I am not feeling good about myself lately. I feel fat and tired and old; the 20 pounds I have gained in the nearly two years since Elle's birth are not good for me either physically or mentally. (Also, I'm short. Short people can't gain 20 pounds with grace. We get very round, very fast.)
I have noticed that I carry myself differently. That I interact with
people differently. I am not happy in my own skin right now, and that
leads to a lot of negative things. It's a horrible Catch 22.
There's no question that I need to do something about it (I can't
afford an entirely new wardrobe, for one thing), but today, as I tried
to force myself to stand up straight instead of slumping, I had one of
those moments where my brain was full of dislike for my body. FULL of
it. It was just a really horrible self-bashing moment. At the end of a
long string of thoughts hating on myself, I thought "And Elle deserves a
mother who's not a horrible cow!"
(This gives you an idea of what I say to myself in my own head sometimes. It is not pretty. It is not healthy.)
But as soon as that mean, nasty, self-hating thought went through my
head, it was followed by another: Elle could care less what I look
That thought stuck with me all day.
She could care less. She doesn't care if I have fat rolls, or my
skin needs a chemical peel, or my roots are showing. She doesn't care
that I have one pair of jeans left I can get into, and they aren't
especially comfortable. She doesn't care that I probably need to size
up on my bras. She could care less how I feel about my body.
To Elle, I am beautiful. I am her mom. I am the arms that hold
her. I am the hands that wash her face. I'm the chin she tucks her
head underneath as we read books before bedtime. All that matters to
her is that I'm there, every day, doing what I need to do.
I need to lose the 20 pounds, yes. Elle deserves a healthy mom. But
I also, perhaps, need to stop letting the negative run the show, and
give myself a little bit of a break.
I need to remember that the truly important voice is not the nasty one in my head. It's the little one shouting "Squirrels! Where are you?" as she runs ahead of me.