Leading up to my birthday I wasn’t sure how I felt about entering a whole new decade. The last one had been epic in so many ways I wondered what this next one could possibly offer by comparison. My twenties were full and exciting and about really coming into my adulthood. I did some traveling, missionary work, got married, went to college, lost my father when my oldest was just six weeks old, had three kids, learned to knit, started homeschooling, bought a house, gained and lost and gained and lost many pounds. This is just when I think about my life for the last ten years in point form.
I have to say that so far 30 is magic. There has been such a freedom in letting go of all the indecisiveness and uncertainty of my twenties. I feel so ready to fully embrace this one awesome life that God has given me and do what I can with it. To really embrace this body He has given me and all of the incredible things it has shown me it can do.
As a young woman I was so quick to compare myself to every last female I came across without even meaning to, really. “She is prettier than me, thinner than me, in better shape than me, look at her beautiful breasts that haven’t nursed a baby and barely need support!” I mean, come on.
I went through a rough patch after my third baby was born. The winter was long. The cookies were all so delicious and it felt so good to just sit on the couch and knit. Well, Spring was a wake-up call because I couldn’t put any of my pants on. I immediately mentally went to war with myself thinking, “girl, how could you let this happen? Get it together. Why can’t you just eat less? Why can’t you just be like that mom with loads of babies who always looks put together and in shape??” I am ashamed to admit that I was unkinder to myself than I would ever treat another person. I would never stand for my own girlfriends or my daughters to treat themselves that way so why was I doing it to myself? Something had to give. For me, it was turning 30. I just decided it was time to be my own friend. This body is the only one I’ve got and I certainly can’t bully it into being more petite. Plus, it’s not even about being a certain number or size anymore. I’m done playing the numbers game. It’s about balance and moderation. I will tell you right now that I am never giving up wine or peanut butter cups. Life is too short. But I *can* put my shoes on the next morning and drag my kids out in the wagon for 30 minutes or choose to take us all to the pool for a family swim instead of just going to the movies.
Now having crossed over to this side I can see that this here body of mine deserves some credit. It has grown babies until every square inch of my belly is marred for life. I have been blessed enough to be able to birth these babes and then feed them from my own body. It’s amazing really. So what if I don’t have the chest of an eighteen year old…tell you what, I bet that eighteen year old wishes she was as confident in who she is, regardless of what she looks like, as I feel.
I’m just done punishing myself for not looking like the 16 year old me. She thought she was chubby too so why should I listen to her? From now on when I walk past a mirror I will not avoid eye contact or start picking apart every flaw I see, I am standing in my own two feet, the body God gave me and saying, “Hot damn, mama. You look good!”