Wednesday, October 16, 2013

i told you i'd come back.

i wrote this in may. 
courage came in october.

it's time. 
time to talk about this
time to get real.
time to come forward.

one of the biggest struggles of my life
the biggest struggle of my life
has been learning to accept my body.
learning to love it and appreciate the magic
of a healthy, functioning human body.

growing up i always believed,
"i'll be happy when i'm skinny."
and looking back at pictures of myself
in high school, 
i realize i was normal.
thinner than i am now, but normal.
and i still wasn't happy.

it's taken a long time for me to be happy
with this body. 
to accept what i have 
and to love it now.
i can't wait for those twenty pounds to disappear.
i can't wait until my thighs don't touch
or my stomach doesn't fold when i sit.


i held off on this confession 
because being pregnant has changed it all.
these first few months have been some of the most 
exciting and emotional of my life.

one minute i'm thrilled because
i'm growing a tiny human inside of me
and the other i'm crying because i feel bloated
and nothing fits
and i'm afraid everyone will just see me as a fat fat.

i have never had a harder time
with my body-image.
and it sounds so stupid because
i'm pregnant and this is exciting and i'm happy,
but it is so hard.
it doesn't seem real yet
and it is so easy to tear myself down.

when those moments happen,
when i'm crumpled on the bed,
sobbing because i can't find a thing to wear
and i feel the furthest thing from beautiful,
cory has to stop me.
he makes me look in his eyes and he says,
i think you are beautiful.
and if you don't think you are,
i need you to know and to remember that at least one of us
knows you are beautiful.
you are the most beautiful thing i have ever seen.
you will always be my favorite."

he is constantly thanking me for 
"sacrificing my body" 
for our little baby.
he has to keep reassuring me
he'll love me after i've given birth
and my boobs sag lower
and my never-flat stomach
gets even fluffier. 

i don't get it,
but i guess that's love. 

when i'm with him, 
i forget my insecurities.
i don't worry about my legs looking huge
when i sit in the car.
i purposefully give myself double chins
when we take pictures.
and when he smacks my butt,
i can feel the cellulite ripple
but all he can say is,
"mmm...dat ass."

i will never understand how he can take my insecurities
and make them beautiful.
but he helps me see past all of it.
he has helped me realize
there is so much more to me than my appearance.

i am more than my body.
i am a spirit.
i am a soul.
i have a heart.
i believe in life.
i believe in beauty.
i am learning to believe in myself.
i am beautiful.

i never wanted to talk about this.
to open up so much
and to air everything out.
i like to keep it light.
i like to keep it easy.
but i made a promise
and i'll be damned if i don't keep my word. 

and dad, i'm sorry i swore twice.
but you can't ground me.
i'm an adult. 


Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

I love this. I am so glad you opened up because it seems like somewhere deep down, every girl (and maybe most guys??) feel this way. It's sad. And we are going to try are darndest to raise our daughters to know that they are beautiful and their body is a precious gift.

And that right there is why you have to learn to love yours. As a gift to your girl. She will see you loving yourself and know that that's what is normal and real. And your body IS amazing. It's creating a LIFE. Whatever remains from this whole process might be annoying at times but will also be a reminder of the astonishing feats it accomplished. <3

(And I'm at 18 weeks today and totally in that awful in between where my clothes aren't fitting but I'm not ready for maternity and I don't look "pregnant" just a bit thicker. So I hear ya sister. It sucks. But then you get a glorious bump, which you might already have, and people KNOW and it all is so worth it. At least I think so. Pregnancy is beautiful.)

Morgan and Holly said...

Oh Brissa, I hate to break it to ya sista friend, but it is going to get way worse POST BABY.

I know probably the last thing you want to hear after your awesome post about learning to love your bod, but I had to tell maybe you can prepare yourself mentally!

I was not. Just go ahead and realize you will probably still be wearing your maternity clothes a few months after baby (maybe you will be one of those freak people that I am jealous of who wears their old jeans two weeks later). I hated thinking no more baby in the belly, but I still looked pregnant and squishy and SAGGY. Oh my heck, the ladies are soooo droopy now. They look like an 85 year old woman. I actually knicked my NIP while shaving my leg the other day. TMI? Sorry about that (kinda...)

Besides of all that unsolicited info. I think you look FAB!!! via the insta pics you so sparingly share!

Mary said...

This post is amazing. And real. And I relate more to it than you realize. Or maybe you do realize. But, like, I get it. I get all of it.

Krista said...

Oh my dear Brissa, I have been struggling with this exact thing too. I lost most of my pregnancy weight relatively soon and felt ok, but then when I weaned Carter, I forgot to stop eating for two and gained thirty pounds in three months. For real. And they have
stayed. And I have fought feeling absolutely horrible about myself for a year. It's been so. hard. However, as I also inch closer to 30 and my gray hairs multiply and my skin sags, I have realized how grateful I am for both Carter and age, regardless of what they have done to my body. I wouldn't trade. Who am I trying to look like anyway? A 20 year old model? Ridiculous! I have a way better life than that. I have a beautiful family who love me exactly the way I am now. Today. And maybe someday I'll lose the weight and I will be healthier and fit in more clothes, but I know I won't be any happier than I am right now. It's a privilege to be me, where I am, and what I'm doing, with my body, right now. I want to remember that. I hope you do too! You're beautiful inside and out, but isn't it great to know that a good woman is a thousand times more admirable and respected than a skinny one? Thank you for being courageous with this. Love you dear.

kylie said...

thanks for writing this brissa. you're a champion and i think you're rad. it sounds superficial, but it's not. i mean it all.

Shelby said...

this is amazing. i am so glad you opened up about this. i think every woman has gone through this. it is a challenge for us all to accept who we are, and to realize we are all beautiful. however, it is hard to do that when you feel alone. when you feel like you are the only one going through this. that is why it is so amazing of you to open up about this. so we can all see that we are in this together, and that we are not alone.
your man is seriously the greatest man. i am so happy you have him to be such a constant support. what an amazing thing to have. i can't wait to have that someday.
and i'm sorry but i have to comment on the dad comment, so here it goes... HAHAHAHAHAH!!

:: ashley :: said...

Amen to everything you said. Pregnancy is amazing but it really does not do much for your body image. I always say i wish i was as thin as i was when i thoight i was fat Haha. Makes me want to just get over the body image issues, now.
Thank heavens for loving supportive husbands! When you get that baby you will just topple over with love and it's all worth it!

Rachel Vidmar said...

YESYESYESYESYES. I'm with you on this whole thing a thousand percent. I've wasted so much energy wishing and wanting to be 'petite'. I remember being 13 years old and extremely self conscious of what I thought was fat on my stomach, but when I look back I was 5'9" and I weighed under 110. My body image has always been ridiculously skewed. Being 36 weeks pregnant and 50 pounds up from not even my ideal weight, I am sickened by myself. Absolutely disgusted, and I hate myself even more for being disgusted because I'm creating this beautiful baby boy and the whole experience should be so magical. Instead I feel rotten about my body and I hide indoors with big sweatpants and giant tees because that's all that fits me right now and I don't even want to make an effort to look pretty because I already know how disappointed I'll be when I look in the mirror. I know this struggle will never go away though. I keep telling myself that once I get back to my pre-preggo weight I'll be comfortable in my own skin again - but I know that's not true because then I'll want to be back at my wedding-day-weight and I remember being self conscious even then. It's never ending. But I can't tell you how comforting it is to hear someone else spell out exactly how I'm feeling. I don't feel quite so lonely. So thank you.

And gosh, aren't loving, kind, unassuming husbands just the bomb dot com? I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be if my babe wasn't as fantastically supportive as he is. So glad you've got that too.

Krystal said...

aw girl, your husband rocks. but i think part of the reason that i never wanted to be pregnant was because of what it would do to my body (i'm vain, i admit it) - and it did suck, i mean, lets be real. but you will bounce back and feel normal again, just remember that!! (ok, maybe the boobs are a diff story)

Abbey said...

Love this post.

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

I am glad you came back to this because you did it beautifully. Because you ARE beautiful.

Shaylynn... a girl, a story, a blog said...

Look at these mega comments, you've inspired the mass. The hardest posts we write are always the most important, always.

I understand this subject, I understand it so well, that the delusion behind what we see and what the world see's, at a low, low, low point in my life my doctor told me, "you have to gain 20 pounds.." I went in every week to be weighed, and it took a long time, but I got to a normal, this normal weight, and I still am that girl sometimes, but you know.. I work hard to kick that girl in the butt, and move on. I'll always fight her.

Lauren Hall said...

Brissa, you are an extremely beautiful lady, both inside and out. I have always thought this, and admired you and looked up to you. Thank you for sharing. I am so excited that you're going to be a mother! You are going to be excellent! I Love you!