Usually when you see two images of the same person side by side, it is because they are showing off how much weight they lost. Mommy blogger Laura Mazza has decided that she doesn't like the way that people - including herself - usually feel about gaining weight. She explains how she spent all of her time and energy before babies focusing on diet and exercise and she has only recently begun to accept the fact that her body now is actually the one that should be admired.
Mazza explains "On the left – This was my body before kids. No stretch marks or scars from belly button piercings. A belly button that was high. A flat stomach. I was always on a diet back then. And this was the best diet I went on... I ate no carbs, and barely any vegetables. Just meat. But I loved it because I was losing weight rapidly and the more bones that protruded the more I valued myself."
Her honest and heartbreaking analysis of her past life resonates with people all over who often feel the same way: the thinner you are the more acceptable you are. She talks about how people would have reinforced her beliefs "they would have told me I looked fit, that I was healthy. I remember people asking me what my exercise routine was… They admired me. I admired me! I bought a whole new wardrobe. I was so proud. I showed off my body."
The photo on the right is what Mazza looks like now. Post-kids and post-restrictive dieting. She still eats healthy, but she allows herself more freedom and choice for her meals. "The scars and stretch marks and jiggly tummy is because I made humans. I ate a little more cake, I drank a little more wine. I made mug cakes at 9pm and snuggled on the couch with my husband. But for some reason, I didn't love this body. It's sad."
Laura feels the way many of us feel when we look in the mirror. We don't feel as though our bodies are worth the same admiration as those achieved under incredible restrictions. She expresses the sentiment that we have all felt, "I want to be skinny" But immediately realizes that being skinny wasn't all it's cracked up to be. "I wasn't happy. And I certainly wasn't healthy."
Her realization is something that all people - women especially needs to hear for themselves: "I have achieved more with this body, then I have with my old body. I've eaten more good foods. I've lived more, I've given more, I've enjoyed more. I've made life. This body, THIS body should be celebrated and admired. I should admire myself. I should love myself."
She is extremely honest in her post, admitting that while she still would love to look like that first picture she wants to find a way to do it without the obsessive dieting. "I still want to look like the first photo, no doubt. I miss that body, it makes me sad. But I want to get there in a healthy way, mentally and physically. I want to be proud and at peace with this body. And I want to like what I've got now. No.. I want to love what I've got now."
Read the rest of her post on her blog The Mum on the Run to get a little bit of inspiration to remember to love your body no matter what shape or size!