How I Feel About My Body (#TuesdayTen/#1Word)

I don't really like to talk about my body, let alone find the words to describe how I actually feel about it and put it in a blog post. Then I had a lightbulb moment...I recently watched the latest Disney movie Inside Out - a movie about five emotions that come to life in a young girl's conscious mind, and thought this would be a great way to share how I feel about my body, using these five emotions - Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Joy. 
Image credit: via
Sadness
I get upset when I look in the mirror, see my reflection in shop windows or when someone else takes a photo of me because all I see my are my flaws. I am my own worst enemy, seeing the negative rather than the positive. Days like this make me want to cry in the shower, or curl up on the couch , wearing my baggy trackies and a hoody, eating chocolate and drinking coke. I shut off from the world around me and feel sorry for myself. 

Anger
I admit, I have days when I hate my body, especially certain parts, but some times I bring it on myself and often blame myself for getting into this predicament. I chose to eat that Big Mac and large Coke for lunch the other day, or refused to go for a walk because I don't want to be seen in public. That's on me! No one else. Me.

I hate when I compare my body to others, and constantly ask myself, "Why don't I look like that?", Man, I wish I had... a small waist, no double chin, and a 'thigh gap'! Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst things you can do, however in today's society it's kind of hard not to, because it's always in our face! Lisa from The Golden Spoons shares 10 ways society is destroying my daughter's body image and I know many of us can relate to most, if not all, of these points. 
    Disgust
    There are times when I have been disgusted in what I see, thinking this is not the body I had envisioned for myself after having my second baby. With my first, I gained 9kg and bounced back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly, actually I lost too much weight and looked quite sickly. With my second pregnancy, I gained quite a bit of extra weight (in my defence, I did give birth to an almost 11 pounder) and that weight has lingered a lot longer than what I hoped. 
      Fear
      By now, you know I have many insecurities, especially when it comes to my body. I am always thinking about how I see myself, the way my family and friends see me and also the way other people see me. I know you are not meant to care about what other people think, but sometimes most times, I do. I have had people make comments like "Oh, you've put on a bit of weight" or "How long to go (assuming I am pregnant again)?". My first thought was WOW! I want to slap you in the face, but then the other part of me, is like - thank you, thank you for saying what everyone else is thinking. At first, I would laugh it off, to diffuse the awkwardness of the situation, but then later on, I will over-analyse it and next thing I know, I am back to Sadness. 

      One fear I have is that my insecurities of my own body will affect my daughter, so I am cautious about what I say around her or in front of her. I keep most of my issues to myself, because they are my issues, not hers. I will, however, focus on the things I love about my body. I need to be a role model for my daughter and I want her to love her body, so I need to change my thinking and my lifestyle so that I love my body too. 
        Joy
        One thing I have learned to love and accept are my stretch marks, also known as my tiger stripes. I earned them and I embrace them. They are a reminder of my pregnancies - the good, the bad and the ugly - and I gave birth to my two beautiful children, who are my world - my stretch marks are with me forever and I am okay with that. 

        On the topic of children, another thing I love about my body is that I have been able to breastfeed both my children. I breastfed my daughter for 25 months and currently breastfeeding my 16 month old and he is showing no signs of slowing down either. I absolutely love breastfeeding and promoting it too.  In fact, I am currently organising our city's Big Latch On event on the 31st July and I can't wait. 

        One final note, I came across this amazing body image comic by illustrator Colleen Clark. She reminds us that our bodies don't define us. I love this and it is so true. Yes, I have body issues, insecurities, low days but my body does not define who I am. I have a body...it's not the only thing I have. I will still get #inthepicture with my kids. 

        How do you feel about your body? 
         photo name-ttmn-august_zpshrr4gsul.png




        Linking up with:
        Tuesday Ten with Lisa & Rabia
        One Word (#1Word) hosted by The Golden SpoonsConfessions of a Mommyholicand Blogitudes

        35 comments

        1. I love the comparison to Inside Out and all the emotions that go along with describing how you feel about your body as I can pretty much relate to all here and than some. Seriously you nailed it perfectly!!

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          1. Thank you so much, Janine. That means a lot x

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        2. Thank you for writing such an honest post! What you wrote about fear really resonates. I really want to show my son that I'm a bigger person (no pun intended) but have to work to stop self judgement creeping in. I remember the first time someone thought I was pregnant post pregnancy was about a year after delivery, I giggled and said, 'No I'm just fat.' I was a little mortified though. One comment had shifted my tummy from this amazing child growing thing to a bit of a burden :(

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          1. "No, I'm just fat" I just laughed out loud! I say the same thing and the look I get is priceless! HA. Thank you so much for stopping by Moderate Mum and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.

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        3. As women it's such a struggle to like our bodies, let alone love them. And once we become mothers, it seems that struggle can be ever more difficult. I know I have felt different things about my body and I'm grateful to have finally come to a place of acceptance of it...mostly based on acknowledging that I've been given the opportunity to grow (now) 2 children and provide their life sustenance as well. So, now, if I look frumpy or not as put together as I once did without children, that's ok, because hey, I have children and a family now, which is so so much more important. My life is truly full now! :)

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          1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree, we can have a love/hate relationship with our bodies, however accepting what we have and what it has given us is most important. I love that you said your 'life is full now'! :) That's awesome!

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        4. I am so conscious of what I say now that I have children, especially since I had my daughter. I can be very critical of myself, and I don't want my kids to become critical of themselves. I need to accept my stretch marks... :) Great post, I love how you have worked through the different emotions and that you finished with joy x
          Sara | mumturnedmom
          #shinebloghop

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          1. I must admit, it did take me a while to embrace my stretch marks - I was inspired by other mums (including celebrity mums) to #loveyourlines. They are not as scary as what I first thought. Thank you for stopping by Sara and leaving a comment. Off to check out your blog now and share the love.

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        5. Oh my goodness, you articulated so many of my own thoughts about my body. I really have to be cautious about what I say and do because I have two little girls who are watching and listening to everything I say and do.

          Thanks for sharing and linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

          Wishing you a lovely evening.
          xoxo

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          1. It's great to back linking up with #SHINEbloghop Jennifer. Thank you for allowing me to share my post with your readers/followers. I do hope it inspires other women to talk about their bodies openly and honest. And also to hopefully find 'joy' with their bodies and share that with their children.

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        6. Oh I applaud you for being you and so open and honest. Secretly, I think of my stretch marks as my war wounds, even though I know it's nothing compared to actually fighting in a real war. Please know that the authenticity you've shown here will touch the lives of others more than you know.

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          1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Julie. I really do hope my post inspires women around the world to be open and honest about their own bodies. I found using the five emotions mentioned above a great place to start.

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        7. Off to look at the comic but I love what you've done here and sharing your feelings. I can very much relate to most of it and using the Inside Out characters is a great reminder that we have many facets to our feelings.

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          1. Thank you Deborah. It made it easier having a guide to go by (e.g. using the 5 characters/emotions). What did you think about the comic?

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        8. I love that you used Inside Out! What I don't love is that I could have written pretty much this entire post myself because I have so many of the same feeling for so many of the same reasons. I could tell you that you are an awesome mom, writer, woman (because you are!) and that all that body stuff doesn't matter, but I know exactly how that feels. I spend way too much time and energy stressing about the my body and i am trying to change it, but it is so hard! Thanks for your honesty here - you are not alone!

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          1. THANK YOU! That means a lot. and thank you for your ongoing support of my blog, Lisa. I really appreciate it. Yes, it is hard, however together we will get through this, Lisa.

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        9. I love the way you articulated your feelings with Inside Out and in such an open and honest way. I'd love to say I feel joy when I look at my body, and I do, but I think I feel all those other things too! Then I have to remind myself, of all the things my body does for me every single day, no matter how it looks, and then I love it a little bit more!

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          1. Love it Sammie! Be thankful to our bodies for all the things it does for us - makes a lot of sense!

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        10. I too love that you used Inside Out to talk about your body. It's a great way to conceptualize it, and I think these conversations are vital. Sometimes women are the worst to each other and if we begin to understand and realize that we are all experiencing the same kinds of pain, then perhaps we can be kinder to each other.

          I'm not sure how it happened, but I have a pretty healthy body image...even with all of it's issues - the extra weight I carry, the rapidly graying hair, the wrinkles. I grew up in a home where bodies were just another thing - nudity was OK and I actually ran around outside topless, just like the boys, until I was 6 or 7 and no one thought anything about it. I never got a message from home about shame in my body. I also played a lot of sports when I was kid, and their are a lot of studies that talk about the positive body image and involvement in sport as well as strong relationships with fathers, which I had.

          Much more damage has been done as an adult - shopping for plus-size clothing, listening to other adults talk negatively about themselves - than anything I ever thought about as a child. I've had men who disagree with me politically or personally attack me, trying to use my body as something I should be ashamed of...because I'm fat, because I don't meet typical standards of attractiveness, whatever...and while it hurts in the moment. it has never made me insecure about my attractiveness or damaged my sense of self.

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          1. Thank you so much Jen for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this issue. I feel it's really important we (as women) know that we are not alone and to be open about our bodies, focussing more on the positives, rather than the negatives.

            It's amazing how much LIFE has changed, I too remember running around, playing and not worrying about how I looked, until I became an adult. You are right. We are our own worst enemies, to ourselves and to others.

            Let's change the way we think. block out the negative and be thankful for the body we are given and love it unconditionally.

            Hugs
            Charlene x

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        11. I love that you found a good parallel but at the same time it makes me sad that so many of us have such a negative body image. I wish we could all see so much more to be happy with- I wish that joy far outweighed the anger and sadness and so on.

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          1. Thanks Amy, it would be great if that was the case!!! :) Let's do it!

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        12. I feel empowered after having children - like my body can achieve anything. I focus on that now, rather then the lumps, bumps and lines.

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        13. What a great way to unveil your insecurities. Owning them and working through them. I am having a few of those issues myself at the moment. Dropping breastfeeding is bringing back the reality of body after baby number 2 hard and fast.

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          1. Thank you Karin! It means a lot that you have left a comment. I really appreciate it. I am still currently breastfeeding, not ready to give it up just yet.

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        14. How wonderfully honest :) I think this is how a lot of mothers feel about our bodies isnt it! I'm fortunately I didn't get too many stretch marks but my body has changed a lot! I think I'm still on my path to accepting that.

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          1. Thank you very much Lu! You are so right! All the best for your journey too!

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        15. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I love where you went with these emotions. I struggle with some of those thoughts myself sometimes.

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          1. Oh Rabia, it's a great movie! You should totally go and see it!

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        16. What an amazing post! It is a constant work in progress, at least for me it is. My youngest is 12 and I am still carrying around more than I would like, but I am learning to move on! Good luck and have an amazing week!

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          1. Thank you very much Stacey. It definitely is a constant work in progress isn't it.

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        17. Love how you related the Inside Out emotions to your body. I definitely have a love hate relationship with mine but like you said, I'm completely accountable for the choices - good and bad - that I make.

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          1. Thank you for stopping by Grace! Means a lot.

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        18. A friend of mine calls them 'memory marks' quite sweet... the fact she only has 2 though... hmmmm

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