Stop chasing your ‘perfect’ past body

These thoughts were part of a series on the TODAY Show, about new moms loving their postpartum bodies and was featured in a Skye Swimwear campaign about positive body image.

I spent almost a decade trying to chase “my thinnest self,” and I finally decided to say goodbye. Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch my Facebook Live all about this, along with why I decided to do a swimsuit try-on for all of my Instagram followers.

This photo was taken when I was at my thinnest.

I used to think of the summer of 2010 as my “ideal body” summer, and any time I want to find a “fit” photo of myself, I would always look for the Janie who was on the Hawaii trip.

Sometimes she would motivate me, and I’d study photos of her as I’d get pumped to start a new eating plan.

Other times, she would remind me of my failures, but I’d still gaze at her, to see how beautiful she looked, before the pregnancies and the no sleep and the stretch marks and all that stomach cellulite.

‘The Old Janie was so great,’ I’d think to myself. ‘But now, I am not.’ For so long, this Old Janie represented my young self, my most beautiful self, my thinnest… my Goal.

And for the past 9 years, the Old Janie has been the girl I wanted to get back to. It makes me sad to say that, but it’s true.

The other day, I cleaned out my closet (more in my Instagram Highlights), and for the first time, I realized I’ve been lying to myself for the last 9 years.

Because the Old Janie isn’t that great.

I came across my white linen blazer (the same I’m wearing in this photo), which is one of my most favorite items of clothing ever. It always fit perfectly, and I could throw it on with any outfit and feel tucked in and put together.

I wore that blazer a lot in my “perfect body year,” and even though it hasn’t fit since 2013, I’ve kept it.

Why?

Because the Old Janie used to wear it.

And I want to be the Old Janie again someday.

But as I took it off the hanger, I realized this jacket no longer had any power over me.

It was simply a yellowing, wrinkled garment that no longer adds value to my life.

The Old Janie also no longer fits, and she also no longer adds value to my life.

I no longer aspire to be her.

The cool thing is, the New Janie is actually pretty neat.

She’s been a few places, and she’s learned a lot. She’s had pain, but she’s grown from it. She’s gotten older, but she is wiser. She’s failed, but she’s grown more humble.

She’s gained a few pounds, but she still loves her body and thanks it for all its done.

There is simply no room for the Old Janie, and now, I let her go.

Who is the Old You?

Maybe today, you can let her go.

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