Because I am a wellness advocate, most people have an image in mind of what my life looks like: what foods are in my pantry, how regimented my workout routine is, what my body looks like, what products I use.
Some of their notions are correct: I consume foods that are mainly plant-based and I opt for as few hard-to-name ingredients as possible in my self-care routine and around the house (simple works better for me, and the planet).
But there are some things about myself that go against the status quo, and although I’m a firm believer in keeping certain things sacred, there are others that are just better lived out loud!
1. I have gray hairs!
On my 25th birthday, I woke up ready to celebrate in style. I spent the day trying on various outfits and lipsticks, all in anticipation of the night’s festivities. While styling my short, curly hair, I spotted something that looked like a random piece of lint. I tried pulling it out of my hair ... but it didn’t budge. I went in closer and saw that it was imbedded in my scalp.
My first gray hair! After the shock kicked in, I immediately pulled it out. But as aggressively as I plucked, it grew back, with friends. Over the years I continued to pluck and bleach my hair in an effort to hide something that was inevitable.
Eventually I stopped bleaching, and then after the birth of my daughter, I cut my hair off and decided to let my gray shine! Now, my gray somewhat resembles a Cruella de Vil-esque strip that perfectly lays the foundation for an amazing side part. I, or a stylist, couldn’t have designed it better!
2. I have stretch marks!
Speaking of pregnancy and childbirth, huge changes occur when your child arrives. Your vision of love grows, your perspective on life changes, and for some, so does your body.
It’s a lot to take in all at once, and feeling overwhelmed is certainly normal, but looking at my naked self in the mirror again took some getting used to. I felt like the entire front of my body had stretched. I thought the "me" from before wasn’t going to fit in — or accept — my new skin.
Then I reminded myself I had been gifted with the most amazing thing nature could offer a woman: a child. I had no control over the stretch marks, but I did have total control over my thoughts about them. I am a whole woman, a mature, healthy mother with stretch marks who happily wears a bikini!
In my journey through wellness, I can say without a doubt that the ultimate key to divine health is not how long you work out every day, how vigorously you count calories, or how good you look. Rather, the key is to understand that you were made perfectly as you are.
No search on the outside will provide you the fulfillment that loving yourself will. Once you accept yourself, even as a work in progress, you'll find fewer things to cover up about the authentic beauty that is you!
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