The majority of my life I dealt with major body image issues and at times, eating disorders. Most days I would stand naked in the mirror and pinch different areas of fat and cry until I convinced myself of a plan that would work to get rid of it. Bingeing, purging and withholding food usually seemed like the answer.
After years of internally fighting this battle, I sought out help at the student medical clinic at my college. Therapy, friends, love and a desire for an actual healthy life eventually pulled me out of this dangerous and painful cycle.
Once the therapy ended and I left college, I fell in love with an active lifestyle and healthy eating slowly became a part of that. It took a deep love for myself to overcome my painful past, but eventually, it became my new learned behavior, just as the painful one had been in my past.
Fast forward seven years and I’m still living a healthy lifestyle and rocking a body that makes me proud.
Then something happens that I’ve wanted for almost two years; I become pregnant. We tried so hard to get here, peeing on sticks, doctors, specialists and again, lots more tears. Eventually it happened naturally on the month that we took off because life was too busy to keep up with the endless appointments.
My husband and I both cried together when we found out the news. Now, seventeen weeks into the pregnancy, we still fall asleep most nights talking about the life we want our new addition to have and what type of parents we are going to be.
One might think that almost two years of trying to get pregnant would mentally prepare a woman for the changes that her body is going to make, but that assumption would be incorrect. At least for me it is.
As a woman who knows how slippery the body image slope can really be, I want to publicly admit that it’s terrifying thinking that my body is about to change for at least 9 months and most likely, for the rest of my life.
Really fucking scary.
But I made the decision that it doesn’t have to be.
Every morning I work on accepting my ever-changing body by engaging in a different type of mirror ritual than my former self took part in. I rub cocoa butter on my expanding belly and remind myself how amazing it is that there is a small human growing inside of me. Through the unknown fear of what will happen in the future, I tell myself that there is no other body I’d want in the world than mine, especially as I feel the tiny kicks of baby Fry.
Our bodies will all continue to change whether we make the decision to birth children or if we simply start to age. Either way, starting from a place of acceptance and love rather than hate and pain is the answer to radical acceptance.
No matter where you are on the path of life, I invite you to find your small slice of body love, not just today, but every day. One day at a time. I promise you that it’s way better than spouting off words that are less than loving.
Give it a go, it’s time.