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?
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