Why I love my mom body? That's a long, but worthy story.
Something pretty traumatic happened to me in 1997. It was the first time I remember feeling less-than when it came to my self image and my body. That year I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Alopecia, which quickly progressed into the most severe form called Alopecia Universalis. I went from a long haired blond 19 year old to losing every hair on my body in 6 months... no hair on my head, eye lashes, leg hair (I loved that part), you name it... GONE! It took me many years, therapy, and antidepressants to face the fact that my hair wasn't coming back. I came to terms with looking different and moved on with my life.
Then I got married and we had a son together. I was so in love with my new bundle of joy and my growing family, but I couldn't help but feel less-than again because my body resembled a partially deflated hot air balloon that a tiger had a fight with. I was bald, saggy and covered in stretch marks. I honestly didn't think I would ever learn to love my body again. Over the next 9 years, I hid behind people in pictures, got dressed in the bathroom turned away from the mirror, wore baggy clothes and so on. You know how many moments with my son I removed myself from because I felt I wasn't pretty because of my mom-bod? #countless! This rare picture was from our first big vacation as a family. We spent a week there and I think this is the only picture of me from that trip. It's make me so sad now thinking back on how much I missed out on because of how I felt about my body.
In 2016 as I was sitting in my car on my lunch break I saw a picture of myself at a party on social media. I didn't recognize myself, and not because of my weight (that didn't help) or lack of hair, but more so because I realized that I forgot who I was, you know the real me - the fun, spontaneous mom that used to do all sorts of fun things and laughed often. I looked at myself in the rear view mirror and said to myself "enough Eenika!" I had already overcome so much so why was I wasting so much time and energy worrying about what others thought of me or how I looked. My son and husband loved me for who I was and they deserved to have the best version of me.
To test my faith in this new mindset I had, I challenged myself. I bought a bikini for the first time since middle school and I vowed to wear it on vacation in Jamaica no matter what I looked like. That mindset shift was everything for me. I spent months looking at it and dreading it, but a promise is a promise! Then the day came, I put on the bikini and walked to the beach and dropped the towel around my body. The moment arrived. I had did it and you know what, it wasn't scary at all once it was done!
I rocked that bathing suit all week and have no regrets. Sure some people may judge quietly, but my body created life, it went through trauma, and it came out the other side victoriously so who cares what they think!
Now I view my stretch marks as my battle wounds like a brave warrior. I earned each and every one and I'm so proud of them! My saggy skin reminds me how dedicated I was and how hard I had worked to eat healthier and focus on MY happiness, not anyone else's. And for my bald body... It just let's people see me for who I am beyond the distraction of a new hair cut.
I'm me and I love my mom-bod. Sure it's saggy and bald, but I've never been happier!
If you'd like to learn more about my journey to self-discovery and happiness, please visit my blog https://www.eenikacruz.com/busy-does-it