In May 2017, I had the honour of bringing a little girl into the world. Some of you reading this will have the pleasure of knowing her funny, sassy little self , maybe just her name or maybe neither of these. For those of of you who don't, her name is Elsie Frances, she is a wild heart, with a head full of curls and a soul full of sass and she changed my life. She was a pivotal point for me and the relationship I have with my body.
As she grows it is so important for me to teach (both of my children) to be the love of their own lives. To love themselves, quirks and all. I want them to love the way they look, I want them to live life to the full, be kind and be courageous.Because they deserve it, little did Elsie know she changed my relationship with my body and I want her to feel and think the way she has made me.
She changed me.
She made me a kinder person, (to myself.) This hasn't happened over night. I didn't just stand and decide I love myself and I love my body, because if I'm honest at this moment I am still not quite head over heels for myself. I still sit and feel uncomfortable in certain clothes, I would still like to loose weight, But she set me on the right path. The journey that will teach me self love.
Its strange to me because when I had my kids I thought I was going to be their role model. That I would be their teacher. But she has acted as a guide and has lead me to begin a journey. A healthy relationship with the person I am, not who I think I should be.
What magic does this little girl hold to set a very stubborn women bubbling with self hate on such a positive path? It's not magic. It was what she does. How she watches what mommy does, its how she copies what mommy does, it's how she looks up to mommy, it's how mommy is her first female role model in her life. Every day I wake up and get dressed while she waits for me in her cot. Every morning I pick out my clothes, and I get dressed and I look in the mirror and 'check' my body. I check my body if I've lost or gained weight, check for new stretch marks, for new areas of cellulite. Constantly criticising the way I look, I should be skinnier, I should have smoother skin, I should have less stretch marks. But I forgot to check anything beautiful I see in myself. I forgot that she was watching. I caught a glimpse of her in the mirror watching mommy. What mommy was doing, how mommy was criticising herself. I forgot that I was setting the stone of how she should treat herself, how she should look at herself, how she should talk to herself.
It wasn't just this time. I do my make up she wants the brushes, she rubs them on her face, she sees me brush my hair, she picks up a brush and brushes her hair, she sees me put on my shoes, when I take them off she tries to put them on. Every move I make, every example I set, she is watching and she is learning. Life is alien to her, she is a blank canvas I am her primary female role model. I set the stones for how she will treat herself, for teaching her how to have a healthy relationship with herself. For the way in which she thinks.
I don't want her to ever feel un worthy of being on the earth because her body doesn't look like the girls in the magazines she sees. But if mommy is showing her this is the way she should act or think, how will she ever know any different?
So I promised myself and I promised my kids, that was it.
I can't stop these natural thoughts that come to me screaming I shouldn't look the way that I do, but I can promise I will challenge every single one.
That I will talk to myself and treat myself with compassion.
That I will recognise that I am more than the dress size I wear.
That I am more than the marks on my skin.
That I am more than my weight,
That I will not let how I look hold me back from living my best life.
That I will love myself.
That I will show them its okay to love yourself fiercely.
That I will teach them our bodies are perfect, just the way they are.
Heres to taking that first step on my journey, to acknowledging that the way I have treated and talked to myself my whole life is not okay.
That I am beautiful too.