Sometimes (okay, like every time I take a shower) I just stare at myself naked in the mirror and wonder what the hell happened.
I mean I know what actually happened - four kids and a sweet tooth. But still. It's amazing to me just how much my physique has changed over the years. I want to travel back in time and slap the hell out of my eighteen-year-old self for ever, ever criticizing my pre-baby body. I want to say, "Hey, eighteen-year-old self! Look at your smooth skin. Notice the glorious lack of stretchmarks. Squeeze those perky boobs and notice how they stay in the same place instead of flopping back down over your rib cage. Nothing is baggy or sagging. Buy the cute underwear! Wear the bikini! Take the naked pictures! You'll thank me someday!"
Instead, when I was eighteen, I was unnecessarily anxious over a practically-nonexistent muffin top and the fact that my boobs were small. I never dreamed that someday my muffin top would be, like, a bread loaf ... and that my tiny ta-tas were in fact big enough to deflate and droop despondently toward my belly button like water balloons full of room-temperature Jell-O. They're so flat I can fold them in half. FOLD THEM. IN HALF. You can't do that with the round, bouncy boobies of youth. No sir.
And my stomach? Folds of skin for days. Enough stretchmarks to circle the earth approximately three times. My abs are actually not bad, but you'd never know it because they're trapped beneath a flab-blanket brought on by the gestation of four kids who don't even care that they wrecked my beautiful bod. The ingrates. They just say things like, "What are all those lines for?" and "Why do your boobies look sad?"
Here is the part where I'm supposed to bring in the "but" (and I don't mean the one behind me that's falling and dimpled). I mean the BUT: my body may be jacked up, BUT I'm proud of it. BUT I love it. BUT it has given me four beautiful healthy children.
Some days, though, it's hard to feel glad when you know you once had something, and you didn't appreciate it at all, and now you can never get it back. At least not without a bazillion dollars in plastic surgery.
Anybody wanna float me a loan?