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July 23, 2014
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Body "before" and "afters": The honest truth | Moms

I don’t really get to watch Good Morning America often, but the other day I happened to be in the living room when a segment came on discussing a blog post a new mom had written.

Naturally, as a fellow mom blogger, I tuned in.

Entitled, “Beauty After Baby: The Honest Truth,” the post was about one woman’s conflicted feelings on loving her new 8-week old son, but hating her post-baby body, and the discussion on the GMA panel was about the mixed reviews the woman had received in response to her blog.

Ignoring the fact that someone needs to tell this emotional, sleep-deprived woman that your body does not just bounce back 5 seconds after giving birth, I started thinking about how crazy this whole “post baby body/pre-baby body” terminology is.

I mean, should all women who have given birth really have our bodies defined in the scopes of B.B. and A.B. (Before Baby and After Baby)?

Pregnancy and childbirth are monumental events in a woman’s life, but monumental events aren’t exclusive to women who have given birth.

And they’re certainly not legitimate ways to measure our bodies’ passages through time.

If they are, then why not take it a step farther and include anyone who has gone through a big, life-changing event?

For tweens and teens we could measure their experience by B.P. and A.P (Before Puberty and After Puberty). Also known as, “The Awkward Years.”

For married folks, I suggest B.M. and A.M. (Before Marriage and After Marriage) – ‘Cause let’s be honest, things start to change once you have someone locked down.

Heck, in college, I even briefly experienced BB&J and AB&J body (Before Ben and Jerry’s and After Ben and Jerry’s).

This was caused by the copious consumption of ice cream, which may or may not have been the result of a particularly stressful finals week.

So I just think this whole concept of quantifying our experiences by the “before’s” and “after’s” of our body is kind of ridiculous.

Why not just accept that your body is your body, regardless of whatever ringer you’ve been put through?

Don’t get me wrong: I think it is completely legitimate to try and get healthier and fit, or to want to look better in a swimsuit. Maybe you want to get stronger and have more stamina.

But regardless of the shape it is in, ultimately you only get one body.

My body today is the same one I was born in; it’s the same one that walked me to my first day of kindergarten; and the same one that took me across the stage to accept my Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

It is the body I walked down the aisle in and pledged to my husband.

And, yes, it is the one that has nurtured and carried all four of my children.

So over the course of all of that, has my body changed? You betcha.

And I’m OK with that.

Because my body is just a vessel. It is what I have to carry me through this life, it does not define my life.

My body will constantly change. It might get fatter, it might get skinnier. It will (God-willing) become old and wrinkled. One day, it will even be put in the ground.

So why would I quantify my life by the changes it goes through?

I want my life to be defined by who I am – the experiences I have; the friends I make; the people I love.

Because I know that for all of the “before’s” and “after’s” that we can see reflected in the shape and size of our bodies, it is the life lived between those shifting shapes that tells the real story.


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The News-Review Updated Jul 30, 2014 09:05AM Published Jul 31, 2014 09:30AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.