Resolving to Find Self-Confidence

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This post is part 4 of 5 in the series Self Embrace: Learning to Love the Skin We Are In.

Growing up, I always thought my mom was the perfect balance of squishy and fit. (Keep reading, Mom!) She could pin me down with her legs and tickle my sister at the same time. But she was also perfect to cuddle up with when my eyes got sleepy. Not once do I ever remember seeing her stand in front of a mirror and point out things that needed some attention. If she ever felt self conscious, she would blame it on the clothes or a bad hair day, but never her body.

It started in high school, for me. Pinching my stomach skin and thinking I could be thinner. I should be in smaller jeans. For no good reason at all, it started.

Then, I got pregnant. With that pregnancy, I gained 50 pounds. Boy, I wished to be as “fat” as I was before.

Our Wedding Day
Our Wedding Day

I lost the weight pretty easily. I thank my teenage metabolism for that! Hubs and I got married, I felt confident on my wedding day, and I even wore a bikini on our honeymoon!

Then, I got pregnant again. After this baby, I had post-partum depression. My new husband went to school and worked a lot to support us, so I turned to food. Food became my crutch, my companion, my sanctuary. I was a new wife and a new mama, again. I baked when I was lonely. I baked when I was sad. I baked when I was anxious. I baked with my girls. I baked for our friends. It’s what I did, it’s what I still do.

In February of 2011, I was the biggest I had ever been. And I was not happy. I avoided pictures. I didn’t go shopping—that was too depressing… which led to more baking. It was one of the lowest points in my life. Then, a friend started a weight loss competition and showed me how to dig myself out of my pit. And ever so slowly, I began to exercise, eat right, and make my health a priority. I started to lose weight and gain confidence. I felt amazing, and strong, and sexy again! And what does a woman do when she feels good about herself? She has more sex!

So I saw those two little lines once again. I had the most healthy, amazing pregnancy with my little man. I craved fruit and protein. I took walks, and naps… but most importantly, I took care of myself. While I did breastfeed each of my children for a year, I never had that amazing weight loss that comes with it. I struggled. I struggled with being smart about keeping myself fed so that I could keep my milk production up. I struggled with eating healthy, especially when I was starving and just wanted to grab whatever I saw first.

Me and my boy
Me and my boy

And now here I sit. Wrestling with this whole series on body image. How can I write a post to you mamas out there when I am struggling so hard with loving my body? My body has done amazing things. Truly, it has. But my taste buds and lack of self control will be the death of me! I guess that’s the point of this whole series, though—to know you’re not alone. That we all have imperfections. That we all struggle with loving the skin we are in.

Life changes you. This used and abused body has brought three healthy, perfect little humans into the world. The only thing I regret is not taking better care of myself. But these little blessings that take most of my time, energy, and efforts are completely worth sacrificing my body, and sometimes my mind, and they completely have my heart.

Life is crazy and messy and there is no room for hating on ourselves. We owe it to our kids to love our bodies and to teach them to love theirs. I’m unsure if my mom had to work really hard to keep from verbally abusing her body, or if her mom set a great example for her, too. But I want to set a good example for my kids. That means loving my body even when I hate it. That means loving it enough to take better care of it, to make it a priority… and yes, that’s a message to myself.

Twenty fifteen needs to be will be a year of confidence for me. That is what I want my kids to know—a confident woman. And that no matter their size, they can feel confident in their strong, beautiful, capable bodies, too.

New Year's Eve 2013
New Year’s Eve 2013

Have you struggled to find self-confidence? What changes will you make in 2015 to help you develop a positive body image?

Read more from our Self Embrace series!

Self Embrace: Learning to Love the Skin We Are In

Previous articleA Love Letter to My Body
Next articleFive Daily Rituals to Improve Body Image
Rachel is the wife to an accountant, the mom to a sweetheart, Cadence (Dec. 2004), a sass-a-frass, Liliana (April 2007), a smiley little guy, Drake (May 2012) and a precious baby sister, Sophia (October 2015). She enjoys her days at home taking care of her babies, setting up play dates, being active in her girls' classrooms, blogging, baking and praying. Check her out at myspoonfulofsugar-rv.blogspot.com and desmoinesmomsblog.com.

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