Loving Your Body

January 26th, 2011

I saw Jamie Riidler's post on Roots of She asking about how your relationship with your body has changed over time and I wanted to respond because I've noticed (and the hubster has noticed too) that since becoming pregnant, I've been more comfortable with my body than ever. I feel strong and powerful. I'm growing and it's a good thing. I'm taking care of myself with regular exercise, and eating well (while still eating chocolate.) I'm wearing clothes that make me feel good. I rub my body with yummy smelling lotions every night. I'm treating myself like the precious being I am.

I have to say that I didn't just start treating myself well because I'm pregnant (although that helped a lot.) I had some good practice in taking good care of myself in the months prior to getting pregnant, when I was deep in grief. Last spring I got pregnant for the first time and had an early miscarriage. I don't know that I've ever felt so heartbroken.

In the days I was going through it, the hubster (who was amazing) said to me, "Please take all the time you need to grieve. Feel sad when you feel sad, don't hold it back." And I really needed to hear that because I can be the type to try to brush things off and/or stuff things down. But this time, with the help of the permission I felt, I grieved and felt sad when I was sad. I also greatly simplified my life and felt intuitively that what I needed to do was to focus on self-care.

One of the things I did for myself was to get up early (because of the summer heat) 4-5 days a week and run. I'd been jogging off and on previously, nothing consistent, but during the summer, it became like medicine to me. Now this may not sound like self-care to some folks, but for me, it was. It helped to be out in nature, moving, breathing, and putting one foot in front of the other. So simple. I could manage this putting one foot in front of the other. I'd come home red-faced and sweaty, feeling strong and connected to my body. I didn't do much that summer, but I did what I needed to do.

By the time I became pregnant again, I felt more connected to my body than I ever had and so ready to embark on this new adventure I'm on now. I've also learned a few things from being pregnant that I want to carry with me.

  • *Your body is an amazing creation. Treat it as such.
  • *Regular movement helps you feel more connected and your body will thank you for it.
  • *Buy and wear clothes that make you feel good. Yes, sometimes cheap stuff will do the trick, but don't be afraid to buy quality pieces.
  • *Know that you're beautiful. If you feel that way, it radiates off you and others will feel it too.

Now I just have to remember these things postpartum. I'm going to take inspiration from beauties, like this woman, as I do so.

Head over to Roots of She to share your own story about how your relationship with your body has changed over time.

p.s. I took this self-portrait yesterday at 25 weeks.

35 Responses

Thank you for sharing, Leah…this post is so beautiful. It’s so nice to hear about your transformation. You are going to be an awesome Mama, I can just tell. xoxo Janet

A beautiful post and such a beautiful picture of you.

This is such a beautiful post, Leah. You look absolutely beautiful in your photo too.
It is an honor to see you in this state of growing maternity. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I am so glad to hear you say that. I hear so many pregnant women dissing their bodies all I can think is “you are making a baby with that body! Give yourself some credit and relax a bit!!” I followed your link to Starving Artist Ink Blog – wow…again, its jut great to hear women saying such positive things about themselves and their bodies.
Oddly, I just posted my blog for today before coming over here – and it was about being positive!

What a lovely, loving photo and post!
Having been there, your husband was so loving to allow you the time to grieve properly. So many people brush off a miscarriage. What they don’t realize is how much of hope and love and dreams are already focused on that new life. I still think of that little being every year on the date I miscarried and it has been 27 years.
Continue to take care of yourself!

Thank You for that post and those reminders Leah. I’m 43 and witnessing body changes ( Oy) that I always knew would happen but I’m still surprised to see. Ah hubris.

…Love Your little Bump. Babies are so wonderful. SO are teenagers believe it or not. I rag ‘em but I love every single moment. Choosing motherhood is the best decision I ever made in my life. I’m truly happy for you.


I enjoyed your post! Being pregnant was a wonderful time for me as well and you reminded me of a great time way back 20 years ago. Thanks for sharing.

beautiful. I recall being amazed, bewildered and sometimes frustrated with the ever-shifting changes happening to my body during my first pregnancy. Until it dawned on me that my life and the life of another was merged for a brief time. We were growing and changing both as one, and separately. It became a time when I first became aware of the real power of my spirit. The incredible wonder that I could house and nurture a life has never left me. There have also been moments through the years when I have felt daunted by the world or my own insecurities, but then remembered the amazing power I felt pushing a life into the world. Works every time.

What a beautiful post. The picture is adorable. I wish all the best for you and your little sweety!

Amazing post! Awesome hubster! and thanks for the wonderful links. I was never much one for liking being pregnant – it knocked me out….all i wanted to do was sleep. But oh! how I have loved (and learned from) the results, and now the 2nd generation of results! Good for you Leah – you go Woman!

Wonderful post. You are very fortunate to have a good man in that hubster of yours!

Lovely photo and a really heartfelt post. You will be a wonderful mother. :)

Thanks for sharing such juicy bits of your life. You are inspiring (and beautiful)!

Love this photo of you. So simple, so delicious. Smooches, Deb

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amy Palko Phd, HiroBoga and Leah Piken Kolidas, Maryann Devine. Maryann Devine said: Inspiring. RT @leah_art: How I've come to love my body. Answering question by @jamieridler at @rootsofshe. http://bit.ly/ikgZ19 #ced2011 [...]

What a gorgeous loving man you have. I am really happy for you (and for him, and for your sweet babe).

Hi Leah ! so glad to stop by and see this picture of you looking so lovely…so adorably pregnant :) I loved being pregnant with both of my children..it was such a wonder and this photo reminded me of that. ~~ lots of love to you xo

I read you post and I’m smilling…I’m really happy that everything is going well for you and you are happy…I’m wishing you and your husband and bump all the best… my two bumps are now teenagers…it went far to quickly….

Leah, this is so beautiful, thank you so much for sharing these words. Sending you lots of love.

Leah, thank you so much for sharing your story and being a part of this amazing conversation. Your relationship with your body sounds so nourishing and loving – you’re inspiring me! And what an absolutely wonderful picture! I’m so happy for you.


Lovely post and what a great hubster!

beautiful post and beautiful reminders for women of all ages. xo

Leah, I love you.

this is beautiful and so are you!

both the post and the picture of you are A-W-E-S-O-M-E

Both the post and you are beautiful!

What a wonderful and inspiring post. You look beautiful!
Enjoy the journey.

Thank you for sharing that with us!

I remember when I was living in Omaha, NE, I had gone through a horrible breakup and was barely surviving on my own. I became extremely depressed and had a lot of suicidal thoughts. Due to this my doctor put me on anti-depressants, which for me I didn’t really want, but felt I needed something to get me into a state where I could at least think straight. After awhile I got very tired of the side effects of the drug and decided to trade them in for some old fashioned exercise. Get myself moving. And so I started running.
I was running 5 to 6 days week. I was hardcore, I only took one day off to rest my body, but the running made me feel so good I couldn’t stop. I was up to 5 miles a day. I was so proud of myself and I felt so good! It was amazing. All that was there were my feet hitting pavement, my breath and sweat. I got off the anti-depressants fast.

I am now once again going through some major transitions and have since began thinking…it’s time to run.
Self care is so important. I find it GREATLY helps my intuitive abilities as well. And often times we neglect ourselves, when really we should listen to our bodies, they will help get us balanced again when we find we are off balance.

Thanks again for sharing your experience! :)
You are beautiful! :D

Beautiful and touching post. I don’t know why but I feel like crying reading this :-)

With all my heart, I wish all good luck comes to you and your little precious!

Wonderful warm and inspiring post Leah. My daughter is due to have their baby early March. I have have had a couple of opportunities to do photo shoots of Baby O and posted some of the images on my blog. It has been a great time of closeness for us all.

beautiful post and beautiful picture, Leah. I’ve shared pictures of me pregnant with my girls with them and they are fascinated by them…be sure to share beautiful pictures like this with your little one.

What a very powerful post! I’m at a place and age where I know I have to make some major changes in the way I treat my body. You have given me inspiration here:)

Leah – I loved this post – you’re an artist AND a writer. What a wonderful role model you’ll be. You’re very special..really :)

How wonderful that you’re loving and caring for the special person that you are. This is an inspirational post for anyone.

Kat X

I returned to your blog at just the perfect time. This post hit home as I struggle with self love and the thought of trying to get pregnant. This warms my heart. Many blessings to you, beautiful, powerful woman!

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