After having six children in less than ten years and struggling with obesity (even after losing 75lbs I’m still on the “overweight” side of the height/weight charts), it’s been a long, long time since I’ve considered myself beautiful. I can actually remember the last time (the last moment, in fact) that I felt really pretty, and that was back in college. I just don’t look in the mirror and see someone beautiful staring back at me, especially now with my grand multipara tummy and grand lactiferous [email protected] ;) Just yesterday, in fact, I was looking at picture ideas for today’s Celebrating Marriage photo session wondering if I’ll ever have a flat belly again, and lamenting the fact that I’ll never have the body “of my youth” again, no matter how much weight I lose. Sometimes I find myself wondering if I’ll ever feel beautiful again.
(Which leads me to the reason I’m writing this…)
Today, our Celebrating Marriage photo session was with a friend who is also a breastfeeding mom of six children. She and I have very similar body types and are both at a similar place in our weight loss journey.
And she is beautiful.
I don’t mean that she isn’t bad looking, I mean she is absolutely, completely, stunningly beautiful.
The whole time we were taking her pictures, I was trying to be mindful of the areas I knew she was self-conscious about. Mainly, the area’s I’m also self-conscious about, such as the tummy and [email protected] and little rolls on the sides… you ladies know what I’m talking about! But by the end of the session, I couldn’t help but take some pictures where hands and legs and blankets weren’t strategically positioned to cover these parts because standing before me, tummy and all, was one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen.
I didn’t expect to feel that way. I didn’t expect to look at a body so much like my own and see something so stunningly beautiful. I didn’t expect to come away from today’s session really believing my husband when he says I’m beautiful. I didn’t expect to lay down beside him tonight feeling completely uninhibited and unashamed. I didn’t expect to feel… well… sexy.
For the first time in my life, I don’t care if my belly is ever flat or my [email protected] perky or my hips narrow.
It took a friend’s courage (because lets face it: no matter what you look like it takes raw courage to stand in front of a camera, naked!) and willingness to intimately reveal herself to show me…
I am beautiful.
Thank you, my friend, for having the courage to be vulnerable and for trusting me in such an intimate way. You have taught me an incredible lesson and I’ll never be able to express how much it means to me.
You are beautiful.