beauty

"This me is worth remembering." Why a mother-of-three is sharing a powerful 'before' photo.

I am not pregnant. I just like cookies, and bagels, and butter chicken.

This is my “before” picture. This is the picture that captures the woman I am today. A mother of three. A wife to a husband who adores me and calls me sexy. A writer. A friend. A daughter.

This is me.

Image: Supplied/Daniel Bell.

I asked my husband to take a "before" picture. The photo of me before I start my weight loss journey. Before I start to make wiser decisions about what I eat and how I move my body.

"Don't smile you're supposed to look miserable," my husband joked. But am I? Am I miserable? Do I hate myself and my body?

Sometimes.

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But that's not what I want to remember about this moment. It's not what I want to remember about the "before".

Yes, a change is a needed. I want to lose weight. I want to feel healthier, stronger, and fitter.

But I also want to remember Before. I want to remember my round belly that appears to be carrying a baby, but is just evidence that I carried three very large babies in my tiny 150cm body.

Nearly 12kg the combined birth weight of my three daughters, were contained inside of me.

LISTEN: Taryn Brumfitt, Founder of the Body Image Movement, speaks to Mia Freedman about the 'perfect' body. Post continues after. 

I want to remember these arms. They look out of shape, but they are strong. They can carry a 20kg five-year-old with ease. They can lift my 15kg three-year-old above my head, swinging her around. They have rocked and cradled my infant many days and nights.

I want to remember my legs. The legs that were once thick with muscle when I ran each day in high school. These legs that have chased defiant children through the mall. Legs that have pumped high in the air on a swing, both as a child and as a mother, always carefree, my head tilted back to the sky.

Image: Supplied/Daniel Bell.

And I want to remember this brain. The brain that has told me, "You deserve this treat, your day was hard." The brain that has said, "You're worthless and ugly." I want to remember this brain, the one that has ruled my thoughts and my life, through the good and the bad.

This is my "before". My body is a vessel, and this year I haven't treated it the way it deserves.

I want to treat my body with respect and dignity, while also remembering that this "before" picture does not symbolize a rock bottom, or lesser version of myself.

I am me and I am beautiful.

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

This post originally appeared on the Brianna Bell Writes Facebook page and was republished here with full permission. You can read and see more from Brianna on her Facebook page and website.

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