I took this selfie after nursing Louisa in the car outside of REI when she was just a week old. She was so bitsy and I was on a huge high from giving birth and finally having this sweet baby girl, safe and sound. I felt so pretty and good in this picture. Two months later we moved to Seattle and I lost it. Depression and anxiety took over. I gained a lot of weight. I was a hot mess.
Here's what I've learned:
- Self care is important. No. Vital. I am still figuring out what that means for me on a personal level and how to practice it every day, in small ways.
- The scale doesn't matter. What I eat and my activity level does. Not because I should feel shame for eating all the cookies but because it impacts the way that my body is able to function. Staying up late, not drinking enough water, and eating my feelings are all common issues for many of us and they directly impact the way that I am able to be a good human.
- Wanting to feel beautiful isn't a bad thing but it isn't the ONLY thing. I also don't owe prettiness to
anyone. "Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female'." - Erin McKean
- Authenticity = happiness. People that will not accept you for who you really are, what you really think, and who you really want to be aren't your friends. Authenticity is stretching. It hurts. It's terrible and terrific in one. Forgiving people who don't love your authentic self is also really stretching, hurts and is terrible and terrific.
- I'm OK. You're OK. We're all OK. And if you need a pep talk, check out the Pep Talk Generator. We got this!
"From one grown woman to another, in the face of a challenge you can either break down or break open. When we allow ourselves to break open and let ourselves be immersed by our emotions, we can truly be honest with ourselves and evolve in the most positive and healthiest way. One of the nice things about growing up is being able to say no, to change your mind, and to become brave enough to show who you are even if it hurts. The self-awareness and self-love you grant yourself can be your saving grace; they might help you reacquaint yourself with the courage you forgot you had all along."- Shaya Ishaq