: AMAZING Carnival!

This post was written as a part of the Body: AMAZING Carnival co-hosted by Jennifer of True Confessions of a Real Mommy and Amy of Anktangle. Carnival participants were invited to write about how we learn to appreciate the ways our bodies grow and change. Our posts explain some incredible ways our bodies impress and amaze us.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from all of today's carnival participants.

The other day I was at Goodwill, trying on a lot of new clothes. Trying on clothes is always an exercise in frustration, even more when you are trying on second hand clothes because every clothing company uses different measurements. In fact, sometimes you'll even get different sizings within a brand, just for that extra level of annoyance.
As I tried on the third or fourth shirt that was obviously unflattering, I glanced for a few extra seconds into the mirror, and thought, "I hate my body right now."
I sat with that thought for a minute. I had a baby less than a year ago, a baby who has decided to only nurse on one side. I am short on sleep, so the circles under my eyes are pronounced. I'm hunched over because I'm used to carrying a kid and three bags everywhere I go. Of course my body is weird and lumpy right now. Of course I feel like this is not "my" body.
One of these outlines is mine, but I couldn't pick it out of the lineup.
My body is doing amazing things right now. It is feeding another human being. It is keeping me upright, and mostly functional on 4 hours of sleep. It is recovering from years of constant anxiety, and debilitating neck pain. It is a soft place for my children to land. It may not look like I expect it to, but that hasn't happened since I was 12.
I look forward to the changes that will naturally happen as my kids get older, but it is doing it's job, and I am not going to beat myself up for what it looks like while that's happening. For better or worse, this is what I look like at 36, with 2 young kids. And I think that's awesome.

More to read and love about honoring our bodies at these other blogs. Please visit them all and leave some comment love!

Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy is moved to trust her body, even the fuzzy parts. You can also find Jennifer on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy of Anktangle writes about living with chronic pain and how she appreciates the ways her body functions in spite of its challenges. You can also find Amy on Facebook and Twitter.

Mari from Honey on the Bum talks a little bit about how her body has changed and how she loves it and what it does for her. You can also find Mari on Twitter.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about why she's not worried about how her body looks, because it has a much more important job right now.

Joella from Fine and Fair discusses her love and respect for her body as it grows and changes during pregnancy over. Hear more from Joella on Twitter and Facebook.

Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow on how Paganism taught her to accept reality and by extension herself and her body. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares about her love/hate relationship with a nose that she saw as ugly . . . until she started to learn to love it. Amy W. can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Destany at They Are All of Me writes about releasing the negative notions she was taught about her period, and embracing it instead.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children talks about how she had to push through her pre-conditioned comfort level and found herself in a position to naturally be open and honest with her children. More great stuff from Mandy on Facebook.

Lauren at Hobo Mama is not a runner . . . but she proved herself wrong by completing a race. Keep up with Lauren's adventures on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I think it is valid to appreciate the good while recognizing it isn't what you like. Like taking a nasty medicine when you know the benefit outweighs the negative. I am glad you can still love your body, even if it isn't what you expect it to be.

  2. I have had similar experiences when trying on ill-fitting clothes, and I love the way you turned it around to think about the things you appreciate about your body. I know (like you) my body doesn't always do the things I want it to or look the way I want it to, and it's tough to keep perspective and appreciation when facing big challenges. I am so grateful to you for the ways you've shown me to be compassionate with my body through the difficult times. Thank you.

  3. Love this balance in perspective. I was recently trying on jeans in two sizes at the same store — the bigger of which were baggy and the smaller of which I couldn't get up past my thighs. So, yes. I've come to realize that there's no one (practically) immune to such frustrations, though, and that's helped me come to terms with it. The older I get, the more I realize I'm stuck with this body I have, so I might as well love it. (Not that I always do…)

  4. Oh, trying on clothes is the worst. And I swear that they put the ickiest yellow lights in dressing rooms that make you look terrible! Like Lauren said, this is one issue that no one is immune to - Jamie at I am NOT The Babysitter wrote a few weeks ago about discovering she has cellulite - and how that made her feel - and she is super fit and trim!

    I love that you describe your body as a strong body that is holding you up tall even in your restlessness, sleep deprivation, and other challenges. This is an awesome post!

  5. I think as women, we are set up to dislike our appearance. We constantly bombarded with negative messages about how we are not thin enough, not smooth enough, busty enough, un-pimply enough. No, we are never, ever going to be allowed to think we are good enough. Partly because of marketing strategy and partly as a form of social mind control that keeps us too embarrassed of ourselves to hold ourselves up high and speak loudly.

    I love that you're able to find the positive in your body and therefore find its own beautiful power.

  6. I hate trying on clothes - partially because I hate shopping and partially because it is difficult to find clothes that fit me well. I think body acceptance doesn't have to be about "loving" everything about our bodies.

  7. <3 I love the shift in focus to all of the incredible things your body *is* doing! After all, bodies are meant to be functional, not decorative! ;)