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One of the most common questions I’m asked in interviews is “what would you tell your 12/14/16 year old self?”⁣⁣
The answer has become increasingly clear to me. ⁣⁣
Because at varying body sizes, stages of life and appearances, I have made the choice over and over to not be a participant of life because of how I felt about my body. ⁣⁣
I did it before children. ⁣⁣
I did it after children. ⁣⁣
I did it in a large body, a small body, a medium body. ⁣⁣
I did it in the summertime, the fall, winter and spring. ⁣⁣
I did it in toxic relationships. The healthy ones, too. ⁣⁣
I made a choice, to not show up. To hide. To sit in my own fears, which I understand were heavily influenced by a society that profits from these types of feelings. ⁣⁣
I don’t get the chance at those memories again. ⁣⁣
I don’t get to relive my children’s childhood with them and be there more, as I chose to sit in the sidelines instead. ⁣⁣
I don’t get to go back and celebrate my body at all sizes, because I was too busy hating it at all sizes. ⁣⁣
I didn’t allow myself love and intimacy in the ways that served my body and soul, because I was too worried about what the other thought, what the other felt. ⁣⁣
I didn’t allow my memories to swell full of the real stuff. The conversations, the laughter, the food, the moments. Too many of them, even when I look back at the photos, I just remember the shame I felt about ME.⁣⁣
It’s difficult in a world that makes you feel like your body is the most important part of you, to remember that it’s the least interesting anyhow, (@beauty_redefined) it is not an easy task. ⁣⁣
To remember that when you think of those you love, and list why, their bodies don’t land on the list. ⁣⁣
That perhaps why we are held with love in the right ways by others, our bodies do not land in the “why”. ⁣⁣
It is not easy to stop putting our bodies in the forefront of our minds, when that feels where validation and acceptance lives the most. ⁣⁣
But for the memories we all deserve to make, and the loved ones simply waiting for us to be in them, ⁣⁣
I can tell you now, it’s worth it to try. ⁣⁣

(Disclaimer: pic was edited to remove my daughter as she did not consent!)