Self care starts with loving yourself


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balance : coastal bend moms

“Mom, when I get older I want to be skinny.”

The sentence hangs there in the early morning sunlight as I contemplate how to answer my 9 year old daughter.

“Why is that honey? Of all the things that you can be, why do you pick skinny?” She looks at me and her eyes cloud over for a second and then she shrugs. “I don’t know, mom”, giggling and bouncing down the hallway to her room. I could press the topic, but I let it go.

The truth is, I know why she thinks that skinny is a status to aspire to. The importance that society places on being thin surrounds us on all sides at all times. Larger bodies are often the butt of silly jokes in movies, commercials advertising how drop weight quickly fills the airwaves whenever the seasons change and then there is the ever present fitspiration. Its the cacophony that lives on the other side of my front door and I’ve been waiting for it to makes its way inside for quite some time now. 

What is the most disappointing is that I thought that I did a better job insulating her from the ever present message  that you have to fit into a very narrow ideal of beauty in order for the world to find you worthy. 

I can’t say that I am completely devoid of blame. I try to model good behavior by not talking badly about myself (in front of the kids) and not putting my body image bullshit out on display for my daughter and son to see.   I’m not saying that I’m not my own harshest critic. I can name every flaw on every one of my body parts in under five minutes and dammit if it isn’t embarrassing to admit that in a public space.  I can’t even count the times that I’ve considered not going to a function because I am so unhappy with how I look.  I went through a summer where I avoided looking in the mirror because I was freaked out by the ways that my forties were going to play out across my face and body. I can only imagine what I could have accomplished if I applied that same laser focus to other parts of my life. Such wasted potential and brain power really is a shame.

Oh, did you get the impression that I had my life together? I hate to disappoint you honey, but I’ve got more baggage than Louis Vuitton and my body issues doesn’t even start to cover it!

I know that in order to do better by my daughter, I’ll have to do better by myself. How will she believe me when I tell her that having a beautiful mind and spirit is just as important as physical beauty when I trash myself for no longer looking like I did when I was 30. My daughter has seen right though me and has picked up on how deeply the river of negative self talk runs through my mind.  I would never speak to anyone or judge anyone the way that I do myself and that has to change.

She deserves better. I deserve better too.


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Mel Black
Melissa Black is a native of the Coastal Bend and is married to her partner in crime, Chris. Together they wrangle two (mostly) great kids, Evan and Tristan. Mel has always been an writer- and has fantasies of joining a girl gang- so in the summer of 2019 she decided to join the clever band of women you know as CCMB. When she’s not busy working as a stylist or being a domestic overlord she likes listening to audiobooks AND rock’n’roll , going for runs and watching movies in 20 minute increments.


  1. I read the title of your blog and Social Distortion started to play in my head, and it brings me back to music, my roots and I love it! Getting back to who you are and remembering all the good that you are, you are beautiful and I admire you! I find my little girls voice coming from in back of my seat in the car as she whispers “Mom….. I love you” and the world is beautiful again. Just like you!

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