I've never been one of those girls who is stick skinny and I've never been fat. I'm just sort of there. I'm not super muscular or super fat. I've got areas of each. Like most girls, I've never been totally comfortable with my body and have spent way too much time caring about it in a negative way (even a minute or two would have been too much). I knew that having kids would change my body, but I had no idea how.

Before I got pregnant with Lauren, I had undiagnosed celiac disease and that is the only time in my life that I was super skinny. I ate so much and my diet was approximately 50% fat but my intestines were so ruined that my body just couldn't absorb anything. We found out that I had celiac disease and I started to get better. A few months later I got pregnant with Lauren. By 40 weeks pregnant, I had only gained 17 pounds and about a week after Lauren was born, I looked like my old self again.

With Elyse, I gained that same 17 pounds again... and then once more. Having to take care of a two year old while being pregnant was totally different. I ran until I was 8 months pregnant and I know that helped but I was fine with gaining some weight. I'm not planning on having any more babies so I might as well eat like this is the last time.

Well, after Elyse came out, my body didn't just bounce back in the same way. I was busy taking care of both of the girls and any down time that I had found me crashed on the couch rather than motivated to go for a run. Then there I was, one day, looking in the mirror and I started poking and prodding at lumps and bumps that I didn't want there when Lauren wandered in. I have always promised myself that I will not project any of my own thoughts about my body onto my girls and I looked down at her, gazing up at me with her big blue eyes. What did she see? She saw a mom who dances with her to any song that comes on the TV, a mom who pushes her high in the sky on the swing at the park and a mom who gives her dozens of hugs and whispers that she loves her all throughout the day. Lauren sees a body that allows me to play, dance and be with her. She loves my body for that reason and I need to follow her lead.

So, for Lauren, I will face my nemesis, the bathing suit, and put it on so that I can chase her around the pool as she tries to jump into the deep end and bury her in the sand on the beach. While I am playing with her, I won't even care that I am wearing a bathing suit. I won't have time to care. She will keep me blissfully unaware of my perceived deficiencies because who has time for that when they are running after a streaking two year old who can sprint down the sand like an Olympic athlete?

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