Daughter, I Failed You Today

Daughter, I failed today.

I’ve been a hypocrite. You may only be 3, but I work every day to teach you that your body is your own. Your body is more than the size it takes up or the shape it’s formed into. I want you to know your body is something so much more than something to be looked at and judged. I want you to always hear my voice in your head telling you your beauty, and worth is in your spirit, your words, your kindness, and actions. I want you to echo that out into the world to other women.

I know I am your greatest influence. I know how you view your worth and your body will ultimately come from me.

As I refused to eat the dessert at the Christmas party because “it’ll go straight to my gut,” I let you down. When I commented on a woman’s appearance on the tv complimenting how great she looked after weight loss, I messed up. Today, as I stood in the mirror, half clothed, crying thinking about how uncomfortable I was in my own skin, I failed.

But I didn’t remember that until your beautiful face came in and hugged me. You grabbed me right on the stomach I had just wished away. You ran your fingers over the stretch marks I try so hard to hide. You looked me right in my puffy, tear-filled eyes and said, “pretty momma!”

Most days I am confident with how I look and how I feel, but I worry I may never be able to completely banish those thoughts about my flaws and imperfections. I know that every time you catch me focusing on my physical insecurities, you learn a lesson that could hurt you, or force you into this battle I face.

I want more for you.

I know I can’t protect you from the messages you receive from the outside world. I know life is messy and you will struggle to understand or see your worth.

I will treat my body like my friend. I will practice self-forgiveness. I will practice gratitude. I will use not only my voice but my actions to teach you through example that you are beautiful and worthy and whole, just as you are.

I failed today. I will do better, for you. And for me.

Because as you grab my body, the same body I had cried over moments before, I see through your eyes. You see me just as I am — beautiful and worthy. And I remembered it, too.

Photo Credit: MOJO MOOMEY Flickr via Compfight cc

Shelby Eckard

Shelby is a mother of two living in the burbs of Atlanta who works as a Fitness Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist (NASM) and spends her free time trying to get over her break up with Carbs, (I miss you, Pizza Joe. Call me.) making it through the hours between coffee and wine, pretending to be cool on Instagram and Facebook, and fighting the good fight in her head between “ I wanna look good naked” and “ I eat cake in bed”. She blogs at www.survivingshelby.com and covers topics such as positive body image, PCOS, eating disorder recovery, and humor. She is really, just a woman trying to get her sh*t together.

  1. Susan P. Blevins

    This warmed my heart, and it is a warning that we should all heed. Why oh why is it so difficult to live in our own skins?

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