Admittedly, body image is something I struggle with a little bit. I didn't think it was when I was skinny and fit and had great skin, I was fine with being in a size 6 and I didn't want to lose weight and I wasn't obsessed with the number on the scale. But once I started gaining weight I started caring more. I gained a good 35 pounds during pregnancy and sadly it doesn't automatically fall off as soon as the baby pops out.
So, my life has a new normal. I don't have as much of a waist as I used to, I have bags under my eyes from not sleeping enough, I'm closer to 150 lbs than 115, I sweat more, I smell like spit-up, and I have so many stretch marks on my tummy that I look like a zebra. But you know what? Zebra is this year's pink! I am beautiful, even with my scars. I never showed my tummy off anyways, so what does it matter? My husband still loves me, I am taking care of my body (minus the not sleeping part) and I can be confident in my own, albeit stretched and saggy, skin. I may not look like a supermodel, but I used my body, with divine help, to build another body and create life, and now I use my body to sustain that life.
So I say, bring on the stretch marks! Bring on the few more months of maternity clothes, the tired eyes, the hours of nursing, the spit-up and exploded diapers on my clothes, the sore biceps, the abs that will probably never be quite the same. They may not be glamorous, but I wouldn't trade them for anything because of what they represent. I am a mother. I have a baby boy who I love with all my heart, my husband loves me and tells me I'm beautiful, I know that the Lord loves me, and that's all I really need.
I choose to be proud of my body. I choose to love myself. I choose to be grateful for this miracle, no matter the sacrifice. I'm so grateful that happiness is a choice not a circumstance.