Courtesy of Ceilidhe Wynn

An Open Letter To My Postpartum Thighs

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Dear Thighs,

For a long time, I didn't like you. In fact, for most of my life, I hated you, because you were too big. Everyone would talk about the much-coveted "thigh gap," but the only time I ever had a thigh gap was when I was literally doing splits. When I sat down in a pair of shorts, I always looked down and saw a giant pool of flesh below me. And during the summer, chafing was a real pain in the, well, thighs.

Then I got pregnant and had a baby. And guess what, thighs? You guys got even bigger. Now, you don't even fit into my favorite pair of jeans. Stuffing you into skinny jeans makes me feel like I'm walking around on a pair of overstuffed Polish sausages. Do you know how frustrating jeans shopping is? Of course you do.

But here's the thing, thighs: you're motherf*cking queens. And I'm sorry it took so long for me to realize everything you've done for me.

I'm sorry it took having a baby daughter and loving her big, squishy, fat thighs for me to finally see you as you really are. I'm sorry that I had to imagine a day, hopefully many years from now, when my daughter might come to me hating her thighs, and I had to imagine what I would say to her as a woman with her own body image issues, who would never, ever want her child to feel bad about their own beautiful body.

I know I've been hard on you in the past, and I know I will probably continue to be hard on you in the future. But thighs, the two of you are the best thing that could have happened to me and here's why.

We've walked through 13 countries together. You've propelled me through oceans, foothills, and mountains. You've taken me through city streets, and steadied me on the decks of ships.

First of all, you might not look it, but you are strong. During my teen years and into my 20s, you helped me compete as an equestrian. Having big thighs in high school might have been embarrassing to me, but without you I couldn't have been the amazing equestrian I was. And let's not forget that you've run two half-marathons. That's more than 26 miles of running. I'm tired again just thinking about it!

Courtesy of Ceilidhe Wynn

And girls, we've walked through 13 countries together. You've propelled me through oceans, foothills, and mountains. You've taken me through city streets, and steadied me on the decks of ships. And how have I repaid you? By coveting the skinnier, svelter thighs of other women who lounged next to me on pool decks. For that, I am sorry, thighs.

After I got pregnant, you held me up — literally. As I grew bigger and bigger, it was your strength that kept me moving every day. My belly got so big that I couldn't even see you when I looked down, but you were still there — getting bigger, yes, but also staying strong for our precious cargo.

Courtesy of Ceilidhe Wynn

By hating you, thighs, I've learned how to love myself. Because you have taught me that there are more important things than having a thigh gap and fitting into skinny jeans (especially when tights are so much more comfortable). And, OK. I'll never be able to sneak up on someone while I'm wearing corduroy pants, but that's all right, because I don't even own corduroy pants, anyway.

Your power empowers me, to run and leap and dance; to show my daughter all of the amazing things she can do with her own body.

You are sentinels, thighs; you stand guard at the literal entrance to my womanhood, you warrior princesses. You let me dance like I've got diamonds between you. Your strength inspires me to love myself more, even when every other thigh I see is thinner or stronger or tanner. Your power empowers me, to run and leap and dance; to show my daughter all of the amazing things she can do with her own body.

You might not be pretty and you might not be small. You might not look like what every magazine tells me you should. But my God, thighs, you are a soft place for my husband to rest his head. You are the spot where he places his hand on long car rides. You are the perfect size for my daughter to wrap her arms around and rest her chin between.

You are thunderous and dimpled. Your hair is soft and blond, and it hasn't been shaved in I don't know how long. You're are not small and you're far from perfect, but that's OK, because you are mine and I appreciate everything you have done for me.

But listen, if you felt like getting just a couple inches smaller, I wouldn't be mad at you. It's nothing personal, but those favorite jeans of mine make my postpartum butt look so good.