‘I remember not liking my thighs, thinking I should have a flatter stomach, being frustrated with my stretch marks. That’s insane.’: Mom urges others to accept their bodies as they are

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“Recently, I wrote on Instagram about my feelings on being tired of diet culture, and I realized how many people felt the same, felt frustrated with their bodies, social media, TV, and just exhausted by it all.

I’m realizing how many toxic messages women are taught every single day about their bodies, what makes them valuable, and what body type they should strive for.

Even when women try to go against the grain, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that we are not enough.

We aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, rich enough…

but these eyelash extensions will get you closer…

so will eating a handful of almonds for every meal…

and exercising like you don’t have a job…

also, lip fillers will really make you more valuable….

Well, I’m TIRED…and honestly, saddened by how I’ve seen this affect so many women who are absolutely stunning yet are so focused on where they need to be, they can’t stop and see how beautiful they are right now.

I think the closer I get to 40, I’ve gained a new perspective. I’ve seen people get to the later parts of their lives still in major bondage, and it’s heartbreaking.

No one wants to admit it for fear that they may look shallow, and influencers promote dieting and changing their bodies on a normal basis.

You are the black sheep if you actually decide to love your body right now, exactly how it is.

You see, I look back on pictures when I was a size 4 or size 6, before kids.

I remember not liking my thighs, thinking I should have a flatter stomach, frustrated I had stretch marks from growing so quickly and then from having 3 babies.

That’s insane.

My body was beautiful, and yet I was never happy with it.

I would constantly compare myself with others, feeling I fell short.

I’m 37, and I have spent WAY too much of my life like this.

I think one of the best lessons I’ve learned in this pandemic is to appreciate and love my body.

It’s working, it’s functioning, and it allows me to do so much.

I can walk and even run freely, whereas so many people only dream of this.

How can I criticize that or the awesome God who made it!

I’ve held 3 babies in my stomach for 9 months each; they have all been born to be healthy, thriving boys. How dare I criticize that when it’s brought me these amazing blessings.

I move my body daily, even if it’s a 10-minute walk; I eat fruit and vegetables and cook as much as I can with my schedule.

Why is that not enough for me?!

This is healthy.

I don’t condone eating potato chips and binge-watching TV every single night, but weight loss isn’t everything.

Taking care of my body is. And I’m doing a good job at that, despite my jean size or a number on the scale.

I will not live a life obsessed with weighing myself and counting my calories at each meal.

I won’t do it, and I don’t want to send that message to my kids.

I won’t normalize what should not be normal.

I want to live a life where I appreciate this body and all it’s done for me for 37 years.

Where I embrace the extra curves, and how it helps me through each day.

Where I encourage other women to love themselves a little more and focus on what really matters in this life…people, family, and so much more.

I hope this encourages you to do the same because…

You are beautiful.

You are amazing, and you are worthy exactly how you are!”

woman in a pink sweater dress looking beautiful against a green background
Courtesy of Jehava Brown

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jehava Brown. Follow her on Facebook here and Instagram here. Visit her website here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

Read more stories from Jehava here:

I’m Excited For More Time With My Kids This Summer, But I’m Also Sad

‘I don’t like playing with my kids, and that’s okay.’: Mom urges ‘you are exactly what your child needs’

‘Dear white moms, what I need you to know…’: Mom explains how to discuss race with your children

‘We ask each other ‘real’ questions. This is real friendship, and it is scary.’: Woman’s advice on close friendships, ‘Be the kind of friend you are hoping for’

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