"My journey through motherhood at age 39 and my goal to keep up with my energetic child!"
You are. We are. Beautiful.
The other day I read an online article from a fitness trainer who posted photos of herself wearing a sports bra and underwear. She took photos of various body parts and explained how those parts helped her get through her workouts. The exciting thing about this was the fitness trainer did not fit the mental image most of us have when we think of people in the fitness industry, or people who hit the gym every day. She was big; she was still a "plus-sized" woman. What the heck is "plus-sized" anyway?? She showed off her large, but amazingly strong arms that helped her climb ropes. She showed off her belly, riddled with post-weight-loss loose skin, which was strong enough to rip through any ab workout. She showed off her thighs, which touched together, but could sustain many many squats and lunges.
This inspired me. Yet, I felt some shame for all of those years I spent as a young woman looking in the mirror feeling self-conscious of legs that I believed to be too "meaty" or a fanny I believed to be too "round." That was a much younger version of me. As I grew older and matured, I came to accept that this was my body. And now, this body delivered a healthy baby girl. This body carried around a fussy newborn who did not want to be put down. This body has done so many squats with a baby in one arm, reaching for all of the things that we both dropped. This body has climbed countless flights of stairs (why did we buy a house with 3 levels??). This body has sat motionless holding an increasingly heavy baby even when my biceps were screaming. This body has made my baby laugh when I put her on my stomach and blew out short breaths to make her bounce up and down.
So, when I teach or attend Stroller Strides and I see so many different shapes and sizes, so many bodies at different stages, so much progress made (from laughing at burpees to doing them!), I am even more inspired. The other day during warm up, I asked the moms what their favorite body part was pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy. My favorite response was from a mom who said she liked her arms because they were strong enough to hold both her 1 and 4 year olds at the same time. And, like the rest of us, she probably was holding on to bags, clothes, etc., along with both her beauties.
So, now when I look at my meaty legs and my round fanny in a mirror, I see them as part of a body that does awesome things every day. We are all beautiful. It doesn't matter what size we used to be, what size we are now, whether we can fit into our "skinny" jeans, whether our tummies still stick out some. We are all beautiful and amazing. And we are setting awesome examples for our children.