I find myself looking at pictures often. I love capturing memories and the joy that life brings.
I love that pictures show different emotions, different seasons of life. I can look at a picture and instantly be transferred back to that time and place.
One of the first things I notice in pictures is my weight. My weight has been a constant obsession for years. In many of these pictures my weight has fluctuated.
Like most females, I have spent a good portion of my life concerned about my physical body.
As a kid, I was a year round athlete. I played all the sports and then swam in the summer. I could eat Oreos all day long and not gain much weight.
But as a preteen I remember feeling pudgy. I wasn’t. But there was always someone smaller, someone more toned. Life lesson: There will always be someone in better shape than you.
As a teenager I had curves. They were beautiful and healthy and just right. But again, I felt I needed to be skinnier, I needed to look better in a bikini. Even at a size 6 I felt I was too big.
It breaks my heart that in so many of my memories I have not felt at peace in my body. I have wasted a lifetime of worrying about the wrong things. Actually, I have spent time wasted simply worrying when there was nothing to worry about.
The best I have felt in my body is when I run or practice yoga, or lately shooting baskets. I see my muscles working and remind myself I was meant to move.
I struggle to feel good in my body now after the work my body did to grow Owen. I struggle even more after the rejection of divorce.
Loving myself has often been an uphill battle that sometimes feels impossible to climb.
But what I am learning is that it is not just my body that matters. My spirit is what effects my body the most. When I am stressed, I eat. When I want comfort, I eat.
But when I feel calmer, when I feel most at peace with life, I tend to want to exercise and eat healthier.
In my most grounded moments, I write and pray, two of the healthiest things for my soul.
One of my biggest lessons that I continue to learn in this journey of single motherhood is that change and healing take time.
I put pressure on myself to be the best version of myself right this very minute. If I can get down to my goal weight, have enough money in my back account, be helping people regularly, have a clean house, and on and on, well then everything will be just right.
If I can just get to the right everything, well then all the hurt will go away.
I am not sure that there will ever be a moment where everything will be just right. But I know that if I continue to push myself, continue to stretch myself to the very best version of me, well that is my purpose and that is where I will feel the healthiest and the most grounded.
If I am the best version of me, then I will be the mom I want to be. If I love myself, then I will be able to love another partner the way that God intends for us to love.
Life is truly a work in progress. For everything there is a season. But in every season I believe we can continue working to be the best versions of ourselves, one day at a time.
As I continue to foster my love of picture taking, I am working hard to notice less of the size of my clothes and more the size of my smile. Because with peace, comes true joy.