My Personal Body Shaming Story

As most of you know, I have a blended family. I have given birth to four children. And I’m about to share with you a story that at first glance might not seem like it has a lot to do with drinking or addiction, but hang with me and I promise I will get there.  

Over the last three years, I have tried almost everything to get my stomach flat.

I have thinner legs and arms, but I have been “blessed” to carry all of my extra weight in my belly.

It used to be so bad that on a regular basis I would be asked when my baby was due. And because I’m such a codependent person (and I know you get it), I would lie and make up a date because I didn’t want the person who was asking to feel bad. I know… ridiculous.

So I started working out – something I have avoided my entire youth and adult life. Over the last three years, I have done almost every exercise known to man. I have also read about and tried way too many diets.

At first, I lost 20 pounds. And then I gained them all back. Then I lost them again and now (for the last year) I’ve been at a plateau. I don’t get asked how far along I am very often anymore, but I still catch people staring at my belly and I can tell they are wondering – “Should I ask?”

So as a very last resort, I went to a surgeon to inquire about a tummy tuck.

I know. Please don’t judge. I left his office with a plan and a possible date for surgery.

But here’s the thing… over the next few weeks leading up to surgery, I kept thinking, “What if I could just get a place where I was okay with my body?” Or, something even crazier, “What if I could even embrace my body as it is right now?” 

What if I could look at myself in the mirror and thank God for all the hard work my tummy has done all my life? My worn-out tummy has helped create four beautiful human beings who have turned out to be amazing, healthy kids. It has stuck with me as I gained and lost over 200 lbs (including pregnancies). Never giving up. Never shaming me for choosing chocolate. Sure, it may not be what it used to, but it’s served me so well all these years.  

What if I could get out of the shower and look at my husband in the eye without running for a towel?  

My breasts are not winning any prizes after nursing four kids (and, let’s just be honest… they really weren’t prize-winners before that either). But they are cancer-free and they fed four humans and kept them alive!

What if the only exercise I committed to doing was the kind I loved? I love to walk, use the elliptical (hello, Netflix), and I love yoga. What if that’s all I did for now? No interval training, cross training, spinning, or whatever the trendy fad is that seems to work for everyone else but never for me.

What if I just ate with the intention of feeding my body with nourishing, healthy, colorful foods at every meal? What if I took my time learning to cook what my body needs to thrive instead of filling it with junk or starving myself for three days only to overstuff myself on the fourth?

What if I researched what I need to eat to have healthy hair, nails, eyes, pores, muscles, and skin and just committed to giving back to my tender body a little piece of what it has given me? To serve my body out of love with no expectations?

What if I threw my scale away and ripped up every diet book? And just moved my body most days and filled my body when I was hungry with things that would make it thrive?

And if I wanted a treat I would eat a damn treat. No calorie-counting, no body shaming, no regrets. Just kindness for myself, self-acceptance, and giving my body the best chance to grow old gracefully.

That would be amazing.

I don’t know how I’m going to get to a place of total self-acceptance, but I know where to start.

I told my sweet and supportive husband that what he was looking at was as good as it gets for now and I canceled my appointment for surgery.

If you’re in love with someone who drinks too much or suffers from addiction like I was, we can easily take their disease as a personal rejection.

But what if we decided that we would not let this disease dictate how we feel about ourselves? We are better than addiction and it’s time to take back our confidence in our minds, hearts, and bodies.

If you’re ready to make your healing as important as his sobriety – we are waiting for you. The programs are online, confidential and you have lifetime access – so you can do them at your own pace.