It’s been bigger, it’s been smaller. It’s soft. It’s squishy. It’s covered in stretch marks. It jiggles when I walk. It hangs over my underwear (and if I’m not careful, my pants). This, friends, is my mommy tummy.
It gave a warm, cozy home to new humans. It provides comfort and warmth to them earthside today. It made new life possible. It made love I didn’t know existed a reality.
It’s healthy. It’s active. It keeps up with my kids. It runs half-marathons and does yoga and scales walls in obstacle courses.
It’s one mommy tummy of many in this world. Some of which are also bigger. Or smaller. Or harder or softer. Darker or lighter.
And to a lot of society, it’s hideous.
Think about that for a moment, folks. My body, that creates humans and runs races and has zero medical conditions is unacceptable because it’s not twenty pounds lighter and divided neatly into six sections – as if those are the factors that determine health and longevity. My body, which is like so many other bodies out there, is one in need of a makeover. One that I should regulate and deprive and drill until it assumes the shape dictated by Photoshop. A realistic goal, I’m sure. My body is one reminiscent of so many “before” photos in the makeovers, further reinforcing the notion of its undesirability.
And what fitspo doesn’t seem to understand is that the body acceptance movement isn’t about promoting unhealthy habits and lifestyles (although there are many who would argue that you get to do whatever you damn well please with your own damn body because it’s yours). It’s about recognizing that thin does not equal healthy. That fat does not equal unhealthy. And that there are so many variations in between that are normal, natural and beautiful. That it’s okay to love yourself for who you are, in the skin you’re in. Even if you’d rather be a different shape. Especially then. That it’s alright to have confidence and self-love. It’s alright to decide to workout and eat differently and it’s alright to decide that you’re happy and healthy right where you are. That sometimes, there are more important things in life than depriving yourself of cheese.
This is my mommy tummy. Maybe it’s yours, too. And I’m here to tell you – that’s okay. You are beautiful and worthy, just the way you are.