health

Her children thought she looked beautiful in this photo. She was horrified.

By BRIDGETTE WHITE

My first reaction is shock.

Who took this hideous picture of me?

Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.

Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.

“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.

I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.

“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mum.”

“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.

“I know,” he says. “But mum, seriously, look how pretty you look”

I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.

My daughter walks over and takes a look.

“That could be a postcard mum,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I love it.”

I take a deep breath.

This is exactly what I needed.

My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.

I still see my dimply, fat thighs.

I also see a mum collapsed on the shore who just explored the lake for hours with her children.

I still see chubby arms.

Bridgette with her son who took the photo.

I also see the arms of a mum that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.

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I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.

I also see an adventurous mum that loves her children something fierce.

Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.

Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…

I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.

Yes. You heard me.

“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”

Well… not exactly. But something like that.

Is it because I’m getting older? Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look? Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.

Really, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t hate my body anymore.

That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.

I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.

Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.

Thank you kids.

This post was originally published on Bridgette Tales and has been republished here with full permission.

Bridgette White is a stay-at-home mother of two who lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband and two guinea pigs. She is the author of BridgetteTales.com, a blog about depression, self-discovery and parenting. Bridgette worked at the newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, for 7 years and was featured as part of the inaugural Sacramento cast of Listen To Your Mother. Twitter: @bridgettetales