A Mama's Body


How we feel in our bodies and how we see ourselves is such a funny thing, isn't it? The way that it can utterly shape how we spend our days, weeks, and years. How looking in the mirror, or avoiding looking in the mirror determines our sense of self worth. After Silas was born, I lost the baby weight and then some. His constant need for movement definitely had something to do with that. But I didn't bounce back from Theda's birth in the same way. She is two and a half and I still find myself in a body that I don't recognize and in which I don't really feel comfortable.

My kids don't care about this difference between my actual body and my historical body, obviously. All they see is their mama. My husband doesn't care either. He has always loved me exactly the way that I am regardless of what shape that "way" takes during any given season of our lives. Society doesn't care. Seriously. The average person that I run into at the library or the grocery store does not have time to care about my body. It is a disconnect that exists within me alone. But that doesn't make it, or its consequences, any less real. When I don't feel good about myself, I'm less likely to parent gently. When I don't feel like I deserve to be cared for, it's hard to care for someone else.

I've been thinking a lot about sustainability lately and the ways in which it connects with body image. I remember when I was first waking up to living a more sustainable lifestyle and I often felt paralyzed that there was no perfect answer to anything. Purity is impossible. All choices had some sort of negative environmental cost and the trick was to prioritize the changes that made the most impact and to allow myself grace in those choices. And so I started to ask myself, how could I turn this rubric inward? What do I need to prioritize and where do I need to afford myself a little grace?

I realized that one of the most necessary things that I needed to do was to change the way that I dress myself. I need to allow myself to put in the effort to do more than just the maintenance tasks of showering and brushing my teeth. This means investing in clothes that actually fit and seeing the act of dressing myself as a creative one. Allowing myself to care. I've been wearing disposable clothing items for three years now - cobbling together an ill-fitting and temporary wardrobe from discount stores and secondhand shops because, even though I couldn't admit it, I felt that I was disposable too.

It was with these thoughts bubbling in my head that I agreed to do a sponsored post for prAna. I've admired their clothes and sustainable business practices for years, and loved the few pieces of theirs that I own. So, I decided to give it a go. They sent me a pair of pants and a sweater. They arrived. I opened the box. I tried them on. And I started to cry.

The difference was just so dramatic. In that simple act of putting on quality clothes that are well-made with intention, I was affirming that I - my body, my life, all of it - are full of intention too. Each moment of each day is too precious to waste. I'm working towards choosing to embrace it. 


prAna would like to offer A Life Sustained readers 15% off all purchases with code GH2ALF17


prAna provided me with these clothes, but the opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own.

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