When I was pregnant with my first son, I didn’t really show until my 5th month when I literally feel like I went from zero to pregnant overnight. Unfortunately my skin didn’t respond well to that rapid growth and as a result I, like many other women, got stretch marks. Following his birth I had to not only come to terms with my brand new life, but also my changed body, and primarily the fact that some of the changes were permanent.
It was difficult for me in the beginning to accept the fact that while I could lose the pregnancy weight and regain muscle tone, that my stomach would forever be scarred. But at the same time something in me told me that it would be such an act of disrespect to direct so much negativity to a section of my body that housed my entire digestive tract, most of my immune system, and the female organs that created and nurtured my beautiful son!
I decided that I needed to find a way to reconnect with my belly and my new body, and that fall I enrolled in my first Belly Dance class. With that amazing group of women, I found acceptance and support because everyone was a different age and size, and it was all about what our bodies could do rather than what they looked like! It was the most liberated I felt up until that point and for my first student show, I actually showed my belly-stretch marks and all!
Your body is the only homes you will ever have, and you can have so much inner peace by letting go of the things about them you can’t control, and focusing on the things you can do with them. Exercise is a great example of this, because there are so many different types of exercise that everyone can find something they enjoy and at which they are good! However negative self-talk and holding on to unrealistic body ideals can have a crippling effect, so try starting each day with an attitude of reverence for the gift of your body and shifting your self-talk from degrading to accepting. You’ll be amazed at the change! 🙂