I wanted to put multiple pictures up so that there would be visual references to what I was talking about. The first picture is of me when I was 18 at a park. The next two are from my senior Prom where I am also 18. The next are my baby belly pictures taken at 37 weeks by my wonderful husband in our new home. Now for my story…I have been a dancer since I was 4 years old. It is my passion and my love, but it has also been my disease. I have lived and breathed it since the day I started. I have also based my worth on it; how well I did it, and how thin I looked doing it. I have thought I was overweight, not thin, and most definitely not attractive or desirable ever since I became devoted to the dance world. In that world, I am a bigger boned girl, and with my body image issues already present, that really wasn’t good. (side note: most of this perception was self inflicted, not all of it though) Starting in junior high I struggled with a different kind of eating disorder. I would eat very minuscule things, and then take laxatives so that way I would never gain weight. I did this off on and until my senior year of high school. Needless to say my body image has always been a HUGE issue. My senior year I started dating childhood friend, who is now my husband, and for the first time in my life started to feel pretty, not thin, but pretty. The first semester in college we found out I was pregnant (October), told everyone in November, got married in December, and moved into our new house in February. Everything is absolutely wonderful and I honestly could not be any happier. As you can see in the pictures, I was not at all fat or thick or any of the horrible things girls feel about there body. I was absolutely beautiful. I am thrilled to be pregnant and wouldn’t have it any other way, but sometimes I am terrified at my body, because those issues do come back. I was talking with my mother the other day when I realized how good for me this pregnancy has been. If I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant and things wouldn’t have panned out the way they have, I don’t think I would ever realized that I am beautiful, I was beautiful then despite how much I tried to tear myself down, and I am beautiful now because I am a mom. Being a mom isn’t something everyone gets to do! I am 38 weeks pregnant and quite impatiently awaiting our son’s arrival. I found this site because I was miserable over stretch marks, and apparently God needed me to be here, because this site truly changed my mindset. Part of me is very afraid of what my body will be like now, but the other part of me tries to remember that even though I may never look the exact same, I am beautiful now, to myself and to my husband, and every step I take from here will only increase beauty. I am so thankful to be having a healthy baby boy and to have a husband who tells me daily how even more beautiful I am now. I hope that this maybe helps someone realize that just because our body isn’t exactly how we think it should be, doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful. Lord knows if my body was the way I used to think it should be, I would be a very unhealthy, miserable person. I thank God giving me what I have today, and for opening my eyes before it was too late.