Years ago, my friend Mish started a pretty daring and amazing project called “Exposed.” She posted a picture of herself, stripped down to just underwear, and instead of picking apart what she saw…she celebrated all of the amazing things her body allowed her to do.
When I first took part in 2009, I did so tentatively. I was really struggling with my self-image and the 10 pounds I just couldn’t seem to lose. I didn’t totally believe the things that I was putting on the picture (although it’s amazing how powerful it can be to try and affirm yourself in print).
But when Mish approached me this year and asked if I’d like to update my own Exposed post, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Not because I think I look awesome or don’t have flaws…but because now that I’ve had a baby, my appreciation for my body has changed completely.
I have given birth (without meds!) to a healthy, happy and gorgeous baby girl who loves me for my strong arms and silly faces and doesn’t care a whit about my stretch marks.
I have fed her from my body for 12 months (and we’re still going strong) not because my breasts are huge or perky but because they are perfect for my baby.
I have completed three half marathons, six triathlons and can push a stroller for 10 miles.
I eat what I love and practice moderation in all things…including moderation.
I work out because I love how it makes me feel — not just how I look (but muscles are pretty damn sexy).
My arms are strong enough to carry an infant around for hours at a time and my legs allow me to dance around with her on my shoulder for an hour (ugh, teething). My hair may be turning gray but it looks great right out of the shower and is thick and easy to braid. My skin isn’t perfect (far from it) but I love how soft it is and how my eyes turn green when I cry. My fingers can type faster than anyone else I know except for my mother. My feet are always bruised and battered from running but they help me through mile after mile of training runs.
And at 33, I finally feel confident about the way I look. Not because I’m skinny or strong but because I’m the best me I can be.