You Are Beautiful

I know some really beautiful women. The kind of women that turn heads when they walk into a room. They have a glow about them, a quality about them that radiates and draws people to them. And you want to know the most ridiculous thing about these women? They all put themselves down.

A new mother that hasn't lost the baby weight. A grandmother dissapointed in the under-flab on her arms. A perfectly fit woman who doesn't feel thin enough. Her butt is too big. Her thighs are too thick. She doesn't wear shorts because her legs are too white. The list is endless.

Why do we take our functioning bodies and put them down? Isn't it enough that our bodies carry us through the day. It gets us out of bed in the mornings, it cuddles, it carries laundry baskets, it gets us to work, it cooks supper, it lays down exhausted far too late in the night. Our bodies carry us through joy and grief, it takes us down wedding isles and across graduation stages.

Our bodies bare scars that tell our story; every burn, car accident, bike wreck, tattoo, fist fight, it is all a permanent marks of who we are and who we have been.

And yet somehow we are disappointed with the appearance.

We let our cellulite get in the way of swimsuits, we let our arms get in the way of tank tops, we let our tummies determine our self worth.

When I broke my arm,  I became highly aware of just how much I had been taking my body for granted. I felt frustration and loss at my inability to do the things I had previously done everyday without a thought.

I suddenly couldn't pick up my baby from his crib, I couldn't put casseroles in the oven, I couldn't shower without wrapping my arm first, I couldn't carry a laundry basket, I couldn't move large objects.

I was damaged. I was frustrated.

I became keenly aware of how blessed I had been and how much I had been taking my able body for granted.

Our bodies can betray us in the blink of an eye. An arm can be broken, cancer can be diagnosed, extremities amputated, bodies become paralyzed.

If we cannot accept our bodies as they are right now, today, as beautiful, powerful, capable machines worthy of our praise, then how will we be able to accept what changes may come down the road?

However your body works today, however it looks in the mirror, appreciate it. Be thankful for the body that gives you life. It is fighting for you, protecting you. It is your constant companion.

I have my insecurities just like everyone else. Things I would like to change, things I would like to improve. My worries run deep, but when they start to affect me negatively, I remind myself just how vain those concerns are. 

Don't let vanities get in the way of appreciating all that you are capable of. Set goals to be stronger, healthier, to take better care of yourself. But don't think that once you reach a certain number on the scale or tighten that tummy enough that you will feel fulfilled.

Unless we can accept our flaws and admire our strengths at the same time, we will always be striving for more.

Exercise and eat healthy. Treat yourself to a dessert, have a glass of wine. Thank your body for all that it is and can do for you instead of focusing on what you'd like to change.

Body image is so much more than outward appearances. It is knowing who you are and valuing your worth. It is loving yourself inspite of whatever your hang up is. It is appreciating that you may not always be this capable and we should take full advantage of the here and now. Whatever right now looks like. 

Little girls everywhere are listening, they are watching. We can influence their self worth more than any tv show, actress or model. Let them hear positive affirmations. Let them see us celebrate our God given shapes and sizes. 

In a world of negativity, let us be a positive voice. 

With love, 
Me 







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