I’m a Mom AND I’m Embracing the “Mom-Bod”

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Motherhood is a 24/7 job, and it’s totally normal to feel like your identity is defined around this one very important role. Our writers at Charleston Moms are a diverse group of women in all stages of motherhood. Though we are all bonded as moms, we also each have unique talents, skills, and experiences that make us who we are. Our series, “I’m A Mom, and…” is introducing Charleston to our team and we hope you have fun getting to know us!

Meet Cameron

2011 and 2013 . . .

The years my female body completed the growing process for my tiny humans and thus gave them their eviction notices from my expanded uterus.

This body expelled both of those above-average-size little humans, and while the first one was formula fed (for my own medical reasons), the second received vital nourishment from my body’s lactating breasts for over nine months. During those nine months, my body experienced painful clogged milk ducts on multiple occasions, as well as debilitating mastitis, and the savage veracity of my infant’s tiny teeth.

But that’s not all my female body has endured.

Yes, growing and nourishing humans was a gigantic feat to be accomplished, but this body has also endured countless other trials and tribulations over the years . . .

It’s had two surgeries — a partial thyroidectomy and gallbladder removal. It struggles daily with an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). It’s undergone a mammogram and needle biopsy of the breast (which was as painful as childbirth).

My body is no longer the size it was in college, and not even the size it was during the first few years of marriage. I have gained lots of weight, then lost a little, then gained it all back. The struggle with my weight is definitely real. It’s a major frustration and day-to-day battle in my life. It’s the cause of a lot of emotional ups and downs, and I really hate looking in the mirror when I’m naked.  

I realized that, like a lot of moms, I had reached a point in my life where I really hated my body. I was engaging in lots of negative self-talk about my body and putting myself down over it. But in the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to come to terms with my body as it is, and trying to truly embrace my “Mom-Bod.”

I recently went on vacation with my family and spent the entire long 4th of July weekend on a gorgeous lake in the upstate. One of these days included trips to various waterfalls on the lake and lots of pictures. I was very self-conscious in my bathing suit as my husband took pictures of us around the falls. I found myself trying to keep most of my body under the water, hoping that the pictures wouldn’t show how overweight I was.

But then came the moment when my daughter wanted me to jump through one of the falls with her. You were able to go behind this waterfall, jump through the rushing water, and come out in front of the falls — and my husband wanted to take a video.

I hesitated.

This video would capture my body in full view as I jumped from behind the falls. But I looked at my daughter, and I looked at the gorgeous falls; and at that moment, I made the decision to go for it. I decided to just embrace my mom-bod, have a little fun, and make a fantastic memory with my sweet girl.

After we jumped, I must admit that I felt amazing.

The water felt cold but exhilarating, and the smile on my daughter’s face made that memory priceless. Her excitement over what we had just done made the jump so worth it.

I’ve watched the video over and over, loving it every single time. I even posted it on my Facebook wall for everyone to see. And though my body doesn’t look “perfect” in the video, the memory we made together most definitely is.

I see other women walking the beach in their cute bikinis and perfectly fit and trim bodies, and I’m not going to lie — I get a little jealous. I see their social media posts picturing their gorgeous bodies and I definitely wish my own body could be more like theirs. But after our vacation, after making that lifelong memory, I’ve decided that the desire to be “skinny” is no longer at the top of my priority list.

This body has gone through a lot to get where it is today, and I’m going to treasure it as it is. I’ve definitely earned this mom-bod, and I’m going to love it and enjoy making memories with it while I’m living here on Earth. I’m going to stop hating pictures so much, and take more with my family to capture these incredible memories.

Because having a mom-bod isn’t a bad thing.

Every scar, every stretch mark — they tell fantastic stories of events and accomplishments in your life.

These marks should remind you that you’ve overcome these adversities and lived to tell the tale.

So tell those tales.

Brag on those stories and appreciate, love, and truly embrace your mom-bod. Because Mama, you are awesome. Being skinny doesn’t define you.

What you will remember in 40 years when you’re old and wrinkled and gray is not how skinny you were or how much the scale said you weighed . . . but the memories you made with your kids and family — and the fun you had while rockin’ that mom-bod. Stay fabulous, my friend, and just love yourself!

Read more in our I’m a Mom AND…series:
I’m a Mom AND a High School Principal

I’m a Mom and I’m Me, Too
I’m a Mom AND I’m Still in School

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