I spent part of my Mother’s Day up in my walk-in closet. Alone.

Miss Emily was napping, and Honey had taken the boys into town to get the makings for my Mother’s Day dinner. He had planned on making Rouladin, but both grocery stores in our small town were sold out of everything (of course). I told him not to sweat it and that we would make do with the plethora of groceries that we already had. We made beef fajitas and it was ALL GOOD.

Back to the closet.

I was going through the items hanging in my closet. Packing away the winter wear, trying on the summer clothes I had from last year. Standing in front of the mirror and assessing my body.

I have posted about My Journey To Fat And Back. I have written A Letter To My Body. Eighty-five percent of the time, I am comfortable in my skin. I go to Step Boot Camp twice a week. I eschew most junk food. I eat small portions and take pretty good care of my body. This body of mine has been pregnant four times, and has given birth three times. For that very reason alone, I believe that it kicks ass.

I am not apologizing for that word. I think God finds the visual of me kicking a donkey pretty funny. He has a good sense of humour, you know.

So back to me. In the closet. In front of the mirror.

I fell into that other fifteen percent. That head space where all that I could see were my flaws. My belly, though stretch-mark-free, was not in the form of a six-pack. My inner thigh is not the pencil-thin variety that I have coveted for as long as I can remember. My butt is no longer flat, thanks to Boot Camp, but that means it is bigger. And rounder.

In my head, I know that I am thin. I am at the lower end of the optimal BMI for my height and age. The scale has not changed from its acceptably low number. The tags on my clothes that state that the size I am are of the S/single-digit variety. I am a world away from the size 15 that I was in my early twenties.

But still. I struggle.

I wish that I didn’t. I wish that the eighty-five percent became one hundred percent. That I could exude confidence and comfort. That I could stop looking at myself in such a harsh light. I want to be an example to my daughter.

Then I think that maybe I am. Maybe, in my insecurity, I can show her that I am human too. That I see all of the pressure that is put onto women. That I, too, succumb to it sometimes.

But that we have the upper hand. We KNOW that God knit us in our mother’s womb. He created the Heavens and the Earth. He takes care of the sparrow…how much more does He care for us? It is mind boggling, really.

I can show her my humanity. We can hold hands, and work through it. I will not be the elusive Mother, but a Mommy who gets her. Who has been there. Who still fights the fight of body image, but who is finally winning. At least eighty-five percent of the time.

Who knows? Maybe by the time she is my age I can reach that one-hundred-percent.

Here’s hoping.

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  1. sizzle May 11, 2008 7:17 pm edit

    Here’s hoping is right.

    Just this weekend I fell into a bad way of thinking about myself/my body. It really can do a number on my mood.

    sizzle’s last blog post..Ask And You’ll Receive?

  2. Kami May 11, 2008 7:34 pm edit

    Angella, while I have been heavier than I am now I have never been over the high end of the acceptable range for my size. I am not bragging but rather I think that the fact that I am satisfied with my body about 50% of the time goes to show you that you are doing FANTASTIC in this area.

    15%?

    What I wouldn’t do to feel good about my body 85% of the time.

    :-)

    I could learn a lot from you!

    Kami’s last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day

  3. Ali May 11, 2008 7:56 pm edit

    85%! that’s amazing.
    i hover around the 35% mark…and that’s way better than i used to be. help me!

    Ali’s last blog post..some words of wisdom and a very important question

  4. Elizabeth May 11, 2008 9:53 pm edit

    Just wanted to wish you well in modelling for Emily. I have the same desire to show my daughter what it’s like to be a real woman, a real and happy woman!

    Elizabeth’s last blog post..Seen it

  5. Michele May 11, 2008 11:52 pm edit

    The topic of weight always “weighs” on me. (No pun intended!!!) I feel people see my weight before they see me…I want people to see the real me, but it is too easy to hide behind the weight.

    In my life, it is like a hamster wheel. I’m heavy so I feel bad about myself so then I eat. This only causes me to gain weight, feel worse about myself and eat more…It’s so hard to stop the cycle! I want to eat better, I want to excersize more…But, it’s so hard!

    We can only pray that by the time Emily is a teenager, being “thin” won’t be so important.

  6. Michele May 11, 2008 11:53 pm edit

    Oh, I almost forgot – on a happier note…”HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!”

  7. Loralee May 12, 2008 12:23 am edit

    I totally relate to this. Most of the time I feel perfectly fine with my weight, even though I am on the high end of my BMI scale. After being almost 300 lbs, almost anything looks good.

    However, there is that 10% of the time where I am just critical about almost everything body related. Gah.

    Loralee’s last blog post..Sideblog: Looney Tunes Linkey Love

  8. Vicki May 12, 2008 7:44 am edit

    i struggle with this, too…especially since I still have some baby weight and baby is 20 months old. i know how my body works…I’ve done this before – it holds on. for what feels like forever. no matter what i do. then it lets go.
    as a mother of 3 girls, i can no longer obsess about it, feelsorry for myself about it, or do anything i feel entitled to do in any negative form. how can i teach my girls to love their bodies when mommy is complaining about fat clothes all the time? it’s a struggle for me. because the kids just simply cannot know this about me. but, like you, i have to give this body credit for these babies that are the loves of my lives (of course, along with their daddy). i suppose that was a very long winded way of saying “yeah, me too!”
    Being a woman is hard work.

    Vicki’s last blog post..NANNY – This One’s For You

  9. Amanda Brown May 12, 2008 7:44 am edit

    You know I am right there with you. Not that it makes it any easier, but I will always relate.
    You are a continual inspiration to me, Ange, and I think that you are doing a fabulous job of taking care of your body and showing Emily a positive body image.
    That 15% (or 85% in my case, these days, as my thighs expand and soften daily) is so tough but the majority rules, as they say.
    Here’s to no more fat days, since they are completely unfounded in your case. Just pull our your preggo pictures of Graham and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. :)

    Amanda Brown’s last blog post..Picture Pages, Picture Pages

  10. slynnro May 12, 2008 8:07 am edit

    I do it too, standing in my closet, judging myself. I work hard and eat healthy (mostly) and I’m thin, but I have an ass. And I have belly fat. And stretch marks on my boobs because I used to be 15 lbs heavier. Meanwhile, in the other room, my husband is inahling a ceasar salad and a calzone drinking regular Coke. Being a woman is just hard.

    slynnro’s last blog post..Mothers and Sons and Dads and Bears. OH MY!

  11. Shamelessly Sassy May 12, 2008 8:25 am edit

    Here’s to hoping, and just keep kicking those donkeys until then.

    Shamelessly Sassy’s last blog post..Copy Cat

  12. Don Mills Diva May 12, 2008 9:25 am edit

    I think we all struggle with this sometimes – 85% is pretty good actually but feeling great about ourselves 100% is really what we all deserve isn’t it?

    Don Mills Diva’s last blog post..Her name is Beverly

  13. Sharon May 12, 2008 10:41 am edit

    Miss Emily is so blessed to have you for a mom. Being a woman is so incredibly difficult, and I know she’ll appreciate the wisdom and experience that you can share with her.

    My mom and I haven’t always had the greatest relationship, but it has been improving lately, which I’m so grateful for. One day we’re going to have to deal with exactly what you wrote about, and I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t know what my mom’s experiences with body image were when she was younger, but I’ve certainly been through hell and back, part of it being exacerbated by her comments and snide remarks to me, however unintentional they might have been.

    I’m not at 100% either, but I’m slowly getting there. Like you said, I hope that if I ever have daughters, by the time they’re old enough, I will be at the point where I can model a healthy attitude and be a good example to them.

    Btw, loved the donkey comment. I totally agree – God has a wicked sense of humour! :)

    Sharon’s last blog post..My car is okay + other weekend ramblings

  14. Jazz May 12, 2008 11:02 am edit

    Lets face it us girls have it hard….it is a lot of work to stay fit and be happy with our bodies.

  15. Kerri Anne May 12, 2008 1:06 pm edit

    Emily will love love LOVE having a “Mommy that gets her,” that can talk to her openly and honestly about body image, and what is and is not healthy about said body image.

    Know that you are so far from alone in your own struggles with it, too. I have yet to meet a woman who is 100% at peace with herself, inside and out. I don’t know that it’s possible, really. It is possible, though, to be edified by those around you, and to work to be edifying to yourself always, for you are beautiful, amen.

    Kerri Anne’s last blog post..Wherein I Get Over My Initial Disappointment At Not Ever Having Been Wished A Happy Red Leather Birthday

  16. Mrs. Wilson May 12, 2008 2:15 pm edit

    GREAT post!

    Love it.

    And? You’re GORGEOUS!

    Mrs. Wilson’s last blog post..Menu Plan Monday: It’s about flippin’ time

  17. 180/360 May 12, 2008 2:52 pm edit

    Amen to what Kerri Anne said! :) I am sure that Emily sees a mother that eats well, exercises and enjoys life. Everyone is insecure about something.

    180/360’s last blog post..Tortured and Traumatized

  18. christy May 12, 2008 6:27 pm edit

    Danielle told me something the other day that has stuck in my mind ever since. She has NEVER heard her mother say a negative thing about herself. I thought that was pretty amazing. This is my life goal now. to never allow my girls to hear me verbalize my unfounded insecurities. Wow it’s been hard. Especially when they choose to point things out to me that are not perfect. ie. Megan calling my nose “funny looking”. lol.
    It’s hard to me to imagine that you still struggle with this when to me you look so amazing. It just shows me how hard Satan tries to fill our minds with lies. You are a beautiful woman. Emily will idolize you I’m sure. She probably already does. Cheer up hot momma.

  19. christy May 12, 2008 6:30 pm edit

    But, then again…maybe you’re right. Maybe it would be better for her to see your struggle. I don’t know. I suppose being real and honest is always the better option.

    I know that above all she will see a woman who loves her above all else.

  20. anji May 12, 2008 7:21 pm edit

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, I LOVE rouladen. I’ll probably be making it in a few weeks! Tasty tasty!

  21. The Over-Thinker May 12, 2008 7:42 pm edit

    You are setting a realistic, positive example for your kids. I really admire that!

    I don’t think it’s really possible for me to be 100% okay with anything. Well, with anything other than my faith. Oh, and my love of Cool Ranch Doritos. And shoes. And BBC America. Well lookee there–I AM 100% okay with some stuff :-)

    The Over-Thinker’s last blog post..Remind me to tell you about my accidental enthusiasm about a Strip Club…

  22. Hannah May 13, 2008 4:13 pm edit

    Based on the struggles I have had in the past with my weight and previous body image issues, I am not sure I would be a good role model for a daughter. I believe that is why God gave me sons.
    You, on the other hand, have a great attitude about it all. I’m sure you will show Emily how to achieve a healthy balance between looking after her body and not obsessing about having to be thin, just because the media says we should. I’m sure you will teach her to be happy with how she looks.
    Oh, and I also think 85% is good. I am never at 85%. More like 75%, max. I don’t think anybody really is happy with their body 100% of the time.

    Hannah’s last blog post..The Present

  23. rachel May 13, 2008 7:03 pm edit

    I think that we all struggle with this.
    This was supremely well written. This is my first visit and after reading this, I will be back. Thank you for sharing this.

    rachel’s last blog post..I fought the yard, and I won

  24. Tracee Sioux May 14, 2008 6:52 am edit

    I liked this piece, and your previous ones about body image, so much that I’m planning to use it for my story on So Sioux Me tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing. http://www.sosiouxme.com – I hope you’ll stop by and participate in any conversation (and make sure I’m accurately representing your views, of course).

    Tracee Sioux’s last blog post..Empowering Girls – Hillary Clinton

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