For the longest time I've been hard on myself about my body and my looks. I remember reading Seventeen magazine and wishing I looked like those girls. Their hair, skin, and bodies? Were perfect. I would look at myself and cringe at what I saw. Glasses. Lanky arms. Thighs that were bigger than theirs. Pimples. Freckles. Crazy, unruly hair.
It's sad to think that I cannot remember a single time when I was a teen that I actually thought that I was pretty. Sad isn't it? I remember cringing at swimsuit season thinking I was "fat" or "overweight" when I wore a size 6 or 8 in Juniors. What was wrong with me? Why was I so hard on myself that I gave myself nothing but low self esteem? Was it due to these perfect bodies in every magazine that I opened? Was it from movies and television? Where did my self loathing start...and why did I allow it to last so long?
I look at my body now. Yes, I admit, it hasn't been easy getting used to my new body and looks after I had my girls. It hasn't always been easy stepping on the scale and seeing that I am 30 pounds heavier than when I was initially pregnant with Isabella.
But now? I'm happy. I don't mind seeing my stretchmarks. I don't mind seeing a little cellulite. I don't mind that I have more of a pooch now on my stomach. I don't mind that I wear two sizes bigger in clothes now.
Some of you may be sitting there wondering seriously, Chelle? You don't mind because why...?
That answer is easy. Over the years I have learned to love myself. My skin, my body and my hair. I have realized that my girls love me no matter what. My husband loves my extra curves. I can look in the mirror and smile knowing what all I went through to get here--to get where I am today.
Because for the first time in my life I love what I see. And even more? I love who I have become.