• Katie Conley

You're Beautiful, Mama!

I hate to write a seemingly sad and depressing blog post but I am feeling the need to share this because I know that I'm not alone.

Seven years (and counting). Seven years of hating my body, of feeling ashamed, embarrassed, sad of what I looked like when I looked in the mirror and turned to the side. Or when I put on a swim suit (finding a one piece when you hate your body is torture, by the way). Or when you get out of the shower and your bathroom mirror is right in front of you and you can't escape having to see yourself.

I was working full time and raising babies (three in five years) and the idea of exercising seemed impossible. I had bits of time when I really did try, but I was SO tired all the time. I felt like I couldn't keep the house picked up, have dinner ready, get my job done, take care of the kids AND exercise. Exercise was the only thing of that list that I could cut out (and it's an easy one to cut out, right?!).

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was scared of exercising. Even though my doctors and ALL of science says if you are a healthy person, that exercise is good. I thought, "Gosh, if I run or jump I might jiggle the baby and hurt him." It wasn't all an excuse, it was a real fear based on not knowing better.

I gained 60 pounds with that pregnancy. I had a c-section and I just kept thinking that all of that weight would go away since I had the baby. (Any other c-section mamas reading this and thinking about that damn bump we all have now where your tummy folds over your incision scar? Lovely, right?!)

In hind-sight, it all sounds so dumb. But there I was- absolutely in love with our son and completely horrified of my new body. I remember telling my husband, through tears, that I was really going to need his help in making me feel beautiful again. He did the best he knew how to do and he loved me unconditionally through it all and to this day (side note- I'm blessed with the best!).

Fast forward- I had two more babies and didn't gain weight with the other two but I was still ranging anywhere from 190-220 pounds throughout these pregnancies. There were days when I thought to myself how I've wasted all of these years of my life on not taking care of myself. When was it going to end, would it end?

If you've been following my blog, you can see that for the last month I have made time almost every day to care for ME. I have a wonderful support system and a lot of it has happened because of my transparency on this site and social media. Plus my friends and family are amazing people who love unconditionally.

The other day, a friend of mine shared a quote with me that has stuck with me since the moment she repeated it:

Wow! For me, that was powerful. For seven years, I have hated myself and I have considered them wasted (from a health standpoint), but this quote has completely changed my mindset overnight and I'm so grateful for it. (Thank you, Li!)

They weren't wasted, they are seven years of my life that I have watched my children grow, that I've grown closer to my husband, that I've made so many memories. Seven wonderful years that, God has given me life!!!!

All that to say, you are beautiful, too. No matter what you may be feeling about your body, you are beautiful. And maybe - just maybe - if you start to love your body, it might be that motivation you've been looking for. So treat it like you love it. That's what I'm doing. You got this, mama, and you are SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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