Reconciling with my changed body is a work in progress and I have worked hard to be kind and accepting to my mid-thirty figure.

But what is it about a camera lens that takes hard fought for inner peace and turns it into unwavering doubt.

My daughter snapped this shot while I was immersed in yoga and trying to get my mental health on straight. When she showed it to me I nearly gagged.

I couldn’t help but wonder: what happened to my body?

I spent an embarrassing amount of time zooming in and out, analyzing my midsection from multiple angles all while working to convince myself that it did not resemble a busted can of biscuits.

Image Credit: Rebel Housewife Blog

I kept looking.

And looking.

Then I realized what had happened.

This body survived trauma.

This body overcame an eating disorder.

This body carried and birthed five beautiful babies.

This body kept going when mental illness told it to stop.

That’s what happened.

Maybe to some (including myself from time to time) I look like I’ve let myself go by putting on some weight.

And I guess I have let myself go.

But in truth I’m lighter.

I have let go of the weight of overwhelming shame, constant fear, and all-consuming doubt.

It’s not the same body it was 40 pounds ago and neither am I.

So if you are like me and cringe at your reflection, look again.

And again.

Spend an embarrassing amount of time looking.

Until you see it.

That your body is beautiful exactly how it is because it tells the story of all your yesterdays and that, warrior, is a story worth telling.

But more than that, it is a story worth living.

This post originally appeared on Facebook. It has been reprinted with permission.

Sara Springer is a storyteller, child wrangler, mental health advocate and co-founder of Love Will Foundation, depression and anxiety warrior, yoga enthusiast and a staunch practitioner of sarcasm. She blogs about these things on occasion on The Rebel Housewife, but you are more likely to find her in her Instagram stories because as a writer, she does not find much time to actually write.

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