This Is My “Before” Photo, and I Am In Love With It

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I am not pregnant.

I just like cookies, and bagels, and butter chicken.

This is my “before” picture.

This is the picture that captures the woman I am today.

A mother of three. A wife to a husband who adores me and calls me sexy. A writer. A friend. A daughter.
This is me.

I asked my husband to take a “before” picture. The photo of me before I start my weight loss journey. Before I start to make wiser decisions about what I eat and how I move my body.

“Don’t smile you’re supposed to look miserable,” my husband joked.

But am I? Am I miserable? DO I HATE MYSELF AND MY BODY?

Sometimes.

But that’s not what I want to remember about this moment. It’s not what I want to remember about the “before”.

Yes, a change is a needed. I want to lose weight. I want to feel healthier, stronger, and fitter.

But I also want to remember before. I want to remember my round belly that appears to be carrying a baby, but is just evidence that I carried three very large babies in my tiny 4 foot 11 inch body.

Nearly 26 pounds, the combined birth weight of MY THREE DAUGHTERS, were contained inside of me.

I want to remember these arms. They look out of shape, but they are strong. They can carry a 45 pound five-year-old with ease. They can lift my 35 pound three-year-old above my head, swinging her around. They have rocked and cradled my infant many days and nights.

I want to remember my legs. The legs that were once thick with muscle when I ran each day in high school. These legs that have chased defiant children through the mall. Legs that have pumped high in the air on a swing, both as a child and as a mother, always carefree, my head tilted back to the sky.

And I want to remember this brain. The brain that has told me, “You deserve this treat, your day was hard.” The brain that has said, “You’re worthless and ugly.” I want to remember this brain, the one that has ruled my thoughts and my life, through the good and the bad.

This is my “before”. My body is a vessel, and this year I haven’t treated it the way it deserves.

I want to treat my body with respect and dignity, while also remembering that this “before” picture does not symbolize a rock bottom, or lesser version of myself.

I am me and I AM BEAUTIFUL.

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

This post originally appeared on Brianna Bell Writes

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