(photo credit: 3-year-old Jenna. Because if I have a genuine smile for a camera, it’s probably because my baby is holding it. Otherwise, I don’t really feel like having myself captured on camera.)

I have some issues with attention.

I vacillate internally between hiding and full-on diva.

Every time I hit “publish” here, I’m absolutely terrified that nobody will notice or care. At the same time, I’m equally afraid that people will. “Look at me! Look at me! NO DON’T LOOK AT ME! STOP IT!!!”

Like I said. Issues.

So when I have a post that resonates strongly, the inside of my head gets a little noisy. Part of me wants to run away and hide, or at least go back to my normal 15 readers (most of whom I know) and then there’s an attention whore part that’s yelling do it again! and trying to figure out if I can be the person who writes on the popular topic all. the. time.

It’s always the body image posts. Clearly the world needs people speaking positively into that area.

That person isn’t me.

Because that sounds dreadfully boring, writing one topic all the time.

Also? I suck at body image.

I mean, I can totally talk about thinking kindly about our bodies. And sometimes I can even do it. But a lot of days, maybe most, I’m just not that good at it.

I see my weird postpartum apron (you know- the saggy part where my belly deflated) and cringe.

I see the frowny lines between my eyebrows and think,  “yikes, I’m developing grumpy old lady wrinkles! I want smile lines, not grouchy lines!” 

I step on the scale and see a number I’d be happy to cut in half. (Ok, that’s a lie. I understand that if I actually cut my weight by half, I’d be a very sick woman. But half my weight is a pretty reasonable number for someone just a tad shorter.)

I look at cute clothes at stores and think “I should try that!” followed immediately by, “Nope, there’s zero chance that’d work on my body… if they even have a size that fits.”

I’m frequently tempted by self-abusive diets or exercise regimens.

Now, before you stage an intervention or shower me with reassuring compliments, I should point out that I know.

I know I need to focus on health, not externals.

I need to look for the things about my body that I like. My eyes, for instance. Two of my beautiful babies have those, and I’ve never been more grateful for brown eyes.

I really do mean to pay more attention to what my body has done for me rather than what I wish it looked like.

I get that I need to be grateful for a relatively healthy body that carries me (and a lot of kids) from place to place with minimal complaint.

I understand (weird as this one sounds) that I need to think of my body as her rather than it because I would never talk about—or even think about—another woman the way I’m tempted to think about my body when I forget that it actually contains me.

Sometimes I’m good with all of it.

And sometimes? I’m just not.

I need you guys to know that I’m not the body image lady. I can’t ever be that person. I’m way too in-process to be that.

But I also want you to understand that there really is still grace enough for the crappy fat days. This isn’t where I want to live and certainly not where I want you (or, heaven forbid, my girls) to stay, but when we land there for a bit, it’s going to be okay. We’re all here sometimes.

This post is part of the write31days challenge… I’m trying to post every day in October. Or, you know, lots of days in October. The rest of the posts can be found here.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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  1. Robin, do you know what makes you beautiful to me is your words, your honestly and the love you have for your family.


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