Loving yourself doesn’t always mean loving the way you look. Loving yourself does mean accepting yourself and the process.
- This opinion may not resonate with everyone, but it has been a mindset that I have been able to embrace and instill into my life. To be honest, I’ve been a little nervous to publish this blog because I don’t usually talk this openly about my personal feelings on a subject or insecurities. I’ve also had my reservations because I don’t want to offend anyone as I know pregnancy and the opinions around it can easily offend. Keep in mind that this blog, is a little more like a journal post rather than a post giving or seeking advice.
Okay, why are we talking about this?
My first trimester of pregnancy brought out an Emily in me that I didn’t know existed. I have always been very driven with action packed days. A daily gym goer, healthy eater, busy bee.
But, my first trimester, while I think was mild compared to other women was tough on me mentally and physically. I was blessed with manageable morning sickness but my appetite demanded unhealthy foods and fatigue ridden days kept me out of the gym. But for the first time in my life my personal health decisions didn’t just affect me. I knew my body was going through some changes and what I really needed to do was listen to it and act upon it’s wishes. I ate what I craved, slept when I needed it and kept myself out of the gym because my body was saying “I can’t do this right now!”
I fairly quickly noticed changes in my mid section, and rather it was early signs of baby Steamy peeking out or due to my change in eating habits, I couldn’t help but start to feel different about the way that I looked. I’m not going to lie, at first watching my hard earned definition disappear wasn’t easy. I didn’t love the way I was and I still have (small) daily battles, I’m breaking out like crazy, my skin has bumps that weren’t there before, my once firmed bum is much flatter, my core softened up – and I know this is just the beginning.
I don’t love it, but I’ve totally accepted it.
As time went on, I’ve actually become thrilled about all the changes. The thing about this process and any process is it is temporary and there is something much greater happening. Rather wish for it to be over, no matter the symptom- I enjoy it every day.
The word process has always been important to me. I mean… I do have it tattooed on my body. When I think about process, I always think about the stages in life that are currently going on. What am I in the process of right now? What’s the end goal or result? I’ve noticed a pattern in the world around this topic, we can’t help but be in a constant waiting game with events approaching. Think about your next exciting event and how frequently you wish it came sooner.
“I can’t wait for my trip to Italy!”
“I can’t wait for this work day to end.”
“I can’t wait for first trimester to be over”
“I can’t wait to get back in the gym.”
“I can’t wait for this zit to heal.”
Notice these are not always bad things, but it’s still a bad habit of waiting for the next thing rather than taking one day at a time. Wanting to rush the process.
Not that it’s easy- but we ought to look at the process a little different,
Enjoy the process. Embrace the process! Life really easy a string of multiple events, happy events, sad events, beautiful events, hardships and while those should be celebrated and mourned but so should all of the days inbetween.
Pregnancy body or not – can you relate?
Fitness is so much the same way. It’s funny how I feel like my journey with fitness relates to so many other parts of my life.
Fitness is an ever-evolving journey and process. There will be times along that journey where you feel bad about how you look, it’s inevitable. We all have those feelings, no matter what we look like. But what is more important right now: Loving the way you look? Or embracing who you are and where you’re headed?
To me, it’s all about perspective. And with perspective, will come acceptance- and eventually love. In this pregnancy it was much easier to get to that love stage because I am creating a little human. Yes- that’s amazing, but I’ve dealt with a lot of other events in my life where I couldn’t wait for them to be over due to frustration or sadness.
The most powerful statement I’ve learned to say to myself in any situation I’m trying to rush is:
“I know, Emily, it’s hard to see this right now. But this is only temporary. Things will change and this is the stage in your process. Accept it, embrace it. Enjoy it.”
I’ve acquired a deep appreciation for all that this body is capable of and have learned through perspective, acceptance, and self love to welcome all of these changes with open arms.
Obsessing over this Jockey sports bra (because it’s scoop back, not racer back unlike most!) and Calvin Klein lounge shorts! Shop them here: