Embrace 💓

I stand looking in the full length uncomplementing mirror that resides in my bedroom. I'm desperately trying not to pull the reflection I see staring back at me assunder. It's an awful lot harder than I had anticipated. I've spent about 20 years tearing it apart. Not toned enough. Not thin enough. Legs not long enough. No thigh gap. Stretch marks starting from my thighs and wrapping themselves like structured grapevines around my hips and lower tummy. I colapse onto the bed. God it's all just so exhausting, I think I was about 9 when I started noticing things. I remember sports days at school, sitting cross legged in the grass with my best friend laughing about everything. We spent all our time laughing. Until I suddenly realised I was fake laughing because whilst she was blissfully unaware I was noticing how much thicker my thighs were when we sat cross legged, how her tummy didnt roll when she sat down so I quickly straightened out my legs and my tummy but kept smiling, kept laughing even though deep down I knew my train of thought was starting to shift. Every single female I had ever encountered was on a diet, I remember being in earshot of a conversation where one woman told the other to straighten their shoulders and hold their tummy in when they walked because that's how you get skinny. And let's be honest there is nothing worse than not being skinny right? So I took her advice, I held my stomach in for about 10years straight... I dont know if it worked or I was just naturally small, either way I had a flat tummy for years. I'm 5ft and petite, yet even before I had babies I hated my body, I use to imagine using a scissors to cut off a "unwanted pounds". Its only now when I look back at old pictures that I say to myself what the hell was wrong with you... I was a size bloody 6 for gods sake, but I suppose it probably goes to show how effective our mindsets are. I only stopped holding my stomach in when I got pregnant. But let's get really honest here, even when your pregnant you still don't get a break, unless your genetically blessed and look like you've swallowed a Malteser during your pregnancy you "don't suit pregnancy". I mean "the size of you", and whispers of "God love her she got it everywhere"... people and their wonderful opinions - sorry Nuala there's an actual little person inside of me, kicking me in the ribs, pressing down hard on my uterus, making me involuntarily pee every 5 seconds and at the end of all this I actually have to push this out... of my vagina... so ya I'm eating the god damn cake and I'm gaining a few bastard pounds. You and your opinions can suck it ✌

Ok, ok, at this point your probably wondering where the hell I'm going with this?  So let me fill you in, back in March I attended the screening of "Embrace". Embrace is a documentary film by Taryn Brumfitt - if your still lost, look it up I promise you will not regret it 👍👍. I sat in a packed cinema and from the moment the film started right through to the end I had goosebumps, I fought back tears and I was so genuinely moved by this amazing woman and all the women who took part in it because quite simply, it's us. It's every single one of us. Women. We spend our lives tearing our bodies apart, diet after diet, hiding from the camera, oversized t-shirts on the beach, never happy, never enough. 3 babies later, nothing has really stayed the same, saggy skin, nipples disguised as breasts (thank the Lord for padded bras). Varicose veins, stretch marks and cellulite so visible my three year old often uses it as a "bumpy road" for his tractors... no joke ✋ I eat reasonably well, (if you ignore my love for choclate) I'm fit, I enjoy exercise but I still don't look like those girls on my instagram feed, you know the tall, tanned perfectly toned ones... to be fair do they even look like that? Its so difficult to decipher whats real and whats not, the use of filters and those apps that allow you to whiten your teeth in the pic and photoshop yourself to resemble "perfection". That thing we all strive towards, that one body type that is deemed "perfection", we spend our entire lives striving to have this "perfect body" because its shoved down our necks from day 1 its everywhere, its the only body socially acceptable to be labelled "beautiful". Its on every TV show, movies, magazines, there's no way of sheltering from it, we have been trained to only see one bodytype as being attractive... that's just not ok. Mindsets need to be changed, how else can we break this disgusting cycle of self loathing, how else can we teach our children?

"My body is not an ornament, it's a vehicle".
We need to change how we see ourselves. But of course that's easier said than done, one thing that really works for me is trying to see myself through my children's eyes, they love every single inch of me. My body is a source of comfort to them, when I hold them on my lap and wrap my arms around them they don't notice the rolls on my tummy or the thickness of my thighs, to them it's soft and warm, to them, it's home. This body carried all 3 of them, birthed them, fed them and will continue to comfort them for the rest of their lives. Maybe instead of pointing out lumps and bumps, labelling ourselves as disgusting and frumpy, maybe we should be celebrating our bodies for all that they enable us to do in this life. Exercise is something I do to feel good on the inside, my mind craves it, its my sanity, its my me time and so I need it to be enjoyable, lifting weights for an hour in the gym is just not my cup of tea. Running, jumping, dancing like a tribal queen with my babies all around me - my cup of tea! Find your cup of tea and be ok with that... Comparing ourselves to others, that's where it all starts, it's a slippery disgusting road. You are you! There is no one in the world like you! Stop comparing, stop tearing yourself apart. I tell you this in the hopes that we can start contributing to the world body positivity movement. For the sake of our sons and daughters, for the sake of our sanity, isn't life tough enough without depriving ourselves of the sweet things?  Everything. In. Moderation... Key 👌
Beauty is individuality, Beauty is confidence, Beauty is you ❤

#Ihaveembraced #wellimtryingto #bodypositivity #movement #playyourpart

#mammysbrightside

Thanks for reading,
Claire 💕💕

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