Not if. Not when. Now.

live.

This past weekend a young friend of mine posted a photo on social media of herself and her four month old daughter on a train ride at the zoo. Her caption began, “I wasn’t going to post this because my first thought was “I am fat.” She then wrote she worked through her doubts because she’s acknowledging motherhood is hard, post baby weight loss is difficult, and postpartum depression is real, but these moments she has with her baby are precious and she wanted to capture it. I am glad she decided to own the photo because it is beautiful in its exquisite spontaneity. 

When our bodies make humans, they go through amazing transformations. We grow babies for nine months, and when these fully formed people arrive, we quickly learn our old selves no longer exist. Our new reality is motherhood: soft bellies, curdled milk, elastic waisted pants, and leaky boobs. The first few months are foggy. Our bodies rebel against us as we cling to these needy little beings who depend on us for their very existence. We try to lose the weight yet the comfort of the couch and a bag of Oreos sing their siren songs while we catch a few quiet moments between feedings. Photos of celebrity and royal mothers quickly bouncing back to pre-baby weight fill our feeds, making us feel unworthy, (even though we know they spend thousands on professional trainers and chefs, and are always on the trendiest diets.) So, we hate on ourselves, on our bodies, on what we think we see when we look in the mirror.

My babies are in their twenties. It has been years since I’ve sung them lullabies or pushed their strollers. I’m way past menopause, yet body image is still a struggle. I look down at my soft belly and sigh as I try to fit into a pair of jeans. I’ve deleted images of myself, thinking I looked fat and old. I’m currently on a weight loss program, but I’ve hit a plateau that is discouraging. Many of my friends are on the same journey. With our childbearing years behind us, we feel our bodies betray us each time we step on the scales. We pluck gray hairs, spend unspeakable amounts of money on “anti-aging” products, and learn how to do the “turtle” with our chins when our pictures are taken. Photos of fit celebrity women in their sixties and seventies fill our feeds, making us feel unworthy, (even though we know they spend thousands on professional trainers and chefs, and haven’t eaten a carb in years.) So, we hate on ourselves, on our bodies, and on what we think we see when we look in the mirror.

So, how do we love ourselves now? Not when we lose the weight or if we go to the gym five days a week. Now. What if we love our bodies for the astonishing things they have done over the years. Yea, those things. Remember? Our miraculous bodies have fought illnesses, birthed and fed babies, worked grueling hours, endured sleepless nights of worry, ran races (often after little ones taking off across playgrounds), built empires (even if they were assembled with Legos), and planned, cooked and cleaned up thousands of meals. How about we love on our alleged “flaws”? What if we see our curves and our wrinkles and our gray hairs as medals of honor? 

I will acknowledge this isn’t an easy task. In fact, it is gargantuan in its heft. We’ve been wired since before adolescence to see our size as our worth. I suggest we take our bodies back. Tell society, those damn Kardashians, every single asshole who has cat-called us, and our mirrors to fuck off. Yup. That’s right. I said it. Fuck off. Let’s own those jeans, our boobs, and the right to see our power. Let’s eat healthy, walk those miles, but enjoy a piece of the damn pie. When we look at a photo of ourselves, let’s not judge. Instead, see the beauty and the strength presenting itself to the world.

Are you with me? Let’s own this shit.

“Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.” – Brene Brown

Years ago when I first viewed these photos, I saw only the double-chins, big thighs, and bellies. Now I see the beauty, the strength, the fierceness. Hallelujah.

Drunk on Love in the Kitchen

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Welcome to Drunk on Love in the Kitchen: Squarespace style.  Blogger was lovely and functional, but it was time to graduate to a cleaner, more professional looking page. I am not quite finished with all of the details; I still need to add email subscriptions, advertisements, and other such work that leads me down to the depths of SEO and keywords hell. I know just enough of this to plunge me into serious woe, and it may take all winter to complete these tasks, but I need to launch today. My Blogger link no longer operates. I am now http://www.drunkinloveinthe.kitchen. I  have a navigation bar which will lead you to past Blogger posts, my blog, and images. I may add one or two links as I continue to work on my site. My idea is to have a separate link for each of my themes, especially food. 

Since I have a new website, I thought I would ponder again the purpose of this blog. What is Drunk on Love in the Kitchen? How does it serve my readers? What does it mean to me? Is it just the ramblings of a frustrated writer? Or the psychotic words of a crazy person?

This blog is an expression of myself. I write because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, but I kept finding excuses. I’m too busy. I’m not a writer. Maybe I suck. Who will read what I write? What self-absorbed nonsense. I’m such a hack. I have more important things to do. Blah. Blah. Blah. I decided after I retired to quash the damn voices in my head. If not now, when? 

And so I write. I write about family, especially the difficulties of parenting grown children. I write about simple joys, everyday life, and really seeing things for the first time. Many of the posts are about my love of baking pies. I’m not a true food blogger; I dwell more about how cooking and baking makes us feel, and the memories a certain recipe can evoke.

Mostly I just write about what’s in my heart. I’m trying to embrace this new life of mine, no longer ruled by bells and piles of papers to grade and twenty minute lunches. It’s about being completely and utterly drunk on love, whether it’s coloring with my granddaughter, laughing with girlfriends, or snuggling with my husband. Through my words I hope to spread that love to my readers, so let’s get drunk on love together! (Shit, I promised myself I would cut down on my overuse of exclamation points…and cussing. Oh, well. Hells bells!)

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” John Barrymore