3 Simple Ways to Embrace Your Mom Bod & Get Back to Loving Yourself

Do you ever stop and look at pictures of yourself from five, maybe ten or more years ago and say to yourself, 'What happened?' I used to be so (insert adjectives of choice). I am often quick to make comparisons, longing for the physical appearance I once had, well before I became a mom. Some days, I'm loving the whole of my mom life, while others leave me drained and daydreaming of a 'simpler time.' In between getting married and raising two beautiful kids, I've lost myself along the way and have been left wondering, 'When did I stop loving myself?'

Stress plays such a big role when it comes to our appearance and our day to day feelings. Some of the best things in life also bring about different stressors, things like marriage and motherhood. I love being a wife and mom, giving thanks every day for the blessings I've received, and trying not to take them for granted. Each of these blessings adds another role to my life, roles I am usually overjoyed to play, but keep me so busy that I no longer have 'time' for things like physical care/body maintenance, scheduled daily exercise, salon appointments, shopping for pleasure, eating a warm meal uninterrupted in one sitting, etc. Anyone else eat the majority of their meals while multi-tasking or standing over the kitchen sink or wiping a tiny tushie?

You don't have to say goodbye to the 'you' you knew before...

I used to plan my outfits a week in advance- before kids. I used to spend an hour pampering my tootsies every two weeks- before kids. I used to look decent in a bathing suit and had no qualms about baring my midriff- before kids (well, even for a while after my first kiddo was born). Sound familiar? I'm blessed to have a supportive partner in life. My husband is amazing- he loves me for who I am & not what I look like. He's seen me at my best and has definitely seen me at my worst, and has never said anything negative about my appearance. In fact, he's never put any pressure on me to 'bounce back' after either of our kids were born, and tells me how beautiful I am- every single day- despite my 'mom pooch' that just won't go away. This isn't to brag- it just paints a clear picture of the enormous amount of pressure I have always put on myself.

I fight my own demons when it comes to self-love. After years and years of watching numbers on a scale, striving for perfection in looks, in my marriage, in parenting, and every other role I have ever stepped into, I have realized that it's just too darn much upkeep, and it's costing me too much (sleep, sanity, and oh yeah- that self-love thing I mentioned). After the birth of my second child, something within me has changed and given me a whole new lease on life.

Here are 3 ways I've learned to embrace my mom bod & learned to love myself again...

Work with whatcha got!

This attitude and lifestyle may be tough to embrace, and I can honestly say that it was tough for me, as well. I was once considered a high maintenance mama, but having kids and conflicting schedules has taught me that my routine has to be quick and seamless each and every day. What does this mean? I go with what's natural- especially when it comes to my hair. I used to straighten my hair every day, which is time-consuming when your hair is naturally curly. My hubby has helped me learn to love my natural hair color (haven't dyed my hair in years- though the desire is sometimes there as the silver hairs show up), and keep my natural curls, which are so much easier to maintain and work with. Honestly, I get more compliments on those wild curls than I ever did with the straight hair, so it's a win-win! Go with what's natural girls, flaws and all!

Simplify your wardrobe

I always stick with the 'less is more' vibe from the timeless Coco Chanel. She always said to remove the very last thing you put on when it comes to your ensemble. I try to keep it simple, and comfortable. As much as I love high heels, they're no longer practical for me and only contribute to things like ingrown toenails- ouch! Keeping it simple and comfortable doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice style. I'm all about cute, stylish looks that won't break your back or your bank account. Another thing that I have come to love and embrace, is comfy undies. Knix underwear has become a favorite because of their variety of styles, comfort and the fact that they fit all body types! You don't have to go through life with your panties in a twist- literally and figuratively.

Stop caring (so much) what other people think about you

Truly, this is my life's biggest hurdle to jump over. It has taken me 35 years to get to a place where I am comfortable with myself and can be okay with my flaws (because honey, I've got 'em). As a grown woman, there's absolutely no reason for me not to be able to 'shake it off' when things don't go my way, or when someone has something not so nice to say. Connecting with more women my age has taught me that some girls may never leave that high school or college 'clique' life behind, and that's okay- it's never been my scene. Some girls may never stop being petty, judgmental or insecure, but I don't have to be that way. It's also helped me be more open and honest about my life- the struggles I face daily, the stuff that's all masked by the fairytale portrayed on social media. I've gained an incredible support system that I honestly think I would not do well without going forward.

The best thing that we can do for ourselves and all of the other women in our lives, is to love ourselves, ladies. If we can't love ourselves, we'll have more trouble showing love to others. You can be confident in who you are and what you do without playing games and without livin' that bish life (insert slow clap as I drop the mic because this is something every woman needs to hear and embrace).

 Say it with me, 'I am beautiful.' Saying it and believing it are two different things. No matter what stage or season of life you're in, believe that you are valuable, beautiful and that your life has worth. Work at squashing those little voices that tell you otherwise and start living your best life today. I'll be right alongside you, cheering you on & hope you'll do the same for me.

Be beautiful, be true... be you!

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