A journey to acceptance

One day our landline rang, it never does because no one has the number. I picked it up and it was a slimming center nearby offering a body review and 2 sessions for free. I was so excited! Not that I needed a body review or slimming sessions, but because I was so bored and haven’t done anything new for a long time.

Once there, a nice lady asked me to unattire so that she can check my body. As I stood there in front of the mirror waiting for her to come point out every imperfection, I was surprised by how I felt…

It was never easy for me to accept my body. I started having stretch marks since I was 13, and at such a young age I started being very self conscious.

Growing up, my mother always criticized her body. She was never satisfied when she looked in the mirror. and even though she always told me and my siblings we were beautiful and meant it, I grew up thinking that the normal thing to do was to criticize and point out the things you like the least about yourself. A lot of my friends used to do the same and we would all sit together and have a “competition” about who can put herself down the most. Sounds fun right?

Then I grew older, and people in the media began promoting self love. I still remember the Oprah episode when I first realized that it’s okay to accept ourselves and our bodies, that it’s not only “okay” but necessary! It was news to me. I believed in every word said and I started promoting these ideas myself! But truth is, I still hadn’t entirely accepted my own body.

More years passed by and I got married, pregnant and then everything changed.

Although a lot of women struggle with accepting their bodies while pregnant, it was the first time I had ever accepted my silhouette as it is. It’s the only time I wasn’t trying to cover my belly and was instead amused by how big it became. And even though my hair grew longer and softer than it ever was, I developed acne and a lot of darkening skin, and as you probably guessed, a lot of stretch marks. But I looked at it as a small price to pay for having a baby. Then I gave birth, and another thing unexpectedly helped me in the journey. It’s MY HAIR CUT! After delivery, I cut my hair to a short pixie. Strange how I didn’t realize before that every time I looked in the mirror, my hair had taken almost all of my attention. I even used to get a little surprised in fitting rooms when I had to actually focus on my body ( not good surprises). Now that there is nothing else to focus on, I no longer get surprised by my belly or thighs or anything else, because I see them everyday.

As I stood in front of the mirror waiting for the nice lady to check my imperfections, all of this went through my mind. I knew it was the first time that being checked by a stranger didn’t bother me. I smiled and my reflection smiled back at me, it told me proudly: “there is nothing to be ashamed of..”

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