How I Learned To Love My Body – “Imperfections” and All

Do you struggle with accepting your body?

Accepting Your Body | www.drnicolemeastman.com #bodyimage #pregnancy #beauty

It starts early, doesn’t it?

The societal influence.

The comparisons.

The fixation on “imperfections”.

For me, I battled my body from the time I was young.

In elementary school, I developed early and this was the source of teasing and humiliation.

In middle school, I was awkward and I felt ugly.  Glasses, bad teeth, overweight, and uncomfortable in my own skin…

In high school, I was not the popular girl and I was turned down for a school dance.

Rejected.

Not good enough.

Not pretty enough…I thought.

In college, I discovered the gym and I found my love for fitness.

I left clerical work to teach group fitness classes, got paid to workout, and I also gained a fit body.

Triple win! :)

In between undergrad and medical school, I worked as a certified personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness, I trained to compete in figure competitions, I gained incredible discipline with food, and I also gained body dysmorphia.

Body Dysmorphia | www.drnicolemeastman.com #bodyimage #beauty

In medical school, I started a program to assist other medical students, faculty, and staff in achieving better health and fitness, I watched my Dad die of a massive stroke at the age of 53 (he had several preventative risk factors and it killed me inside to know that I wasn’t able to help him make better choices), I spent hours at the gym in my attempts to “escape from my pain”, and I rotated with a plastic surgeon who told me, “Don’t get pregnant, it will destroy your body.”

In starting residency, I was so sleep deprived and overworked that I couldn’t keep weight on my body.

When I got married, I looked at my trim body and still saw imperfection.

Wedding Weekend | www.drnicolemeastman.com #bodyimage #Cayman

I no longer see the “imperfection” that I perceived then…

When I faced my death two weeks following my wedding, my body experienced permanent consequences and disability.

When I spent over seven months in bed due to pain, my body yelled at me for being so ungrateful.

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.  The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. 

Zig Ziglar

When I was blessed with pregnancy, I prayed for my body to hold up and for the birth of a healthy baby.

When my body gained 70 pounds during pregnancy, my body could barely move.

When I went into labor, I did not know if my back would be able to take more trauma.

After hours of labor, my son went into fetal distress.

I remember feeling like I was living a nightmare – I was scared.

I was emotional and I felt disappointed as they rushed me for an emergency c-section.

To think I was proud of making it this far with no stretch marks, and now I would end up with a scar.

Through my son, I gained acceptance of my beauty.  

I finally learned to love my body.

 

So what changed?

 

My BODY changed.

Through discipline learned years earlier, I chose to make wise lifestyle choices.

However, my motivation became much deeper than the superficial appearance I sought out in the past.

Now, my son was my reason to truly live and live as well as I could.

If you are interested in learning how I lost the pregnancy weight in 9 months, then click here:

http://drnicolemeastman.com/9-months-on-9-months-off-losing-the-baby-weight/

Despite losing the pregnancy weight, I have aged – gracefully, I hope 😉

Do you embrace your gift of aging?

Do Not Regret Growing Older | www.drnicolemeastman.com #aging #life #inspiration

 

My body has changed and that is okay.

Underneath, most of us have some sort of scar, don’t we?

Embracing My Post-Baby Body | www.drnicolemeastman.com #bodyimage #pregnancy #mom #csectionAt Peace With My C-Section Scar | www.drnicolemeastman.com #bodyimage #csection #pregnancy #Mom #beauty 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to a permanent scar, which serves as reminder of the delivery of my healthy child, my breasts have changed.

They fed my son.

In times of near homelessness, they nourished his body and allowed him to grow and thrive.

In addition to nourishing his body, breastfeeding nourished my soul.

I finally found confidence in my femininity – a side of me I never learned how to embrace prior.

In growing a child, my breasts have lost their youth.  This is okay.

What an amazing gift the female body is.

 

My MIND changed.

Rather than choosing to focus on what I could see as an imperfection, I chose to start looking at each perceived imperfection for its unique sense of beauty.

What all I would have missed out on had it not been for each of these “perfect imperfections”.

Now, tell me what you perceive as an imperfection.

For example, maybe it is the presence of wrinkles?

To me, when I see a body filled with wrinkles, I see a tapestry of beauty.

To think of all of the wonderful memories, the blessing of a relatively long life, and the wisdom gained through the time required to craft such art.

Your mind is powerful.

Will you do me a favor and recondition your mind, so you can find beauty in all things?

 

My SOUL changed.  Becoming a Mom allowed me to gain greater purpose in life.

In growing through parenting, I have realized just how beautiful the body is.

I believe that in learning to love my body, my son will gain appreciation for true beauty.

I am amazed by the body’s capabilities, and life itself.

Life is a miracle.

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“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.  All I am I owe to my mother.  I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.”

George Washington