I’ll be the first to admit it – I get naked a lot on Instagram. And it’s been getting a bit out of hand lately, to be honest. But I can’t help it. When you have a body as fabulous as mine is, you own that shit.
Now, you may be worrying that you’ll never be able to be as physically wonderful as moi. But never fear. You too can have a fabulous body! In case you’re wondering, a fabulous body (as defined in the book of me) is a body that’s attached to a human being.
View this post on Instagram
Imagine what kind of a world we’d have if we all became our own best friends. Self-love is really as simple as taking the step to challenge the outside forces that have been working to diminish your inherent worth & lovability. We aren’t born hating ourselves. We are conditioned into it. Which means it can all be undone. WE can choose, at any given moment, what we want to believe about ourselves, how we want to think about & talk to ourselves, and how we want to treat our bodies. I can easily say that every step I’ve taken towards bodily acceptance these past two years has resulted in the realization that I really can heal any part of me that feels broken. Of course, the ongoing efforts of going to therapy & being open to medication have personally helped me get there – and this may not be the path for everybody. But every one of us deserves the opportunity to love ourselves at some point during this lifetime. So many of us are taught as children that to be loved, we must do or be something outside of our natural self. And so the undoing process as an adult requires our willingness to unearth who that natural self IS. For me, stepping off of the diet culture roller coaster, owning my complex PTSD diagnosis, and learning how to let go of perfectionism & people pleasing tendencies has freed up space to dig deeper and get to know the me that exists when societal pressures are stripped away. And as scary as it can be to blindly trust a new way of existing, it has been so worth it to take the leap. 🦋 . . . #youareworthy #selflove #bodyacceptance #allbodiesaregoodbodies #effyourbeautystandards #innerworth #plussize #EDrecovery #motherhood #fatisnotaviolation #reparentingyourself #mentalhealthawareness #stretchmarks #postpartumbody #youareenough #healthateverysize #shameresilience #traumarecovery #mombod
Someone find me my mic, because I just dropped it.
About two years ago, I was standing in front of my reflection. And my mom bod was looking back at me, vulnerable as fuck. I had spent the better part of two decades struggling with disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and ongoing self-hate, all while appearing enviably skinny to the outside world.
Then I went and gained a whopping 75 pounds to grow both of my kids. As a result, my body had undeniably changed. And no matter what I attempted to force it back into thinness, it just wouldn’t budge. At first, I got pissed as hell at my body for seemingly betraying me, and I sat in a dirty laundry pile of shame for way too long.
View this post on Instagram
This is your ONE life. How will you live it? Will you spend your days apologizing for your existence? Will you excuse away others’ abusive behaviors? Will you minimize your needs & desires for those who seek to only take? Will you crumble into a version of you that doesn’t feel authentic? Or will you wake up to the truth that your space in this world is AS EQUALLY DESERVED as any other human being? Please remember that we all came from the same Source. And we will all pass on & transform into something else. For this single, great moment in time, you have a chance to claim your spot. To tell your story. To hold your head up high enough to see the beautiful sky above & the vulnerably felt world below. You have an opportunity to love yourself into continued existence. This is your chance. Will you take it? I sure hope you do. And I’m so glad you’re here. 🦋 . . . #mentalhealth #PTSD #complexPTSD #recovery #healing #childhoodtrauma #selflove #bodyacceptance #effyourbeautystandards #reparentingyourself #youareworthy #selflove #motherhood #innerworth #suicideprevention #youmatter
And that’s when it happened. For the first time in my life, I got the wacky idea to begin understanding why I was so dead set on pressuring myself to be thin for so damn long in the first place. Then I found the chutzpah deep within to do something really naughty, ya’all. I decided to stop trying to lose weight altogether. And hot damn, it feels good to be a happy, fat mama.
Suddenly, I found myself living with my middle fingers rebelliously pointed at the diet industry, and I started shaking my giant belly on social media to promote body acceptance at any size.
(Who the hell does this woman think she is?!)
Not only do I have zero plans to end these shenanigans, but you can all blame my ridiculous husband for why you see my big ass on Instagram. He’s the reason I finally stopped forcing myself to lose weight, and it’s high time I make an example out of him.
A few years ago, my husband Matt had the goddamn audacity to tell me that he loves and accepts me as I am, and that he finds me more attractive at the size I currently am than when I was bone thin. The nerve of some people!
View this post on Instagram
This guy & I have been away from each other for over a month. The reason why is as heartbreaking as it is life-affirming. We made a tough decision back in April after struggling for the first few months of the year. We decided to pack me & the kids up to fly to the East Coast to stay with my family, so I could get extra support for the increasingly overwhelming task of caring full-time for two kids under the age of four, while also working tirelessly to heal from an unexpected PTSD diagnosis. It’ll be another six weeks before my husband & I are reunited again, and then we’re embarking on a new chapter together in the hopes of creating less stress & more connection as a family unit. My therapist said something to me in one of our final in-person sessions together that was startling and surprisingly comforting. She said that when a parent enters counseling & shares that they have no extended family located closely near them, she writes it down as a substantial cause for concern. Add to that the host of recent symptoms that have accompanied my PTSD – crippling panic attacks, regular bouts of intense shame, fear & overwhelm, suicidal thoughts, and the potential reemergence of long-practiced self-harm tactics – and you have a recipe for mental health disaster. I can’t say that I’m out of the woods yet with everything – far from it – but I can say, with full certainty, that this decision to upend our tough status quo has led to feeling hope more often than not. While I currently see myself as the biggest work-in-progress I’ve ever been so far in my life, I do trust that these steps will lead to a much more empowering & encouraging rest of 2019. ❤️ If you are struggling as a parent with any kind of mental health battles, they are as worthy of a crisis status as any physical illness. Let’s start reminding ourselves that there’s a reason the saying “it takes a village” was coined. And if your village is far away & their presence hardly felt, you have every right to do whatever you can to stick your oxygen mask on first before you care for your tiny humans. 🦋 . . . #mentalhealthawareness #PTSDrecovery #childhoodtrauma #youarenotalone #selflove #counseling #innerworth
When he started patting my larger tush and making goo-goo eyes at me every day, I got really suspicious. Honestly, I thought Matt was making a joke of my weight gain. In my defense, both he and I were way skinnier when we went on our first date. And we each gained a good deal weight during my two pregnancies and amidst our sleep-deprived early parenthood days. But when I noticed my husband looking bigger, I honestly found it to be utterly adorable — and enjoyed having more of him to love.
Sadly, I couldn’t direct those positive feelings towards my own changing body.
And come on, you can’t blame me for openly embracing his extra cushion while shunning my own. Images of dad bods are literally trending right now on the internet. The chubby boy has started getting the girl in movies these days. And a man being physically bigger, while certainly stigmatized, is not looked at with nearly as much judgment as a woman existing in a fat body.
The most surprising thing to me has not been how much my husband accepts me whether I’m a teeny weeny size 4 or a Lizzo-lovin’ size 18. While that was certainly an unexcepted development, the true WTF moment has been when I realized that for Matt to love my newly plus-sized figure, he is becoming the exception to an outdated and disappointing status quo.
View this post on Instagram
Here’s what romance currently looks like in our multi-kid house. While it’s not expressed regularly in fancy dinners out, love letters, or grand gestures, it is often found sweetly in the tiniest of moments – and if I blink, I usually miss them. So here’s a recount. Romance nowadays is my husband making my first cup of coffee almost every single morning, just the way I like it. It’s sneaking in heavy petting in between the diaper changes & the temper tantrums. It’s laughing together at the end of what feels like the longest day of all time – and then doing it all over again the next day. It’s when he squeezes my arm as he passes by me in the kitchen as we follow our crazy toddler around. It’s watching him carry his newborn son with such tenderness as he sets his little body down to change a Level 10 baby poop blowout. It’s in how much he loves to cook me dinners while I’m passed the EFFF out on the couch at 9pm & the excited look on his face when he’s woken me up to eat it. It’s in every single pep talk he gives me to remind me that while this is the toughest job I’ve ever – EVER – taken on, he thinks I’m phenomenal at it. It’s the ease he has to let the house get messy without an ounce of pressure to immediately clean it up. It’s the little smirk he has on his face when I start babbling about my day to him as soon as he gets home from work. It’s how he gently holds me during the tearful moments when I don’t think I can do this mom thing any longer. It’s how much he has grown as a man & a dad & a person since the day I met him. And it’s the realization that I’d rather be in this parenting mess with him than any other human being on the planet. 😴💖 . . . #parenthood #marriage #myfamily #raisingkids #tiredparents #thisispostpartum #makingafamily
The heartbreaking truth is, I’ve had so many mothers reach out to me on Instagram, confessing that while they’d love to feel good about themselves, their husbands are not on board with the physical changes they endured to become a mom. I’ve had countless women tearfully admit that their very own partners are refusing to have sex with them because of their new size. And I’ve had more than my fair share of wives begging me to help them love a body they don’t feel comfortable showing to their spouses.
Well, get ready. Because this mama bear is about to roooaaaar.
I have a question for all the hubbies out there who pull this kind of bullshit with their wives. Why has it become okay to only find your wife attractive while she is working to maintain the impossible feat of staying exactly the same throughout your marriage? How can you even look at your partner with anything other than awe at what her phenomenal, superhero bod did when she birthed your children? And why are ya’all choosing to be so short-sighted as to think that you can’t teach your man brains to lust for your wifey bears at any size?
Look, if you’re not going to keep your mojo running for your wife because she’s larger than when you met her in college, I’m more than happy to step in and tell her what an extraordinary body she has. Because no one should be made to feel that they are unlovable or undesirable simply because they’ve physically changed over the years.
And to the women reading this who see your husband in my words, I have a few things to say. If your spouse is pressuring you to erase the very evidence of what it took to bring your children into this world, he is missing the goddamn point. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – things like stretch marks and weight gain are not inherently bad, we have merely been conditioned as a culture to believe that they are. If your dude is spending more time convincing himself of reasons not to love the most recent version of you than he is on reasons why you are the best thing that ever happened to him, he needs a motherfucking wake up call.
View this post on Instagram
I wanna let you in on a lil secret – if you play Lizzo’s “Juice” on repeat for long enough, you WILL fall in love with your reflection. 🔥🎉 (TY @lizzobeeating!!!) Seriously though – self-love is so much closer than you think. Society & limiting beliefs & negative conditioning have all been in charge for wayyy too long. ⭐️ YOU get to be in charge now. ⭐️ No matter how you feel about yourself, I encourage you to get the cute flowers for your place, pick out the jeans that feel good (regardless of the size!), listen to the songs that pump you up, and just keeeep telling yourself that you deserve all the hugs & kisses & compliments & LOVE in the world even if you have to fake it til you make it. And one day – maybe sooner than you think! – you just might believe it. (And at the very least – chew on this: you have been worthy of love this entire time. Since the beginning. And forever and ever and ever more. And no one – and I mean, NO ONE – can ever take that worth away from you.) 🦋🌈 . . . #youareworthy #selflove #bodyacceptance #allbodiesaregoodbodies #effyourbeautystandards #innerworth #plussize #EDrecovery #motherhood #fatisnotaviolation #stretchmarks #postpartumbody #youareenough #healthateverysize #shameresilience
Ladies, our bodies have always been designed to evolve. Despite what we have been taught, the physical evidence of our great, big life changes is a completely natural, admirable, and beautiful part of being female. And I’m talking about every single aspect of this stuff — even the very parts we have been shamed into hating.
And at the end of the day, aren’t we are so much more than our bodies, anyway? We women are living, breathing miracles, no matter whether we have children or not.
If your husband is creating hard and fast rules of what your naturally changing body “should” look like, then he will be spending a stupid amount of time missing out on the chance to get down and dirty with his strong, sexy, bomb ass wife. You deserve to be loved, adored, and desired at any size. I mean it. You are worthy of love from the moment you entered this world. The diet and beauty industries have done a number on our collective self-esteem. Let’s not allow our partners to make it even harder to love ourselves.
And if you ever need any more rambunctious pep talks to help you remember how amazing you are, come find me.