Brave: Accepting Myself

It's probably no surprise to anyone when I say that I often struggle with the way my post-baby body looks. (Doesn't everyone?!) Truth be told, it's not even the stretch marks that bother me. I've come to accept those as loving little reminders of what my body is capable of doing - growing, birthing, and nurturing my babies. No, my problem is with the 15+ pounds my body has been hanging onto. 

Some women lose the pounds like crazy while breastfeeding. Other women, like me, lose a bunch in the first few weeks and then plateau. Sure, there are things I could (and probably should) do to help lose it. But more often than not, I find myself thinking "Oh, I should have done some yoga/pilates/exercise!" as I'm stepping into the shower. I know it should probably be more of a priority (as should eating better), but it's always a struggle for me. 

Right now, though, I've decided that my babies need my presence more than I need to lose 15 pounds. Millie needs my milk (which can change when you change your diet drastically) and cuddles, and Charlotte needs my full focus. It helps Joe more if he comes home to a mostly clean house than it does if I've played with the kids, worked on Jamberry, and worked out, but didn't do much else. So right now? I need to accept the way I look, even if it's hard.

After working through all of that in my brain, I decided that I was going to buy a bikini to wear to the beach this year. It's been years since I've even thought about purchasing one, so this was a pretty big deal. The current fashion trends made it easier for me, thank heavens. 

I finally found one I liked, and I ordered it, dang it. Because you know what? I may not be 125 pounds anymore. I may have stretch marks. I may have some cellulite, and bumps and bruises. But my body is still awesome. My husband seems to think so. My girls think so. More importantly, my Creator thinks I'm beautiful - who am I to disagree with Him?!  

I have birthed and nursed 2 babies - my body can do awesome things! It's time to accept it, and get over what anyone else might think. It's about me and what I'm comfortable with, not them.

I will say that I still had some nerves about how I looked when we were at the beach a couple weeks ago. (Sheesh, I can't believe 2 weeks has gone by already!) But when I look at the pictures we took? I don't feel bad about myself. And that, my friends, is worth far more than I paid for that swim suit. :)

I think there is something to be said for being comfortable with the way you are right now, even if it isn't where you want to be. Because I do want to lose those extra pounds, but I don't want to do it if it means sacrificing the quality of my breast milk (I often wonder if this happened when Charlotte was a baby) or time with my littles.

I've always struggled with body issues, even when I was thin. I don't actually ever remember thinking that I was thin, actually. I can look back now, though, and wonder how I didn't recognize it. Anyway, I know that one day I'll be where I want to be and then my kids will probably be bigger and I'll be wishing they were smaller again. ;-) 

So I guess that's why I decided that I was going to be brave, put on that bikini, and not be ashamed of the way my body looks, even though it isn't our culture's definition of beauty. Why do they get to decide what's beautiful and what isn't, anyway?


  1. Great post Sarah. Seriously.. you go girl!

  2. So awesome! I love that suit. And your HAIR. Is that your natural color? If yes, I am eternally jealous. You and Amanda ^^ and Molly- all the luck! Love it!

  3. Super cute bathing suit! And good for you for being fine with yourself exactly how you are. It is amazing when you think about it what all a woman's body can do with growing a child for 9 months. Of course there are going to be changes! Also, no idea if you're interested or have heard of it, but the Trim Healthy Mama plan has really helped me post partum. I'm losing weight, but slowly so I'm not hurting my milk supply and I can still eat delish things, although I've switched from sugar to Truvia. They've got a book, but they also have Facebook pages and a Pinterest account with great recipes and it's food even men like. My husband actually really likes a lot of the recipes I make and they're still healthy.