Looking at this weeks prompts for Wellness Wednesday one stood out to me, “Why I love my body“, good question I thought, it left me asking myself “do I love my body?” and if the answer is NO, then why not? If the answer is YES, then why do I? Now as you know (just by the name of my website), I am a reflective person, and this weeks topic left me doing some serious reflecting! (Is that a good thing? Do I want to sit and reflect on how I feel about my body? Would you?)

Scoops of Joy

If you are unsure what ‘Wellness Wednesday’ is click here. Now stop for a moment, and think, how do you feel about your body? Could you answer this question without being hard on yourself? I am seriously asking you, yes you reading this, “Do YOU like your body?” And “What do you like about it?” Here’s a peaceful image, just take a moment and reflect . . .

 image by photography.reflectionsfromme.com

My initial response is ‘yes’ I do love my body, it’s not a YES!!!!! But it is a yes, and I guess in some ways my answer doesn’t surprise me, yet in other ways it does, let me explain. I think at 38 I am more comfortable in my own skin  than ever before, I guess you could say I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my body since I was a child. I am sure many of you will relate.

I was what you would would call a chubby kid, not overweight, or large, just not skinny, my sister on the other hand was one of those teeny tiny petite types, I remember sitting by the pool with her (I would have been about 6 maybe, my sister 10), we were swinging our little legs in the water and I was looking down at my tummy, it was a perfect little chubby roll, I looked at hers, there was no roll, I remember even at such a young age thinking “I’m fat.” It saddens me that this little girl (me), already knew the word ‘fat’, and was already feeling like she was in fact a ‘fat’ person. Looking back I wasn’t fat at all, I see the photos from when I was a little girl and I wonder why I ever thought I was fat, yet I took on that persona, and felt it for most of my life.

Image of Mackenzie

For me though my true body image issues started when I miscarried our first, and then second pregnancy, I felt like my body had failed me, that it had failed my mind, my soul, my maternal desires, everything in my body ached for a child and yet when we were at the hospital, my unborn baby bleeding out of my body I felt completely betrayed by my body. After the second miscarriage I stopped ovulating and I felt even more betrayed and let down. 

You would think my body image would improve after I gave birth finally to a healthy 8 pound perfect girl, but my breasts failed to make enough milk to feed her completely. I felt so let down again (now I know that these feelings were illogical, but at the time they were very real and all consuming). I fed her constantly, when I wasn’t feeding I was pumping, we had a lactation consultant, I tried medication, natural remedies, went back in to hospital, but my breasts only ever produced about half of what she needed to grow healthy and strong, so for 13 months I breast fed and then topped her up with formula. (Now I am not judging anyone who chooses to bottle feed, this is purely how I felt at the time). Every time I fed her a bottle I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest, it physically hurt me, I felt like a failure. And if someone else went to feed her I couldn’t stand it.

My point is there have been times where I haven’t loved my body, times where I felt my body had completely betrayed me and let me down, I had a third miscarriage, I had trouble breastfeeding all my children, and I had heart problems with my third pregnancy which ultimately led to me having to give birth via a c-section with my son, these were all things I felt guilty about, that I was mad at my body about. But I guess like with most situations in life you can’t see them as only black and white.

In reflection I began to see how hard I was on myself, how cruel at times. I always thought it was my body betraying my mind, when so much of it was the other way around. Do I wish I could have solely breastfed my children? Yes. But were my children loved, nurtured, and healthy? YES! And I did that! My body did that! I have been pregnant 6 times, given birth 3 times, breastfed as best as I could, but more than that, my arms have rocked, and carried, my heart has loved completely, my voice has sung a million songs, my hands have stroked their weary heads, my mouth has smiled and laughed with them, so how could I not love and appreciate my body?
When I look at children I see miracles, I too am one of those miracles, we all are. When I look at my body now I feel proud of everything it represents, I feel proud of my caesarian scar, I feel proud that I have smile lines, there are stories on my body, stories of how I have lived, the little scar on my forehead shows me where my first chickenpox was, the one on my knee reminds me of when I cut myself on the day of my first dance concert. So yes I have battled to love my body over the years, but do I love my body now? Yes I do, maybe even YES I do? We all should.

Whatever issues you have with your body, weight, height, wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, acne, grey hair, we need to realise that these individual elements we don’t like are not who we are as a whole. We are also our smile, the way our eyes light up, we are our curves, the cute little dimple on our cheek, the scattering of freckles across our nose, our curvaceous butt, our sexy legs, we are that cute little beauty spot, or that lone freckle on our toe. We are long eyelashes, a swish of our hair, we are a map, a story, a life lived, a life we are still living. Be proud, love your body, instead of naming the things you don’t like, name those you do!

A 43 year old girlfriend of mine admitted that on a recent overseas trip she was walking around the pool in her swimsuit and thought to herself, “yep, I’ve still got a really nice butt”! Good on her!

Last week I wrote about inner peace, and although this week is about loving our bodies I really believe they go hand in hand. At 38 I am beginning to find that inner peace that I was always missing, and in turn I am finally finding peace with how I look on the outside too, and appreciating what my body is capable of.
“I would love to hear your thoughts on this, do you love your body? Why? Why not? please feel free to comment below”.

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to our plans, we feel like we have let ourselves down, perhaps feel our bodies have betrayed us, but we are here, we are strong, we are battlers, we are beautiful and we are entitled to love our bodies, and to be proud of how awesome we are!

Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx


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