Where My Burdens Lay


“Did you lose all your baby weight?” Her question blindsided me.

“Not yet. I have ten pounds to go.” I caught a glimpse of my face in the rear view mirror. I lied. It was way more than ten pounds. The fullness in my cheeks gave the number away.

Where’s the mercy? I pushed out a human less than fourteen days ago. How could my girlfriend ask something so intrusive? Why do women continue to be the harshest critics?

I wanted to stay mad at overzealous Zumba mom. But it didn’t last long. Her interrogation led me to an epiphany. After a long cry, I decided now is the time to quit poking and pinching my body. Now is the time to embrace all of me.

Even if it meant battling unrealistic ideals.

These gross misconceptions stem from the modeling industry. An industry that manipulated the way I saw beauty, and ultimately, the way I saw myself. The biggest hazard of this trade was that I sincerely believed you could never be thin enough, pretty enough, or tall enough.

I’ve come a long way from counting calories and dress sizes. Yes, the days of depriving my body of respect are gone. But the scars still remain.

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I started to treat my body with love. With kindness. How could I carry a little person for nine months and not be in awe of my body?

My celebratory mood may not last forever so I’m going to take advantage of this moment while I can.

In honor of this Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to embrace a different body part of mine for the next seven days. Today, I chose my shoulders. Mostly because my husband loves them and because I love my shoulders, too.

They’ve helped me express indecision better than most words.

Who knows? Maybe there is power in saying things out loud . . . Power in acknowledging that you’re beautiful. Power in coming face to face with the mirror and saying, “I love you.” Even if it’s not super model thin.

What’s your favorite body part? Are you ready to embrace the parts you love instead of hate?


14 thoughts on “Where My Burdens Lay

  1. What an awesome idea! I don’t think I will participate officially, so I will say here that there was a body part that helped me embrace healthier body image–and self image. I really liked my calves. On days I could not believe there was anything else likeable about myself, I held on to that on the idea I’d learn to see the other good things. And I did. 🙂


    1. I like your style, Deborah! Calves are beautiful, even more so for you since you’re a runner. I appreciate the fact that you learned to value other things, too. I’m slowly learning to embrace pieces of me. It will take some time.


  2. Maybeeee she thought you had lost it all! Instead of assuming that she hadn’t! If you only have “near” ten pounds to go after having a baby two weeks ago…. you are doing something right! Or did something right while you were pregnant!!!


    1. It’s possible. Even so, there are certain social graces and etiquette we should follow. Asking a mom who just gave birth 14 days ago if she lost all her weight is completely inappropriate.

      As for doing something right during pregnancy, I wish! I always eat for two and end up gaining more than the recommended amount. Let’s just say, I thoroughly enjoy my pregnancies!


  3. First of all, Anka, congratulations! Second, since this story is for ladies, I will spare everybody by not complying with your fun request. BTW, I had the man-flu last week… :-). Congrats once again!


    1. Thanks, Koji! So glad you stopped by. Not so glad to hear that you suffered the man-flu last week. Hope you’re up and running again. I have a good homemade chicken noodle soup recipe in case you still have the sniffles!


  4. That’s sweet, Anka. You’re beautiful no matter what. Curves are what a woman more exciting. Am I right? Feeling under the weather, so I think I will pass on sharing a body part today. It’s a great idea to honor your body.


    1. If you ask my husband, then YES curves are definitely attractive! And to be honest, I would never want to go back to my twenty year old self. I may not be as tone as I was back then, but I’m definitely way more comfortable in my skin.
      On a side note, congrats on the launch of your new blog. Like you, it looks AMAZING! It was soooo wonderful chatting with you over the phone. Have a great night pretty lady!


      1. I wouldn’t want to go back to my twenties, either! Been there, done that. I could do away with the aches and pains though. I just try to keep in the best shape possible. You look amazing, especially after giving birth just weeks ago! Amazing. You are so sweet, and your compliments really gave me a lot of confidence! I appreciate it soooo much!! We’ll have to chat again. Maybe next time I’m in the area, we can do a face-to-face! Likewise, good night pretty lady!


    1. Maybe we can get that slogan printed on a graphic tee? Just saying. In all seriousness, you know how to shine no matter what Kerry. You’re always full of grace and laughter. Your personality is contagious you know!


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