Amie, the author of our bi-weekly Mommy’s Inside Voice column, is a mother of three growing boys. (Photo submitted)

Mommy’s Inside Voice: The self-love struggle

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a bi-weekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three.

One week into my diet and I’m struggling.

Scratch that, I’m not supposed to call it a diet.

It’s a “healthy eating initiative” in which I have no desire to change my body because I already love myself regardless of the way I look.

Did that sound better?

The past several years have been really cool as far as body positivity. There are so many incredible role models coming forward for both men and women, such as Megan (BodyPosiPanda), January Harshe and Constance Hall.

They are incredible women, brave women. Women that have done so much for the entire world, really.

They are battling. They are at the front lines, telling people where to stick their opinions and closed minds.

They pose in their undies. They flash their cellulite. They dance it out and get that jiggle wave going.

They do all of that to show us that our bodies aren’t something to be ashamed of. To show us that we aren’t “gross.” We aren’t “freaks” or “disgusting” or “ugly.”

We are just people. Just normal people with bodies and stories and feelings and lives. Humility.

I love it.

I have so much respect for them, for that courage and for that message. I have so much appreciation for the path that they’re paving but I still feel shame. I feel shame because I don’t love myself. I haven’t found that peace, that they have. I haven’t accepted that message for myself.

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I think I’m a good person. Actually, I think I’m a great person.

If I wasn’t me, I would want to be friends with me.

I’m romantic and supportive. I bake some killer chocolate doughnuts, I tell dumb jokes that sometimes make people smile. I have good boobs and pretty eyes and my eyebrow-drawing skills are second to none. I’m loyal, I’m good at puzzles, and I will always tell you the truth (just sugar-coated enough to make it bearable).

Yet, still no self-love.

Looking in the mirror is hard for me. The cellulite on my thighs makes me cringe and the idea of being in a bathing suit causes days worth of anxiety. I’m not comfortable in most of my clothing and tug at my T-shirt if it touches my mummy-tummy.

I avoid looking at my reflection in windows, I wear two pairs of Spanx – yes two – anytime it’s not appropriate for me to wear a gigantic hoodie or jacket.

I doubt myself.

I doubt compliments from my husband. I doubt my reactions to situations. I doubt my voice, and it’s validity to the world.

You see, life hasn’t always been so easy on me. I’ve survived bullying. Horrendous, hide-away, suicide thoughts, type of bullying. I’ve been called fat, ugly, worthless.

I’ve been told I’m not enough. Not talented enough, not small enough, not pretty enough.

I have survived abuse. Physical, emotional, and sexual.

I have been cheated on, dumped, heartbroken and humiliated.

But I have survived.

That in itself is pretty incredible. I have gone through all of that and I weathered it like a champ!

I coped the best that I could. I found peace where I was able and let the rest go, enough to keep truckin’. Sometimes I ate for comfort, sometimes I ate for celebration. I learned, I grieved and I burnt bridges, built bridges, and flew over bridges.

I’m still here. And though I’m not where I want to be yet, I’m learning to appreciate the journey and the point I’m at in it. I’m learning that the whole idea behind what those incredible women are doing and saying is not to compare.

Not to compare to the 90 pound model in the magazine. Not to compare to my mother in law. And not to compare to them, the “bopo queens.”

So, here I am.

Telling you – all of you – in the middle of your “self-love” journey, that I’m right there with you.

That I feel shame. Shame for my downfalls and my failures. Shame that I’m not always the person that I want to be, and shame that I don’t love myself as much as I “should.”

But I also feel pride. Pride for all that I have survived. Pride for the lessons that I have taken out of bad situations. And pride for the acknowledgement that I’m giving myself for being on my way towards where I want to be.

Hats off to us babes. We are alive, and kickin’, despite everything that has fought for the opposite.

We rock, no matter what point we’re at in our adventure towards being comfy with our pudgy bellies out.

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a bi-weekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three.


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