This is me.
All my life I've been active and athletic. When I was young, I participated in competitive swimming and was on the gymnastics team at my local Y. When I got older, I started playing volleyball, basketball, and softball. I high school, I was down to volleyball and softball, with lifting and conditioning between seasons. So, I've always been active, but I've never really been "thin".
When I was nine, the boy who sat across from me in class dropped his pencil on the floor. He had to bend down under my desk to get it, and when he came back up, he told me, "You have really hairy legs". This is the first memory I have of a peer making a negative comment about my body, and it's stuck with me to this day.
In fifth and sixth grades, I went through that chubby stage some girls hit right before startng puberty. One time, I was at a family get-together, eating dessert, or some sort of treat, and a relative leaned over and said to me, "Maybe you wouldn't be so fat if you stopped eating stuff like that." My eighth grade year, my class took a 4-day trip to Niagara Falls, One night, I chose to wear a two-piece suit in the hotel pool, and one of the boys said to me, "You're not as fat as I thought you'd be." By the time I was in highschool, I was 5'4" and weighed 145 pounds. I thought I was fat.
This is me.
Four kids and 14 years later.
In an outfit that I really like, but feel super uncomfortable wearing because I hate my body. I've always had a negative perception of mysef, fueld by the (sometimes) unintentionally cuel and careless words of others. So I don't often get in front of the camera, but today I did. Because I wanted to share this with you. I may not like my body, but I like ME. I like the part of me that is intelligent, and the part that is strong, and the part that loves to read, and the part that is a good mom and wife, and the part that thinks it's important to help others, and the part that speaks up when it's important.
I try hard not to let this perception of myself trickle down to my kids. I try not to make negative comments about my body, my shape, my size, the way my clothes fit when they are around. My hope is that I can give my daughters a more positive self-concept. That they will know that they are intelligent and kind, thoughtful and caring. And that they are beautiful, oh so beautiful, no matter what anyone may think.