Many of us will admit to being unhappy about some aspect of our bodies – we’re so damn hard on ourselves, and everything is perpetuated in an age of selfies and social media.
When someone points our perceived flaws out to us, however, it can really sting – but it can also be a cathartic exercise.
This turned out to be the case recently for Katie Reed, a mother to three young sons, and a blogger at It's A Mother Thing.
In a post entitled ‘What I Learned When My Five-Year-Old Called Me Fat’, Katie addressed how a hurtful experience actually left her feeling empowered and inspired.
Acknowledging that she has had what she describes as a ‘mom bod’ since welcoming her children, Katie admitted that she always took a positive attitude to her figure – but she was left seriously questioning that after her son, Dexter, called her ‘fat’.
Recalling the incident, she wrote: “As I bent over to kiss his forehead, Dexter started laughing. I asked him what was so funny. He said, ‘Mommy you look like you’re having a BABY!...Don’t worry. It’s just ’cause your belly is so FAT!’”
The comment sent her ‘mind racing’, and she found herself reflecting on her attitude towards her weight and body.
“Just because I don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there,” she said, of the ‘pounds she piled on’ following her pregnancies and subsequent health complications.
Above all else, Katie became worried; worried that her three sons may grow up to become ‘those guys’ who call a fellow classmate ‘fat’. So she decided to do something about it.
After picking up a bikini in her local department store, Katie slipped it on and asked her sons to take photos of her. She then uploaded the actual photos (showing how she really looked) alongside Photoshopped versions depicting how she thought she looked. And she was shocked.
“The reality hit hard. I wanted to cry. I wanted to delete the photos. I wanted to put on a cover-up and run back inside. Most of all, I wanted not to care…I was at war with myself. I saw only my cellulite, my lumps and bumps, my body that was so far removed from what I thought it was,” she wrote of her reaction.
As upsetting as the experience was, once Katie got over the initial shock and upset, she decided to take the power back and ‘celebrate her body for what it is now’.
“Ladies, I GREW HUMANS! From SCRATCH! So while I know that I need to lose some weight to better my health, I am going to work very hard to remember that this is the body I have. It’s a miracle. It’s beautiful. And it is the example for my boys of what one version of a ‘real woman’ is,” she wrote.
We’re sure there are plenty of mums out there who will be inspired by Katie’s experience.