Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Love Your Body on the Outside but Nourish Your Body Inside

So. I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and I went past 6, count 'em SIX, posts or links or whatever about "loving your body the way it is after kids". I can't go on any mommy related website without seeing at least one of these types of posts either. This whole love your body no matter what it looks like is an issue that I see from both sides. Yes we should love our body and no we shouldn't feel shame that we don't wear jeans with a single digit size, but does that give us the right to live so unhealthy? What I worry about is many women use this reasoning as a justification for being unhealthy and not attempting to change those choices which do their body no favors at all.

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion and could potentially piss some people off. So, before you get your panties in a twist...chill out. It's just an opinion. My opinion does not waltz itself into your home and smack the oreo out of your hand. It sits here on the internet. Doing it's thing while you do yours. So CHILL. Ok disclaimer out of the way.

I do agree moms should accept their bodies after a baby as beautiful. Absolutely 100% on board there. Those stretchmarks aren't going to go away, I don't care what that stupid baby stuff book said. They stay so get used to it and learn to love them. Your body just made a human being. Take five minutes to just revel in that right now. Your body took two cells...and made a human. It's probably not going to look the same ever again. Things were stretched, things were moved, unholy things happened in places you didn't know could be affected by pregnancy. Love it all. Well, I don't love my new weaker bladder muscles but that's not the point. Love those stretchmarks, love the way you jiggle kind of, love the sag around your belly. Embrace it as beautiful because it is.


Moving on.

I don't agree that just because you had a kid (or kids) you should accept that your body is beautiful no matter what and that means there are no consequences for poor food choices or lack of exercise because hey...that body made a baby (or a few) and it is beautiful no matter what! Wrong-O! Of course the effects of pregnancy are beautiful (deja vu anyone?) BUT the effects of poor eating habits and virtually no exercise? Not so pretty. If you are happy in your skin then more power to you and by no means must you try to change it if you don't want to. However, don't use it as an excuse! For the longest time I used to say I didn't mind how I looked because it meant I got to eat buckets of cake (yeah, that was a thing in this house) or eat as many pieces of pizza as I wanted. I stayed pretty much the same shape and size. I was completely content with how I looked. Still am. I am pudgy in some spots, stretched out in many others and yes I jiggle when I walk but I am still happy with my body. Sure I wish I could snap my fingers and have a 6pack...I mean really now who wouldn't?

I was and still am happy with how my body looks on the outside but you know what? I finally had enough of using that as my excuse to not be healthier. It was a lame excuse. My goals in doing crossfit and eating a somewhat paleo-esque diet (don't you dare take away my cheese!) is to be HEALTHY not PRETTY. I want to be healthy for my kids so they learn good habits and grow up strong and wise. I want to be healthy for my husband so I can grow old with him on the front porch and not in a hospital bed. I want to be healthy for my community so I can be there for your sick family member and provide exceptional care. I want to be healthy for me so I can run around with my grandkids when I am 80, so I can enjoy life to the fullest, so I can see the world and not the inside of a doctor office.

Have no shame in a body bent and mangled by the creation of life, have no shame in what you see looking back at you from the mirror. Have confidence that you made healthy choices. Have confidence you are being the best human you can be. Have confidence you are the best you that you can be.

Stop focusing on what the outside looks like and start choosing to change the inside. Make your heart and vessels look like a cardiologists dream, don't worry about your fluffy love handles. Make your pancreas take a rest and stop working it to death (diabetes anyone?) with a glucose roller coaster. Soothe your inflamed guts and start absorbing nutrients. Power your brain with the good fats it craves, nothing is sexier than a healthy brain. Take the stairs every day not because you want an arbitrary number on a scale, but because weight bearing exercise helps build strong bones. Strong bones are sexy, trust me.

You don't have to jump in and do crossfit, or eat a strict paleo diet. Sure, those things are wonderful and will help immensely but aren't absolutely necessary. Just dedicate yourself to doing some kind of exercise each day and ditch the processed junk in your diet. I guarantee you will feel amazing just with that little change and when you feel amazing, look stunning!

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