Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sumthin's a changin'

For some reason, when I look in the mirror lately, it doesn't look as bad. A few weeks back I looked and saw actual ugly. I've never seen myself as ugly ever before, even all swollen up with a triplet pregnancy or sick from giving birth. I saw ugly, and it surprised me.

I saw a huge belly, saggy boobs, fat on my thighs where there had previously been none, stretch marks, brown spots all over my face and a tired, haggard looking woman. I'm sure you can't imagine why. But I didn't just look tired. I looked horrible to me. My nose was too big for my face, my eyes were just blah, my lips shrinking from their previously young and plump state and, of course, the bags and wrinkles. It just all looked bad.

Last week I made a decision. The only way this body was going to get better was if I just accepted it. Counterintuitive I know, but true. Fighting myself, beating myself up when I ate cookies to survive, starving myself (if I ever could), none of that was going to make me thin. It was time to accept I have a mom's body. I have an apple shape. This is what I look like. Sure, I'll wear Spanx and good bras and makeup, but day to day, this is it girl. Get over it.

And you know I didn't even really do much else besides have that thought. A couple of times I looked in the mirror and decided my belly didn't stick out that much. A couple of times I caught my silhouette in a store window and I looked like a normal person, fat around the middle and all. And last week my date night dress seemed to really disguise my stomach from the front at least. So I went out on a date feeling like I might look ok.

So the face looks good on good days. Certainly a smile helps. Good sleep makes the face look better too, and I've been eating better, so maybe the skin is happier, who knows. I still have brown spots all over, and bags, and the wrinkles didn't go anywhere but perhaps I'm looking a little less harshly. And today after getting ready for date night I thought, ok then, that's not so bad.

This is fantastic. I will take not so bad over ugly any day. Because a woman who walks around thinking she's ugly probably is to the rest of the world. She's not likely to be smiling. She's not glowing or shining or radiating or anything positive. So we're getting there. Perhaps people who see me now think I'm average, or think nothing of me, but I won't be ending up on the People of Walmart blog, thank god. And that's all a girl can ask for sometimes.

Maybe by October I'll think I'm kinda pretty?


  1. Congratulations on your new outlook! You might be pleasantly surprised at how that ball-rolling-downhill thing works (not you going downhill; no, I mean inertia--oh, you know what I mean).

    The better I feel about myself, the easier it is to diet and exercise. It's all in the mindset. And momentum. Which isn't the same thing as inertia. But whatever.

  2. As a mom of girls I often think about what I want to model for them about how I view my own appearance and how I value appearance in general. And of course if I keep this in mind as I'm looking at myself in the mirror, I'm much kinder to myself.

    I love that you're easing up on the harsh self-criticisms and are seeing yourself more generously. This is great modeling for all women and for your kids too!

  3. I just found your blog and have to say I know how you feel. Taking care of others has a direct effect on how I look and feel! Congrats on your new view!