Bleary-eyed. A yawn tries to wake me up as my feet hit the cool tile in the bathroom.

It goes against everything I want…but I turn the light on anyway.

I turn the shower to hot.

I take off my pajamas and stand in front of the mirror to see how I feel about myself today.

I am a little slow to register my thoughts and feelings so I stand there for what seems like too long.

I assess the situation. Am I better or worse than yesterday? Do I feel chunky or thin? Do I feel completely out of shape or do I feel like I am making strides towards strong? My eyes check off what body part goes in each column: ‘It Is What It Is’, ‘Mediocre’, ‘Okay’.

“You aren’t sucking in…(inhale) okay, that is better.”

I do a little pivot to check out all the angles…well…  The mean voices get loud and so I turn away from the mirror.

The steam beckons from the shower.

I take one last look. Make one last evaluation. No kind words. Sigh.

I step into warm.

The steam wakes me and warms my body. The water, heat, and truth hit my skin and begin their work to melt and wash away unkindness and lies. I wash my face and hair and feel the suds run down my curves to my toes. I soften. My legs are strong, ready for the day. My hands rub across my soft belly; the silver, jagged lines serve as reminders. Reminders that I sometimes wish would go away but my body is unrelenting; it won’t let me forget the growing, the stretching.

I note the curves and the dimples and don’t attempt to put them in a column. My hands smell like garlic from prepping dinner the night before. I smile. Dinner was good. I look down at my cute feet popping with bright coral nail polish and I watch as the last of the criticism washes down the drain.

I emerge clean.

I am beautiful, capable, and strong.

What’s for breakfast?