Learning to heart my body

We Heart Life : I heart my body 2012

I’ve never been besties with my body. You could say we’ve had somewhat of a dysfunctional relationship. For most of my life all I’ve seen when I looked in the mirror is flaws: all the imperfections in how my body looked. At 13 it was the flat chest and the ‘pancake’ nickname from cruel seventh grade boys. At 17 it was the extra padding around my middle, the embarrassment in a bikini, the holding arms over my stomach at every beach outing. At 21 it was the spreading spider veins in my legs, the self-consciousness in shorts, the worry about impending cellulite.

Over more than fifteen years I punished myself for every one of these imperfections (and so many more). The punishment was mental: a constant internal barrage of reprimands over food eaten and calories not burned and disappointment at never looking a certain way. And when the mental punishment wasn’t enough there was the physical: the obsession with exercise and the salad-only diets. And finally there was the psychological punishment: the two years of binging and purging and hating myself for every moment of it.

Then, three years ago, things started to change. I began to see my body for what it did rather than how it looked. Because in the last three years it has done some pretty amazing things. That stomach with the extra padding round the middle, it grew my son for 39 weeks. The flat-chest (which wasn’t so flat for a while there), for 15 months, it nurtured and comforted my baby with milk. And those spider-veined legs, they have had enough energy to keep up with a highly active toddler as well as maintain a well-loved home (most of the time).

So these days, I’m learning to look past the flaws. I keep the self-punishment to a minimum: and try to replace it with respect. I do my best to look after this body that has given me so much. I nurture it with exercise and good food (and a good dose of chocolate) and more than anything some love for all that it has done, all that it does, and all that it will do.

Now when I look in the mirror I see strong legs that can run after a two year-old known to sprint toward a road at a moments notice. I see hands that have stroked my baby’s soft head and held my husband’s hand and made the food my family eats. Mostly though I see someone finally happy in their own skin.

The Monster and Me: I heart My Body

**The photo above is from our family holiday to the Whitsundays earlier in the year. The little one in the pink stinger suit is Lachie, don’t ask.**

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37 comments
  1. Laura,

    My gosh! THIS is beautiful!

    YOU are beautiful!

    I don’t see any of those flaws! Just a beautiful woman, rocking a bikini so well, & more importantly … holding the hand of her beloved pink-stinger-suit wearing son πŸ™‚

    Congratulations on the attitude shift,

    xo

    Cherie (we heart life)

    • Laura said:

      Thank you Jess, so lovely to have you here. x Laura

  2. dtll said:

    Perfect attitude and a bottom to go with it… I won’t comment on the stinger suit but you and your outfit look perfect x

    • Laura said:

      Tessa, thank you! The attitude shift feels so good, it really does. x Laura

  3. Lisa said:

    You are beautiful Laura, love this pic of you and the monster and I love your blog.

    • Laura said:

      Thanks Lisa, so nice to have you pop by. x Laura

    • Laura said:

      Thanks for popping by Carly and of course for creating the whole concept, you’ve done such a wonderful job with a truly inspiring idea. x Laura

  4. Lyndaal said:

    I’ve just found your blog, and I LOVE it. Thank you for sharing, your journey – you are rocking that bikini!

    • Laura said:

      Thanks Lyndaal! So happy to have you here and I hope to see you again soon. x Laura

  5. LOVE it. The shift in focus when we become mums is so amazing. You look amazing and I love that pink suit too πŸ˜›

    • Laura said:

      Isn’t the pink suit great! And you’re right, the shift in perspective is amazing, a real blessing I think actually.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. x Laura

  6. Great post, beautiful photo. It’s just a golden post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Laura said:

      Thanks so much Melissa, it’s so lovely to meet you. x Laura

  7. THis is gorgeous! So pure and so true. I have never thought of my legs like this…. today it starts! Good on you xox

    • Laura said:

      It’s a good way to think isn’t it? Nice to have you here Tahlia. x Laura

  8. goodgollymissholly said:

    Fabulous, absolutely fabulous x

    • Laura said:

      Thanks Holly. x Laura πŸ™‚

  9. Tam said:

    Wowee, you look amazing and love your body for all the right reasons! (And you have a GREAT ass, but let’s pretend I didn’t say that πŸ˜‰

    • Laura said:

      Haha, I’ll take that! Thanks for stopping by Tam, great to meet you. x Laura

    • Laura said:

      Thanks Em. x

  10. What a beach babe! I agree, the older I get the more I appreciate my body for what it can do, not for what it looks like. Which is lovely.

    • Laura said:

      Kylie, yes, it’s so much easier and happier isn’t it? Because these bodies of ours do absolutely AMAZING things and they deserve respect for that.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by, it’s nice to meet you. x Laura

    • Laura said:

      Thank you Tina and so lovely to have you here. x Laura

  11. Miss Sew & So said:

    Sigh…a delight to read….I have three beautiful babies and ‘they’ outweigh any body issues I face…x

    • Laura said:

      Exactly! There’s nothing like children to whack a whole lot of perspective into life.
      Thanks so much for visiting. x Laura

  12. ‘Doing’ rather than ‘looking’ – I think you’ve cracked the key to a good life all round.

    A pleasure to meet you, Laura. x

    • Laura said:

      Hi Bron, I hope so, the attitude shift feels so much healthier and happier. Thanks for stopping by, it’s lovely to meet you too. x Laura

  13. You totally rock that bikini Laura – you look fabulous and you have an equally gorgeous attitude to your body. xx

    • Laura said:

      Sonia, thank you and it’s lovely to have you here. x

    • Laura said:

      Thank you Sonia! Lovely to have you pop by. x Laura

  14. You are both beautiful! The attitude shift that motherhood brings is like a fresh wind blowing away the dust of self doubt that causes so many women suffer from. Gah. That means that I will have to stick up a post of my own now…

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