The Naked Truth About Mothering Your Body

“I can’t believe how fat you are!” “You are too large and you take up too much space!” “I can’t believe how flabby you are!” ”You look terrible!”

Would you ever say any of these comments to your friends? To your kids? I never would, but I have said all this and worse to myself over the years. My choice of self-abuse has been about my body: its size and fleshiness. I know that I am not alone. Too many women say terrible things to themselves about their bodies on a daily basis and this undermines us.

For decades I berated myself for my body size, constantly comparing myself to the other women in the room. Am I the largest? Fattest? Are my thighs larger or smaller than hers? Can anyone see the roll of my tummy? The overlap of skin here and there?

Over the years I have gone up and down the scale, with a large (and final!) weight loss 3 ½ years ago, when I turned 50. My motivation was to be healthy, after watching my beloved aunt suffer when she turned 80 with health problems that were tied to her weight. I refused to lay in a bed when I was 80 and hear the doctor tell my children that the only way for me to heal is to go back in time and lose weight.

And so I lost the weight once and for all.

It wasn’t easy, but I did it. The hardest part wasn’t to stop eating the foods I love but that don’t love me, that just took will-power and discipline. The hardest part was to stop beating myself up on a regular basis about my body. I had to finally learn to mother my body.

How did this happen? It was a process, bit by bit. I remember the days four years ago when I sat to watch video clips of the British TV show, “How To Look Good Naked” on You Tube. I sat for hours, transfixed watching the host, Gok Wan, teach the women on the show that they were beautiful.

Watching them go through the transformation of accepting and then loving their bodies was empowering and emotional to watch. Over the years since then, working on my yoga mat, appreciating what my body can do has been a real transformative process for me.

Then the other day I saw a photo on Facebook of a woman sitting in a chair with no clothes on. I looked at her and thought she looked beautiful. And I realized that when I looked like that I never would have seen myself as beautiful. Never. I was too busy beating myself up for looking just like her.

What a waste of time and energy I spent berating myself and my body. Instead of seeing my body as strong and beautiful, I saw flabby and weak. But when I look at this photo I see the opposite. She looks strong and confident and beautiful to me. How does she look to you?

Beautiful Girl

The fact is I will never have washboard abs, no six-pack for me. My thighs will never delicate and stick thin. I am healthy, I have curves and I look great!

My body has birthed two children without drugs, breastfed for a total of 8+ years. It has carried, soothed and loved those kids. In its youth, my body was loved by many, and for the past 25 years it has lain next to one special person every night. My body has spent years on a tennis court. It used to bounce on a step aerobics stair and lately it is back on a yoga mat, 4 or 5 times a week. My body has skied and hiked and walked and shopped all over the world and while it shows some wear and tear, it is mine and it wakes up every morning (so far!). So instead of hating it and beating it up, I now commit to celebrate it, in all its glory and folds and curves and strength.

Mothering my kids came naturally, but mothering my body has been a long time coming. So glad I finally made it!

Want to watch some inspirational body image videos? Check you the “How To Look Good Naked videos” that inspired me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RizlP4Gtqs0 Tummies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGL2l3iZkPg Tummies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP8B9mLzGoA Bums

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH0to1R7dn4 Thighs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqP-FrDF_pU Bums

Yours,

Heidi

 

 



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

13 thoughts on “The Naked Truth About Mothering Your Body

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting! We all have struggles, some with weight, others with something else. This is one of mine and it is time I start embracing it rather than running away from it. I have accepted that my weight and body image are life long issues. Period. Not what I wish for, but what I have.

      Reply
  1. Rosalinda

    Heidi, Many women can related to your experience. Becoming healthy (at whatever weight) should be the goal, not focusing on the “six-pack abs”. And don’t forget to bring along your confidence and beautiful smile.

    Reply
  2. Mary Kennedy Eastham

    It is so true! I saw an article yesterday about supermodel Heidi Klum who has birthed
    four kids and still LOVES her body. She takes care of it. Watches what she eats cuz of
    the biz she’s in and exercises most days. She doesn’t deny herself though.
    And she’s worth close to $80 mil!

    I love my body but even I sometimes apply those ridiculous airbrushed women’s
    mag images to myself and somehow feel less than. There’s a girl I know out here
    who opened a store called Curvy Girls for bigger size girls. She’s gotten
    tons of TV air time and is even asking people on her FB page to write a love
    letter to the bullies who ever made them feel less than. Women, why are we so
    hard on ourselves???

    Have a wonderful time in Austrailia. I think that’s where you said you live.
    It’s supposed to be beautiful filled with lovely beaches…Mary Kennedy Eastham,
    Author, Squinting Over Water – Stories & The Shadow of A Dog I Can’t Forget

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      I agree, the question is why are we so hard on ourselves? Personally I lost the weight to be healthy and while I love my new body, my old one worked just great too!

      Reply
  3. Julie

    Wow! Thank you thank you! I have never given myself permission to mother myself. I loved how you shared all the amazing things and places your body has done and does. A wonderful new perspective . Brought some emotion and tears up this morning.

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      So glad it touched a nerve in you. My ultimate goal has been to learn how to mother myself as well as I have mothered friends and my kids. I am never as kind to myself, especially around food, eating and my body as I am with others. Learning to love and respect my body has been a process and it feels so much better now versus when I used to beat myself up all the time over it!

      Reply
  4. Jennifer

    I like your analogy that we have to mother our bodies as well as our families. Of all the challenges adult women face, I think maintaining a healthy weight might be one of the hardest – at least it is for me. Thanks for this post!

    Reply
    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      Thank you for commenting! Losing weight is very difficult, especially after menopause, which is when I did it last 4 years ago. Learning to accept my body with all its strengths and weaknesses is a never ending adventure. In some ways it has been a hard thing to think of myself as a thin(ner) person than it was to lose the weight. I know that sounds crazy, but I am still surprised when people say that I am thin or slender. I find myself looking around to see who they are really talking about!

      Reply
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