When it comes to my physical scars, I was letting them hold me back or keep me from feeling comfortable in my own skin.
This half marathon training has really opened my eyes and taught me a lot about my body and my abilities. It's even deepened my relationship with the Lord.
I'm sure I'll talk more about that later, but today, I want to talk about a moment that was pivotal for me, during this training journey.
I was in the bathtub one night (my favorite place to be with sore legs/muscles) and I was just thinking about all that my body was accomplishing. It was the first time (outside of my 2 pregnancies) that I was really proud of what my body was doing. I was thankful that the Lord was allowing my body to do what it is doing.
I was looking at my C-section scar and my stretch marks and thinking about all the ways my body looks different after babies. Instead of hating on those things and being discouraged, I was proud. That might seem simple to you, but for me it was big. I've been proud of my body before but I still had things I thought "but I'd still like to......." when it came to physical achievements or goals.
In the past, I would be proud of achievements or accomplishments in my health/fitness, but it would be in spite of the scars and changes. "Yeah, I now I did that, but I still have this ugly scar that will never go away......or these stretch marks that I wish were gone.......or the saggy places that I wish were firmer." The difference this time is that I'm thankful and proud BECAUSE of them.
I'm a 33 year old Mom of two toddlers. I've had 2 pregnancies and 2 C-sections. I've breastfed two babies for a total of 2 years. I've gained and lost a total of 40 pounds, between my two pregnancies, over a 4 year window. Yet, here I sit running weekly mileage I NEVER thought I'd run. Weeks out from a race that was something only the "super strong" could accomplish and something I'd secretly admired about people and desired to do, but always afraid to attempt.
I am so stinkin' proud and thankful that in the midst of all the "limitations" I feel like I can have, I'm training for a half marathon!!!!!! I'm getting up EARLY to get my runs in, so I'm not sacrificing family time to do it. I'm running in the mornings and still being Mom and Wife during the day. (I might be a bit more tired and sore, but hey, I'm still winning at life)
From that Epsom salt bath forward, I've changed my outlook. Instead of being critical and bummed about scars or physical changes, I'm PROUD.
I'm proud because:
- My C-section scar gave me my 2 littlest blessings.
- My stretch marks and saggy areas allowed me to grow and carry our kids during 2 healthy and miraculous pregnancies. They also allowed me to bond and provide nutrition for both my kids while they were babies.
- My legs are carrying me through my training plan, allowing me to run almost 25 miles in a week's time.
- My body has already done miraculous and amazing things, and God is allowing it to do it again. I'm meeting amazing goals and milestones I always admired about others and I'm gaining strength (both physically and spiritually) that I so desperately needed, without even knowing it.
During my training, I've lost some of my muscle mass, but I've also gained muscles in other places, and toned up areas I had trouble toning before. Outside of my 2 pregnancies, births, recoveries, and breastfeeding, I've never been more proud of my body or thankful. I feel like super woman every week time after time and I simply love seeing what my body can do - pushing it and achieving BIG things. It has boosted my self esteem immensely and I truly won't be the same after. It's challenged my body and strength and outlook. It's grown my relationship with the Lord and challenged me to dig deeper, relying solely on His strength many times.
It's all about how we look at it. How we allow those scars to affect us. How we let those limitations impact our attitude and actions.
Are you going to let your scars effect you positively or negatively? Focus not on what they've done TO you, but what they did FOR you.