Embracing an Imperfect Body

I have gained about 25 pounds in the last five years.  And it has been eating away at me.  I try to tell myself that five years is a long time and I never compared my body to what it looked like five years ago before.  But for the most part I feel like the same person I was five years ago even though I am not.  Not much has really changed like it did as a teenager and young adult.  When in fact I have changed a lot and have officially entered my 30's.  But on the outside things look the same. 

I finally weighed myself after taking a four month break from it.  While I needed it for accountability (my stretchy pants were becoming my tight stretchy pants) it has quickly become an unkind friend again reminding me of what feels like failures.

While I tighten up my eating habits and find a better focus in my workouts I sense my body is better.  But that number on that scale continued to stay the same.

It reminds me why I stopped weighing myself in the first place.  Sometimes that number is not an accurate account of my efforts and good choices.

So as I go through yet another self esteem lesson, I am making the best of another hard but good season of my body.  I am embracing what I know works and being open about it.

I started posting my outfits again on Instagram and it has been encouraging to hear some of the feedback.  I am not so much talking about the clothes but about my heart.  I find that shopping for new clothes only discouraged me and where I am at right now.  When in fact I have a whole closet of clothes.  What started with frustration about my body reminded me to be more content with what I have.

We chatted about stretchy pants and it was inspiring to hear other women shout their praises for pants that make them feel good as well as help them be more productive.  Because we are all tired of feeling restricted and discouraged with our clothes.

A friend of mine recently shared that she has been struggling with getting pregnant with her second child.  Her doctor is telling her that she is too active.  So she has been asked to cut back on running and gain five pounds.  We both were reminded and encouraged that sometimes what we think we want (a fit body) actually keeps us from the things we really want (in her case, a second child).

So as I pondered all of this I wondered if finding contentment in a less than perfect body made me a better person.  I wondered if it would make me more relatable.  I wondered if I could be a better encouragement to other women in embracing my imperfections.

Sure losing a few pounds would make me feel better.  But will it make my impact any better?  I don't know.  There is definitely something to be said about being healthy and content with your body so you can live your life without your body being a restriction.  But I am healthy.  And I know a lot of my other friends are also healthy.  But still dissatisfied with their bodies.

I want to not run to salty snacks because I cannot handle stress in my life.  And so I need to work on not being an emotional eater.  But while I am working on this, I do not need to continue to tear myself down in the process.  So instead I am going to embrace my belly, the stretch marks I first got in the seventh grade, and whatever else is bothering me for the day.

I am going to dress for my body, embrace high waisted stretchy pants, and show the world what a confident imperfect woman looks like.  Because the world needs her just the way she is.