Posted by Duff

Who is this woman? She’s any of us.  For the full story, check this out.

Lizzie Miller, Glamour Health & Fitness model, Sept. 2009 issue

Lizzie Miller, Glamour Health & Fitness model, Sept. 2009 issue

My first thought upon seeing this picture was “That woman is beautiful.” She looks happy. She has such an artistic shape. Her shoulders are gorgeous. Then I looked closer, and saw that her body looks a lot like mine after bearing two children.

We all have things about our bodies we’d like to change. Hopefully most of us also  have a feature that we’re especially proud of. From puberty until age 31, mine was my stomach. It was my genetic blessing, and a few crunches and ‘everything in moderation’ seemed to keep it that way.

And then I had two beautiful children who are every bit worth blowing my abs out over the top of my pants.

Lately, though, when I hear that other women (who had babies after me) are already back in their pre-baby jeans, I bemoan the sweet, forgiving elasticity of maternity waists.

Let’s be honest with myself. There is no magic number of crunches that will crank in my hip width any faster. These things take time. I won’t give up trying, but I might never be where I was again. And as long as I’m trying to be healthy, it shouldn’t matter so much.

I recently congratulated a friend of mine on surviving her first year of motherhood. (Happy Birthday, O!) I asked her if she felt any different.

I specifically wanted to know how she felt in her own skin these days. Because motherhood, once you let go of worrying about screwing up, can make you feel more capable and self-assured than you did when your body was at its best.

Don’t believe me? Think about how staunchly you’d defend your parenting choices to those who would disapprove and dare to tell you so.

Think about it. You are supremely important to somebody. You are loved by that someone in a way you’ve never been loved before. Even if little feet are stamping and a little mouth is saying otherwise, it doesn’t get any better than you.

So, today I may be trying to camouflage my mid-section and I may have some of you fooled.  I was half asleep when I put on my two-minute face, and there is a partially scrubbed-out grape jelly stain on my right (still maternity) pant leg. 

If you look closely, and I do, I’m not the woman I once was.

But. When I stop by the mirror to size myself up, I like who I see.