Laura Mazza shared a Side-by-side Comparison of her body before Kids and After Kids, and after, with a message we all need to hear.
The vast majority of us struggle with body image issues every single day. We see our reflection in the mirror and wish for something different- something more defined, or maybe with less jiggle. As someone who has, and continues to battle with how I see myself, I can tell you I honestly know how it feels.
So when I came across Mum on the Run and saw this unbelievably inspiring post, I knew I had to share it with as many people as I could. If her words found a way to turn a perception as distorted as mine into something that sees beauty when I look in the mirror, then I know it has to have a positive affect on others as well.
Laura Mazza is a bold mother of two who is no stranger to facing struggles in life. Since the age of 16 she has battled with anxiety and depression, and most recently, post natal depression. On August 28, 2016, she shared this photo, which isn’t a before and after of weight loss, “but it is a victory story.”
Laura begins by sharing her thoughts on the image on the left, and how most people wouldn’t object to seeing someone with a physique like that, dressed in that way.
“No stretch marks or scars from belly button piercings. A belly button that was high. A flat stomach. I was always on a diet back then. And this was the best diet I went on. I used to take photos of my progress. Uploading this photo wouldn’t be bad, it’s like me being in a bikini. It’s socially acceptable.”
She says she achieved the body on the left by eating mostly meat, and avoiding carbs. Although she ended up feeling a hatred towards meat and experienced frequent heartburn, Laura thought it balanced out somehow.
“But I loved it because I was losing weight rapidly and the more bones that protruded the more I valued myself.” She went on to say, “I remember people asking me what my exercise routine was… They admired me. I admired me! I was so proud.”
LAURA GOES ON TO EXPLAIN THE OTHER PHOTO, AND WHAT SHE, AND OTHERS, LIKELY SEE:
“On the right is me now. Stretch marks. A droopy belly button. Thicker, not many bones protruding, but more dimples that represent cellulite. People don’t want to see this photo. All of a sudden it’s not okay. It’s not pleasing to the eye anymore. It’s not a body to be admired.”
Yes, there are scars and stretch marks, and the tummy has some jiggle to it. But it’s because she “made humans.”
“I made mug cakes at 9pm and snuggled on the couch with my husband. But for some reason, I didn’t love this body. It’s sad.”
She’s right, it is sad. Laura was ashamed of her new body, despite her friends and family reminding her “you’ve only got one” and you’ve got to love it. Even though she wasn’t healthy or happy when she was thinner, she wanted to be back to that body type. Then, something ignited a spark within her soul that cause Laura to share these inspiring words:
“But you know what? I have achieved more with this body, then I have with my old body. I’ve eaten more good foods. I’ve lived more, I’ve given more, I’ve enjoyed more. I’ve made life. This body, THIS body should be celebrated and admired.
I SHOULD ADMIRE MYSELF. I SHOULD LOVE MYSELF.
I get it now. Celebrating all body types. All body types and the stories that go with that body. Above all, THE person should be celebrated. Healthy bodies should be celebrated. Healthy should be what we strive for. Healthy minds, healthy journey’s and however that reflects on to our bodies, we should admire it.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. You know what this sounds like to me? The points of living life, celebrating every individual shape and size, appreciating people and their stories, and admiring however our lives and journeys physically reflect on our bodies? That sounds like Universal Love, and we need more of it.
We need to be kind to ourselves, especially because we are around ourselves all of the time. How easy do the words, “that was dumb,” or “I look fat,” roll off our metaphorical tongue when we speak to ourselves? Maybe those two phrases aren’t your personal choice of negative inner-speak, but you get my point. It’s too easy, and too often we say things to ourselves that we would never say to someone we care about.
Yes, trying to live a healthy life and eat healthy foods are important- there’s no doubt about that. But don’t define yourself by your diet and exercise regimen, or by “how far your bones protrude” because that’s not who you are- that’s merely a part of your story.
Laura Mazza has given all of us something to think about, and ends her beautiful message by saying these words:
“NO MATTER WHAT SIZE YOU ARE, A SIZE 6 OR SIZE 60, YOU DESERVE TO CELEBRATE IT. SO LOVE YOUR BODY, BECAUSE YOU TRULY REALLY REALLY, ONLY GET ONE! (IN THIS LIFE ANYWAY)”