Here is your daily dose of body acceptance and self appreciation:
After becoming a mom of fraternal twins, I have never been more self assured in the fact that bodies are just made to be different. Plain and simple.
My boys were born one minute apart. Sixty seconds.
They received the same nutrients in utero. They received the same breast milk. Yet, they grew differently.
James is my oldest twin. He was born a pound and six ounces bigger than his brother. He gains, and still does gain, pounds much more rapidly than his brother. He developed plenty of yummy rolls on his arms, legs, torso, etc. He’s remained half an inch taller since birth.
John was born second. He was my tiny guy. His weight gain is steady, but still above the national average. He’s developed less rolls, but they’re still just as yummy. He’s long and lean and he’s got legs for days.
James was in twelve month clothing by six months old. Currently, at 8 months, he’s in eighteen month clothing. John remained in three-six month clothing until about 7 months. Currently, at eight months, he’s in six-nine month clothing.
If I asked you who you thought ate more, I bet you would say James. Because he’s bigger. But, you would be wrong. John out-eats James 9 out of 10 times. James’ appetite has leveled out. John’s has increased. We assumed we’d see James start to slim out and John bulk up. But, no. James maintains his tall and bulky stature while John remains long and lean.
If I asked you who you thought was more active, I bet you’d say John. But you’d be wrong about that, too. While John did hit a lot of his movement milestones early, they have both been equally as active in the last two months. Equally as active and equally as capable of reaching and surpassing milestones, both mentally and physically. Equally capable of wearing this mama out. No matter their outward appearance.
Babies know nothing about over-eating or under-eating. They listen to their bodies and they fuel it based on its needs. Babies know nothing about calorie deficits and exercise. They move because they want to and because it feels good when their little bodies learn to do new things.
And though they’re born one minute apart, their bodies could not look more different. Because they are different humans. They have different genetic make up. Their bodies are forming and growing into strong and healthy machines. They are growing perfectly according to how they were made and knitted together in my womb. But those machines do appear different. And we couldn’t be prouder of these different bodies and what they’re becoming.
My message to you? You have different genetic make up, too (unless you’re an identical twin). Your body is growing, or has grown, perfectly in accordance to how you were made and knitted together in your mama’s womb.
You could eat exactly the same as the person next you and your body will probably still look different. My twins do. You could do the same exercises as the person next to you and your body will probably still look different. My twins do.
I’ve felt that disappointment. I’ve tried eating what this influencer said they eat and I’ve tried doing the workouts that this model said she did, but my body is tall and thick. I never end up looking the way they do. And I accepted that long ago.
My postpartum body doesn’t look the way other women’s might, either. The genetics of my skin is different than that of others. My skin was left with stretch marks. Other postpartum women may not have that. My tummy skin hangs and I have to tuck it into my pants. Other women may not experience that. And I’m in the process of accepting that.
I get to watch my boys grow every single day. And they’re growing into different individuals, both outwardly and inwardly. Having fraternal twins has actually boosted my confidence and self acceptance. My two babies were grown together for 9 months and then born one minute apart and their bodies couldn’t be more different. They eat the same meals and do the same activities.
But bodies were made to be different.
So I encourage you to take on the mentality that I’ve been lucky enough to experience everyday watching these babies: the mentality you were born with before you started experiencing and listening to society.
Have no concept of over or under eating. Listen to your body. Eat because it gives you fuel. Eat because it tastes good. Eat because your body needs food to function properly.
Have no concept of calorie deficits or exercise. Move your body because you want to. Try new types of exercises or movement because you enjoy it. And because it’s fun to see your body do new things.
Comparison really is the thief of all joy. Can I share some truth with you? Don’t kill yourself to look like her. It’s fair to say you may not attain that goal. Your body was made to be different. That’s the truth. Your body is beautifully and wonderfully made. Your genetic make up is special because it is unique to you.
Just like my twins, your body may look different, but you are equally capable of achieving and reaching goals you set. The way your body looks does not make you any less worthy.
I’d hate to live in a world where we all look the same. None of us are programmed to look identical (again, unless you’re an identical twin). Relish in your body that is different. Strut in your body that is different. Dance, rejoice, laugh, run, sing, live in your body that is different. Different and ever-changing.
Because different is just what bodies are meant to be. And isn’t that a wonderful thing?