Embrace yourself

9:08:00 AM,20 Comments

Today is not about sewing.  Today is about love.  A wonderful video by Taryn Brumfitt is going around the Internet and it really hit home for me.  Her planned documentary "Embrace," will show how women feel about their bodies, how much we loathe ourselves, and what we can do to change our views.  

I've been struggling with body image issues my entire life.  As a little girl I was the chubby kid.  I liked dance, especially ballet, and this unfortunately only made my self esteem issues worse.

Pretty sure the maroon velvet dress wasn't helping my self esteem issues, haha

I remember sneaking food as a child, not wanting anyone to see me eat it.  This stayed with me through me teenage years as I continued dancing, and as a ballerina, thought I was huge.  I felt ginormous compared to my other ballet friends.  At 5'6 and wearing a size 6/8, I thought I was disgusting.  I look back at photos and see how beautiful I was, but I couldn't see that then.

My weight flipped flopped my entire adult life.  I've been all over the map and the feelings of not measuring up and self loathing have always been there, regardless of my weight.

After my second son was born, I lost a significant amount of weight, and while I loved the number that my pants now said I was, it didn't change the internal conversation that was continuously happening inside my head.  

Right after Max was born

A year later, down to my goal weight

The problem was that now I loved how I looked in my clothes, but still hated my body.  I was hiding how much I disliked myself from everyone, putting on a happy face.  It's an awful feeling, to not see what everyone else sees.  I was getting tons of compliments on how great I looked, but I still had all this turmoil inside.

And now I have child #3, a daughter.  And all I can think about is how I don't want her to be like me.  I want her to look up to me, and see how she should love herself and her body.  She will be bombarded with images of how she should look, act, feel.  I want her to have a role model who shows her that what she sees on TV is not how you have to be.  That she is beautiful and loved.

Me with my family on Easter 2014

I'm in between what I call my happy and unhappy weights.  It's been much harder this time around to lose the weight.  Almost 2 years later and I can't get it off.  I've joined a gym to help, but that doesn't change the mental aspect of this all.  We as a society, we as women, need to wake up!  It's OK to not be a size 0.  The average woman is a 14.  We need to learn that any size is beautiful.  It's not about the number, it's about how we feel!

I had a wonderful conversation with one of my friends the other day about self esteem.  She is on the other side of this problem.  She is thin and has always had problems gaining weight.  Her friends and family make comments to her about how she should eat more and how skinny she is.  What they don't know is that she eats and eats, but can never seem to gain weight.  She is just as hurt by their comments of how "skinny" she is as I am about me being "fat".  

What I hope we all can learn is that no one knows the struggles that another person is dealing with.  My weight issues could be more easily managed with working out more and eating a little better, but I also have other health issues that work against me, causing me an extremely hard time to lose weight. My friend can't gain weight, no matter how hard she tries.  You don't know the struggles someone else is going through.  

So, what's the point?  We all have struggles.  No matter how big or small, no matter how happy someone appears to be, we all struggle.  And for women, it's magnified 1,000x.  But the real problem is not size you are, it's how you feel about yourself.  You are not disgusting, a bean pole, fat, frumpy, ugly, squishy, skin and bones, ginormous.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!  Your body is amazing, you are amazing, you are worthy of love and you are loved!  

I'm working on this concept everyday.  I am learning to love myself how I am, with my faults, my fat, my newly forming wrinkles, my tired eyes...should I go on?  Embrace yourself, embrace the changes that are happening, because next month, next year, 10 years from now the likelihood that you will look back and say, "I was beautiful, I wish I looked like that now," is pretty high.  

If you'd like to help Taryn's documentary "Embrace" change lives, go here and donate whatever you can.  We deserve the chance to start embracing ourselves.