I am at a place that a few years ago I said I would never be again. I have been in this place many times before, but this time is different.

Like so many other women I know, I have struggled with self-esteem issues for most of my life. Although I have never been drastically under or overweight, the number on the scale has always fluctuated. The biggest I have ever been (size 14, probably borderline 16) was after I had my youngest daughter – she was six months old when I started a healthier lifestyle – eating right and exercising regularly. I consistently started taking the weight off and started feeling better about myself. I went from being a size large/x-large, to a consistent medium or an 8/10.

I was really happy there! I felt like I looked pretty good as a 10, but then something changed in my brain. I was comparing myself to others and picturing myself as someone different. I became obsessed with transforming myself into the perfect woman – into one of those bodies we all “see” in the magazines and swimsuit catalogs. Working out became my one of my number one priorities. I worried about every OUNCE that I gained – or every ounce I DIDN’T lose. I would get down to the next size and say “I’m never going back to size ‘x’ again!” I knew I didn’t have an eating disorder, but something wasn’t right in my head.

I am 5’9″ and at my thinnest, I was teetering between a size 2 and 4. One of my New Year’s goals three years ago was to stay a size 4 until the end of the year. Really? A lot has changed since then – my other posts can give you some insight on how – and, I’m back to that size 10 – AGAIN. That’s right – I’m a 10.

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This 10 is different. I feel good in my skin. I am still healthy – I don’t eat a lot of junk (although I really LOVE my tex-mex) and I still exercise regularly (I will say that I am almost 40 and the high-impact stuff hurts a little more). There is more freedom for me in that I don’t let the scale dictate how I will feel in a particular day or week – I don’t actually step on that evil mood crusher very often anymore. I will no longer let a number define who I am. I am not the size on the tag or on the scale…

I am my daughters’ momma – the one they cling to when they are feeling shy or scared. The one they tell all their stories to as soon as they get home from school. The one who smiles or “wo0-hoo’s” loudly at all their accomplishments.

I am my husband’s wife. I am the one he falls heavy into when he’s had a long, hard day. I am the one he shares his successes with and the one he wants to share his future endeavors with.

I am a daughter – a sister – a friend. I am a student trying to earn a degree 20 years after I graduated from high school. I am a child of God.

These are the things that are important to me. These are the things that define WHO I am. That number on the scale can bite me. I’m not perfect, but I am a 10 – and so are YOU.

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