84. My Mom Called Me Sexy and I Agree

84. My Mom Called Me Sexy and I Agree

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

My Mom Called Me Sexy and I Agree

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

~Thomas Edison

My seventy-three-year-old, stroke-surviving, cancer-surviving mom called me sexy as I walked into her hospital room, and it felt damn good.

I laughed as soon as I heard it. She laughed, too. We hugged and kissed, and then I took a seat on an uncomfortable chair in her room — feeling sexy as ever.

Do you know what I had on? Shorts, flip-flops, and a tank top. Nothing fancy. Just something I threw on so I could get things done that day. But do you know what made my mom call me sexy? My confidence. My head held high, the stride in my steps, the smile on my face.

When my mom saw all of that, she realized that I was comfortable in my own skin. I know that realization made her happy. It makes me happy, too.

This road to self-love hasn’t been easy. As a matter of fact, it’s been downright hard. Exhausting. Discouraging at times. But here I stand, after thirty-seven years on this earth, and I feel good about who I am, what I look like, and how I show up in the world. I make no apologies for the way that I laugh, the size of my feet, or the junk in my trunk.

I’ve never been thin. Even when I lost more than 40 pounds in my early twenties and my aunt affectionately referred to me as “skinny mini,” I was still a size 8 or 10. Skinny in my opinion, but not thin enough by some standards. Still, I was happy with the weight loss. I felt good about life.

At just twenty-one years old, I was already familiar with the burden that comes with yo-yo dieting. I tried dieting teas. I joined the gym when we really couldn’t afford it. I ate salads. I tried to avoid eating altogether (that never worked for more than a day). My choices were damaging to say the least. And all I wanted was to feel comfortable in my skin.

There wasn’t a magic number or size. I simply wanted to love my body.

But losing weight didn’t result in lasting confidence. Gaining it back after having two kids definitely didn’t help. The only thing that helped me was having a few deep conversations with God and myself, developing an understanding about what life is really all about.

And now, I get it. I love the woman I’ve become, and I am so grateful my mom sees that. I have a daughter. She’s only three, but I pray that as she gets older, she sees it too. I want her to realize that apologizing for who you are is no way to live. I want her to ignore anyone who has the nerve to make her think she isn’t good enough.

So how do I walk in all this confidence, proud of my hips and thighs? I work at it. Every single day. It’s hard work.

I work out most days of the week. Not because I want to be a size 6, but because I want to live. After giving birth to two kids, I see, with a new set of lenses, how important it is for me to live. After watching my mother suffer a stroke, depression, falls, cancer, and so much more, I see what my future could look like if my health fails.

I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want that for my kids.

And to be honest with you, the notion of feeling bad about a body that was strong enough to complete a marathon and then go on to give birth years later is just stupid.

My advice is simple: Tap into your strength. Think about all the things your body has done for you. All the experiences you’ve had. All the trials you’ve endured. All the people who love you just the way you are.

Then let those thoughts stay with you. Always. Let those thoughts become a daily mantra. Let those thoughts take over.

Thin doesn’t equal healthy or happy. Healthy living equals healthy and happy. It’s really that simple.

Tap into your strength. Think about all the things your body has done for you.

Pray. Go to therapy. Exercise. Sleep well. Say “no” with confidence. Say “yes” with enthusiasm. Spend time with people who lift you up. Have fun. Enjoy life.

My confidence is the root of my joy and that confidence doesn’t come from what I look like. It comes from what I believe about myself.

~Martine L. Foreman

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