Guest Post: A mother’s truce to her body
GUEST POST: A mother’s truce to her body, by Cathy Spooner. Cathy Spooner is a mother to three young children, an author, blogger and a Mum Evolution crusader. She knows how life changing becoming a mother can be and is passionate about helping to empower mums to reconnect with their true selves, find their own balance and to live a beautifully mad life led by grace. She has shared with us this beautiful post on owning and loving one’s body.
A mother’s truce to her body
Your body is tired, weak and no longer in the same form as it used to be. It doesn’t move the same, feel the same, look the same, love the same. When you nurtured your babies something changed not only in your physical body, but more importantly in your mind. At some point in time a switch flicked on, one that shone a magnifying light over your body and brought to the surface all the years of body issues and then some new ones along with it too.
Despite the incredible journey your child bearing body has been on, often as mums we become so incredibly harsh of ourselves and give very little respect to our bodies and the enormous feat they endured when nurturing and bringing our children into this world. Make no mistake here – your body is a miracle maker. There probably will never ever be another reason more valid than that for falling in love with it all over again.
I’ve spent far too many years in my life worrying about my appearance. Before kids I loved exercise and eating well and thrived on feeling good. But to say I had a healthy relationship with my body couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, I had days when I loved what I saw in the mirror and I felt strong and beautiful. But most days, despite how I actually looked I would find something to pick at. Something wasn’t perfect enough, I’d be happier if my legs were thinner or if I just lost a little weight around my bum. I walked into my first pregnancy like we all do… with some emotional body baggage. And boy oh boy, those bags just got heavier and heavier as the kids kept on coming.
I’ve spent years yo-yoing between having confidence no matter what my body looked like, to feeling so depressed and down about it I binge eat and literally give in. A vicious cycle, from one high to the next low in a heartbeat. I’ve envied my husband for his ability to train, feel strong or just capable of doing anything he likes and not be battling birth recoveries, breastfeeding and time constraints. I’ve tried countless times different routines – getting up early, training with the kids, walking at night… all somehow it is to no avail. I don’t find a routine that sticks and so I find an excuse instead.
But here’s the issue… that mean, judgemental, paranoid and competitive voice in our head that will tell us anything other than the true value and worth of our bodies. Unfortunately it’s a pretty loud voice at times. It’s hard to quell in the midst of mummy-land when there is very little time for self reflection and self love. So there isn’t any point in getting frustrated at ourselves for listening to that voice. We all have one and we all listen to it more often than we should be. It’s much easier for us to make excuses. To listen to that voice and deny what we so rightfully deserve – to be loved! When in reality we should be making a truce with ourselves.
A truce that says we will stop fighting with ourselves about never feeling good enough. That we will learn to appreciate our body and the absolutely inspiring and incredible journey it has been on in child bearing. That we will forgive ourselves when we fall into our old traps of binge eating, not exercising and feeding the negative thoughts with negative behaviours. But most of all… this truce means that we will be understanding.
We will understand that our bodies have changed since having children. That it is normal to struggle with the balance of making things happen in life. We will understand that true beauty comes from within us and our worth and value is far greater than we imagine. And that it has never, nor will ever, be measured by our physical appearance. We will understand that now, everything we say, do and believe is being modelled for our children.
We will always be understanding and kind to ourselves, always. Because in the end there really isn’t any other way.
We either make the decision now to make a change, to accept and move on and love ourselves in every bit of our bumpy, stretched and scarred beauty. Or, we choose to live the way we have and continue the cycle of pain. Your body has been waiting for the moment when you leave all your fears and comparison behind and step into love. Step into being okay with how you are… and even better, taking the time to learn how to re-love yourself. Because that’s what this is, a commitment to embracing the new you. Things have changed physically, environmentally and emotionally. You have to learn to re-love instead of focusing on the past. Look in the mirror and dig deep, find that beauty, it’s there waiting for you to finally acknowledge it.
Don’t let that voice in your head tell you are unworthy. Don’t compare yourself to your old self or even worse, to others. Don’t spend another moment wasting your time. Invest in re-loving yourself. Imagine that feeling when the judgement and self doubt are lessened because you have been able to make space for more acceptance, understanding and self love.
I know we are all ready to welcome self love into our world with open arms. We just need to stop making excuses and letting that voice of fear rule our decisions and feelings. So from this moment on, this is your truce to yourself…
From this moment on I make a truce with my body. Every day I will remind myself that we are on the same team and there is no longer any space for self sabotage. I will be forgiving when I fall into the trap of self judgement and comparison. I will be appreciative of the beautiful body that carried my babies. I will always look upon myself with respect and admiration, because from now on I make a truce and love my body.
Thank you Cathy, for sharing those beautiful, honest, raw, and inspiring words with us! Cathy’s first book Living with Grace: a mum’s guide to self discovery and reconnection amid the beautiful madness of parenting will be released in early 2017. Visit Cathy here: http://www.cathyspooner.com.au