"Stop Judging, Start Caring" by Samantha Mellen

Published on Topic: Guest Blog, Body Image

Samantha Mellen is a wife and mom living in Alaska. She is passionate about living well with fitness and nutrition, and inspiring others along the way. She is active on Facebook at Mama Notes, and on Twitter @mamanotes.

In today’s world, both vastly different and exactly the same as it was centuries ago, women are faced with an array of challenges. In the mundane activities and the complex, women today are doing everything from staying home with their children to working outside the home. 

As if we don’t already “do too much” and fill our plates overflowing, many of us struggle with body image; every day choices, decisions and thoughts on looking the way we think we should look or living up to a standard we feel we should follow. 

I remember getting back into working - the other job -  the one where I try to wear cute shoes and make sure my hair didn’t have spit-up in it. It was just several short weeks after the birth of my second child. My pants didn’t fit. My tops were awkward. My self esteem was certainly not at its highest point; yet here I was, trying to make myself somewhat presentable and professional in the walls outside my home.  Faces of judgment stared at me. Surely these people thought I should look…I don’t know…better, smaller? 

I think really, I was the only one judging myself. I was the only one expecting too much or hoping for a different shape to be around my waist. Perhaps the looks I imagined were just images I was making-up in my head, trying to justify my confidence or my worth. We are all our own worst critics, that’s a widely known fact. 

I wish I could think of myself the same way I think of others. The shape or size or shade of you is so irrelevant in the grand schemes of things in this life. While I believe we should all strive to move our bodies in a positive way and eat foods that keep us healthy, I also believe everyone has a story. 

Our government, your city, the people, this world, will always present itself with options and choices on what we should eat, how we should dress, what we should feel. Ultimately though, it is up to you. You are the one in charge here. Your thoughts, your actions, your feelings, your voice - that is all up to you. 

In the workforce or at the playground, I think you are smart, caring, thoughtful, generous, and courageous. You should think it too.