The numbers are ugly, if not hideous. I wake up every morning and dredge into the bathroom and peer down at that glowing blue screen.
It usually wavers between 156 pounds and 162 pounds. I never know which lucky number I'll roll.
I weighed 162 pounds when I delivered my first born.
I look in the mirror with heavy eyes. Pale, pasty, freckled skin stares back at me. Thin stretch marks adorn my hips and thighs. My belly button is misshapen. My stomach pudges out like I'm in the early stages of pregnancy. Most mornings I just close my eyes. Who is this person in the mirror?
I was once this toothpick of a girl with not a curve to be found, and not an imperfection to be seen.
Or at least my mind seems to think so.
Those imperfect curves? They first appeared around the time he fell in love with me. They remind me of the first dates, and the joy of our new love.
My stretch mark adorned butt? As glorious as it sounds, I bet it would make the top ten list on reasons my husband loves me.
That misshapen belly button? It was once attached to an umbilical cord that provided nutrients and oxygen to our daughter for 41 long weeks.
The freckles on my skin? They first appeared on those summer days spent in the hayfield. The summer days that made me who I am today. The same days that made me the woman my husband loves.
The faded stretch lines along my hips? I'm not sure when they appeared. Sometime between the night time romps and the labor of love which yielded our daughter, they became a fact of my life.
The stomach pudge I resent so much? My husband adores. He kisses my stomach daily, praying for the day that he can feel life kicking inside it again.
The muffin top I dread? He wraps his arms around it and pulls me closer to him. His touch melts those things I despise, if only for a moment.
Many days I find it difficult to accept my body. I just drape it in lose clothing, and hope no one notices. I pray no one pays attention to me.
Today though? I know that this body's scars and stripes are not imperfections, but marks of the love we share. He first loved me because of those freckles and the life behind them. He loves me now because I am the mother to his child, his sole mate, and his best friend.
This body. Those pounds. That stretch mark. He loves.
And that? Is beautiful.