Today I'm trying to do a little self-help sesh after a minor breakdown in front of the mirror last night. After taking my 35 week photo, I posted it on Facebook. There should be a warning on your Facebook app that says "Do not scroll through old photos of your pre-pregnant self. Self inflicted pain may follow!"
Ay yi yi was it a rude awakening.
Pregnancy isn't beautiful for everyone. I truly wish I could be one of the "lucky" ones who wakes up on d-day with zero stretch marks, and maybe 20 pounds gained but I am far from that. My stomach feels and looks like it's been attacked by a jungle creature with talons, my face is nearly unrecognizable to myself anymore due to the swelling and extra fluid/weight I'm carrying around, and my small waist is no longer able to be found. Wow. I sound pretty superficial and shallow, maybe I am or maybe I'm finally realizing just how good I once had it. I always thought of myself as the "chubby" girl in the room. I've got a love for food and eating, and bread has and always probably will be my vice. I don't love the gym, or working out..and would rather burn calories by running errands during the day or running around the mall shopping vs. running on a treadmill. I used to seriously think I was hideous, overweight and disgusting. I would never wear swimsuits and if I did I made sure it was to a place like the lake or a pool party where 99% of the people would be just drunk enough not to notice the cellulite on the backs of my legs. Sad isn't it? Wake up call old me..you were skinny. Yes. Skinny. May not have been 100 pounds or as skinny as your roommates BUT you were healthy, beautiful..and had an awesome body.
So. That brings me to today. I woke up and after spending 5 minutes hoisting myself out of bed and looking in the mirror I decided I'd take some time to write myself a letter. I realize this letter will never make it back to the good ol' days (where the heck is time travel, its 2012?!) but the me of today needs to read it. Maybe this will serve as some motivation for post-baby or maybe it will serve me best at this moment to be able to look back and reflect on how things used to be..and be grateful, since I wasn't back then.
*I will preface this letter by saying I am trying my hardest to embrace the "beauty" of pregnancy. My baby boy is an amazing blessing, and this self image issue that I'm dealing with is only part of the process of getting him here. It is worth it but sometimes..you just need to cry it out a little. Pass no judgement. I am willing to bet each and every one of you reading this has dealt with body image issues at least once in your life. Maybe you should write yourself a letter as well :)*
As I sit here now, on the brink of being 9 months pregnant with your first child (how weird is that to say?), I thought it'd be appropriate to write you a letter. I wish I could literally send this back through time so you can appreciate who you, and how you feel while you are reading this. Pregnancy does absolutely amazing and terrifying things to your body and I wish I could slap your mouth each time you spew a "I'm so fat" or any other comment related to how hideous you think your body is. Every single thing you find wrong with yourself.. all an illusion. I know this sounds insane, and it is, but please know that you are beautiful. You may not be a size zero, or be six foot like your supermodel sister..but you've got it SO good my dear. If you could see the stretch marks on your stomach NOW, the size of your butt, the number on the scale and most definitely the feeling of your thighs rubbing together..I promise you you'd feel like Heidi Klum. Image isn't everything, but being healthy in your body..and in your mind..is. This pregnancy has been a huge struggle for me deep down. Each day when I get up and see a new tiger stripe on my belly, boobs, thighs and virtually anywhere that skin is (yes..everywhere) I feel like the most hideous thing in the world. It is all MORE than worth it to be bringing a life and child into the world and into your soon to be family, but it is a daily struggle. Body image issues are something I thought I dealt with in the past, but in reality it was never bad at all. This letter may make zero sense to anyone who hasn't been here before, where I stand (sit) today, but it makes sense to me..and if I could send this back a few years to you I hope you'd understand as well. You look amazing.. you feel amazing..and the person we are today here in 2012 is SO anxious to get back to the 2009 Sarah (body wise anyways). Never take it for granted!
Evolution of Me: 2009-2012 (the many facial expressions.. and the many hair colors..)
"A woman who cannot feel ugly is not beautiful." ~Karl Kraus