I have amazing self-esteem. Most of the time. I'm loud. I talk a lot. I think I'm smart and I will even go so far as to believe that I am funny. Especially if I'm having wine for dinner. Then I am really funny. I've already put it out there that I am unhappy with my body. But I like to think that even still, I don't hate my body. And I'm pretty sure that's actually true. My body and I have been through some crazy shit. And every time, my body showed me that it is freeging amazing.
Oh, sidebar, "freeging" is my new favorite word. Moving on.
So it came as a shock to me today when I totally hated on myself. I was revamping one of these blog pages. The one up there that says Mama Gets Around. I decided that the header should be pictures of me because I read an article recently about moms intentionally staying out of pictures. The article basically said that I was ridiculous. And it's spot on. I avoid my picture being taken for a million different reasons. But It's time to stop that. Because sure, my cleavage is exactly seven miles long but you know what?
It's no secret.
Right before I married Daddy Pants, I had what can only be described as a crisis of self-esteem. You might be familiar. It's the one that happens in changing rooms all over the world. I cried. I wanted to shrink into nothingness. I was trying on wedding gowns because I was marrying the love of my life and I couldn't have been more miserable. I thought to myself, "I'm going to be fat on my wedding day" and "I'm so ugly" and no amount of support and love from my girlfriends was changing how I felt inside. Like a tank in a dress and I told myself as much.
I got home that night and he was waiting for me. He was excited. He thought that I would be too. I mean, I had been trying on wedding dresses! I putzed around the house and hated on myself in head. He asked me what was wrong and I said, "Well, I'm fat, for one and I'm going to look like a giant white blob on the most important day of our lives. Hmmm, let's see, I'm also fat. The end." That shut him up. But only for a minute. He didn't try and love me up. He didn't say much but what he said changed me. "I love you", he said. "You look no different now than when I fell in love you. Not to me. Stop it. Please."
And that's when I started to say different things to myself. Because it occured to me that he sees me. He has always seen me. My body isn't some secret. I cannot wish hard enough and make everyone around me see something different. He sees me. And he fell in love with all of this jelly. He's seen me naked. Physically and emotionally. And he loves me. Well, maybe not all the emotional stuff but you get the point.
We are seen. So all of this self-hate is for no one but us. And that is just silly. I'm not saying that I never ever fall back into my old ways. Because I do. But I am saying that I work hard to let go of that hurtful self-talk.
Because I am the only one listening.
So when I was looking through pictures for the new page up there, I began tearing them apart one by one. Saying terrible things in my head to each and every picture. "Nope! Fat arms. Gross belly. My boobs are lopsided. Ever hear of a brush?" I began frantically looking through my computer for three pictures of me sixty pounds lighter and with better skin. And well, you know, I never found them. Because I just kept finding pictures of myself.
Thank the Universe I pulled myself out of the shame vortex in record time to realize that I am enough.
So in the spirit of being seen, I offer you these pictures of myself. They are pictures of a girl who is overweight and forgot to brush her hair. A girl who isn't wearing make-up or stylish clothes. A girl who sometimes accidentally crosses her eyes right as the picture is taken. A girl with a double chin.
Mostly silly. Often ridiculous. Just me.