Let's talk about it. A woman's body. The most dissected, criticized subject on the planet. By us truly (women). Yes. We create the perfect image we are supposed to be. In our own minds. Of course, social media and Hollywood play a factor in what we measure ourselves up to. But at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemies.
I've spent the last few months learning how to respect my body. Reminding myself that it's insanely strong. It has carried 3 babies full term and lost one angel baby. It has survived a vehicle hitting it at 50+ miles per hour, crushing many bones on the right side of my body. My body has endured several serious surgeries over the last decade. And let's not forget, the 120+ pounds of weight gain and loss from the childbearing years. It has repaired itself time and time again. Yet, I was picking it apart day in and day out.
Well, I've been taking extra good care of it lately. I exercise several times a week, I eat pretty healthy (but absolutely do not deprive myself of goodies from time to time) and I also have done something I never thought I would ever do again in my life. I wear a bikini whenever I take my kids to the pool. Do I have a flat tummy? Absolutely not! in fact, I have skin that hangs over my cesarean scar, which will never go away naturally. Am I cellulite free? Hell-to-the-no. My thighs are dimpled all over. Does everything jiggle a little when I walk? 100% yes it does! Guess what.... no one cares. But more importantly, I no longer care! Do you know what I do at the pool in my bikini? I play with my kids and I sprawl out on the tanning chair and I enjoy myself because I love getting my tummy tan. I don't think about the way I look. I decided it's time to be proud of the scars and the stretched out skin. They are the most amazing stories I have to tell about myself. Why on earth would I be ashamed of it? I look at other moms at the pool or beach and I think they are gorgeous. I see their stretch marks and baby bellies and I feel like I'm with a sisterhood. I feel the normality of it and I'm reminded, that is what we are supposed to look like.
I WANT to see more scars. I want to see women show them off like they are tattoos. Because that's what they are. They are permanent stories and pieces of art that say something about you. Don't be ashamed of them.
So what you've got an extra 20 pounds thats hard to lose after that baby. Guess what?! You grew a HUMAN. An actual full person. And you either pushed them out of your body which tore and stretched to its full capacity. Or got cut open to get them out through layers and layers of muscle. So, stop being so hard on yourself for not looking the way you did when you were 15 years old and 5 sizes smaller, with no curves. You are a woman, not a teenage girl. You've earned the body you have today- no matter what size the tag on your jeans say. Be proud of it! It has been on quite the journey.
Here are just some of my favorite "scars" that tell my best stories (and I have a lot more!). My baby stretch marks on my belly and my femur scars from the car accident that I survived. They created the fierce creature that I am today.
They are perfect, they are me.
Show yours off. Get comfortable with them. I personally love seeing others flaunt them! Chances are, other women do too. You're in good company.
You can follow along with the daily life of Raquel over on Instagram.