My stomach has brought me so much shame in the last 5 years

I wrote about this swimsuit a few years ago. I read the essay on Motherly’s latest podcast episode with Katrina Scott of Tone It Up (which is available now!). As I was listening to the episode this morning in the shower—a conversation all about redefining our expectations around our bodies after baby—and then hearing my essay after Liz and Katrina’s conversation (about buying this bathing suit, three months postpartum after Lucy, because it covered a lot of my body) I was brought right back to that moment in time.

I remember the fear I had buying this bathing suit. Like someone was going to make fun of me or something for wearing it (like—wtf? Haha). I truly (100% not lying) contemplated wearing Spanx somehow underneath.

I got it for my sister’s destination wedding in Vegas. It was hot and 2-year-old Maggie was definitely going to want to go swimming (not to mention I LOVE pools!) so I needed a suit. Everyone knew I had a newborn! Lucy was only three months! Of course my stomach would still be there, so why did I care so much?

Why do I STILL care? I’m still working on being kind to myself in terms of my body image. When I look down, I see too much of my stomach poking out. When I pull my jeans on, I hike them and yank them up to my belly button in hopes of sucking everything in. In thinking about all of this today I’ve realized, my stomach has brought me so much shame in the last five years.

SHAME. Could you imagine? The place where all 3 of my kids were created. The place they called home for 40 weeks each. The most miraculous events and most beautiful experiences I’ve had in my life have happened in there. Shouldn’t I treat it with respect? With admiration? With—at the very least—kindness?

I actually hate this bathing suit, but I like the reminder it brings. I was highly uncomfortable in my skin at the time of purchasing it but I did it anyway and I wore it anyway and I didn’t let it stop me from having fun. I eventually stopped obsessing over all of it and just focused on the joy in my life. Which I continue to aim to do.

BECAUSE LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO NOT GO SWIMMING! 🌊

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