Over my vacation, I realized that I have mental self-flagellation down to some sort of art form. Especially when it comes to my body. I am constantly speaking words of disgust about the way I look. It was at the water slide park that I had an aha! moment. Out of all the Mom’s that were there, I would say I only saw one woman who would have qualified as thin in our cultures standards. another 15 percent or so that were not skinny but seemed in really good shape and closer to a healthy average. another 25 percent were probably about my size, on the pudgy side, around a size 12. and the rest were even heavier than I am and I would say that 85 percent of the Moms that I saw carried a bit of extra pudge on their tummy! I have been beating myself up for years over that extra tummy pudge that I started to carry after my 3rd was born. Every time I would see it, I would wrinkle up my nose in disgust. I looked at my pudgy belly in a new light at the water park. All that pudge is evidence of all the battles I have endured in my life. 5 c-sections, and other stomach surgeries, a failed marriage, a hard childhood. My tummy is where it is all stored. My battle scars! I am a warrior! Strong, resilient, enduring. My body deserves my compassion and respect instead of derision. So what if I am no longer the size 1 of my youth! Since then, I have decided to speak truth and compassion when I see myself. “You are strong. You are beautiful the way you are. You deserve to be taken care of. You don’t need to hold on to the pain any longer. It’s okay to let go.” I don’t know if I will ever be thin again. And for the first time, I am okay with that. I will continue to nourish my body with healthy foods and exercise, and relaxing activity. And be at peace whether I lose weight or not. It is a legacy that our girls need to inherit.