I'm not one to make long rants on my blog. It's just not my style and it isn't what my website is about, but I feel like I have something to say to all the women out there.
I shared some photos on my Facebook, which is partially public, of an impromptu trip with my husband and son to the beach. I got lots of "likes" and a few "loves" from distant friends and family members. See social media can be a really great thing, especially to families that live long distances away from each other. My friends and family are able to watch my son grow up because of social media. I have reached so many people with my story and philosophy via Facebook and Instagram. My business does well, I get a great message out there, and I've met a lot of great people-- because of social media.
But tonight, just as I was about to pour myself a glass of wine, I heard a *ding from my phone, notifying me that I had a new message. I opened the message to find someone who wanted to know if I wanted help "loosing the baby weight and getting my toned body back".
I stared at my phone for a moment and then went and looked at the photos I shared. I almost deleted them. I almost deleted the photo from my own phone. I swiped through all the photos my husband snapped and could feel tears welling up in my eyes. I could feel myself immediately coming up with a better nutrition plan and workout plan. I began to feel pressure to look different. I began to hear echos of body shaming. I held my finger over the picture and almost clicked delete-- and then something happened.
Above- 2 of the photos I posted on Facebook today.
I saw his face.
I saw the whole picture. I saw the smile that he was so proudly wearing. I saw the memory we made. I saw how happy he was to be at the beach after we had a rough day today. I smiled as the memory of him squealing with delight as soon as we parked the car. I remembered my husband telling me how beautiful I was while I stood on the beach today. Then I saw my body. I felt shocked to think that I was nine weeks pregnant two years ago. I thought about how healthy I am and how well I nourish my body. I thought about how amazing it is that my body has provided nourishment for my son not only while I was pregnant with him but with breastfeeding as well. If I would have deleted the photos, I would have lost this memory.
I smiled and left the photos and even plan to get them printed-- today was a victory and let me tell you why.
I've struggled for years with an eating disorder. It isn't something I talk about too often, it isn't just a chapter out of my book, it is the shadow that intertwines itself throughout my entire book. Bulimia got a hold of me when I was 14 and I struggled with it on and off for 10 years. It wasn't until I found a really great therapist who helped me. I was later diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder. I have trouble seeing myself for what I really am. There are days, I will glance at myself in the mirror and I swear I look like I am 300 pounds. It is a scary thing to deal with, but I'm one of the lucky ones who have gotten healthy enough to know when I'm having a tough day. I'm one of the people who are blessed enough to have gone through a lot of therapy and more and more I'm starting to see myself for what I really am.
I may not have society's picture perfect body. I had more time to devout to that before I became a mother and my time wasn't as dominated as it is now. When I became a mother, a lot of things changed. I began to work out for my HEALTH not my weight. I know how much I weigh, but it doesn't define me. I have to tell myself multiple times a day that I'm beautiful, I'm healthy, I am not overweight, I am strong, my body is strong, my body GREW A HUMAN, I do not need to fall into the trap of what society thinks I need to look like.
As a nutritionist, health and fitness mean a lot to me. I help people all the time who are overweight. I help them with their nutrition, suggest workout plans and much more. Health and fitness are a passion to me. It is true, there is an epidemic of obesity in America. But your health, begins with your mind set. You need to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I love working out and helping others lose weight, but I also think it is terribly rude to email or message someone asking if they want help losing the baby weight.
I don't want help losing baby weight. I lost it-- and even if I didn't, if I wanted help I would ask. My body has done some really amazing things during this short time on earth. It became pregnant, grew a beautiful human, and birthed a human. It has nourished my son for 18 months (and counting). It has rocked a baby to sleep, it has proven to me time and time again that the human body is amazing. My son loves to lay his head on my belly. I'm softer than I used to be, and that is okay! I'm too busy being an active mom to care about pleasing someone else with the way my body looks.
To the ladies out there who think they aren't good enough, who get messages like I got today and wonder what you look like and question themselves....
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Health is not just what you look like, what number shows up when you step on the scale, what size pants you fit in, or how defined your abs are when you flex. Health starts with loving yourself. If there are things you want to change, then change them-- in a healthy way. Don't let what someone else thinks dictate what you feel about yourself. You are beautiful. If you have goals to work towards, then work towards them while appreciating and loving your body. The human body does some amazing things-- remember that the next time you body shame yourself.
Who am I?
My name is Jessica Kellaway! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about!