My 365

Friday, April 5, 2013

Body Image

So while I'm working on my next baby story post, I figured I would share something that is on my mind alomst constantly.  Body image, especially post baby (or babies in my case) body image. 

Now I've never had a great opinion of my body, but I can say that in the last few years I've become much more accepting of the body I have and just try to focus on being somewhat healthy and all the way happy.  However, having said that, pregnancy does strange, horrifying and wonderful things to your body.  The pregnancy part I usually love.  I love finally being proud of my protruding belly and being able to wear almost anything I want and not worrying if it makes me look fat...because I'm already there with good reason!!  I'm just talking about the superficial parts of pregnancy.  I can tell you being pregnant with twins is a whole different ball game, on a different playing field in a foreign country.  This was the first pregnancy I did not enjoy.  There was double everything, including hormones, morning sickness, mood swings, stretch marks and pain, just to name a few.  But once that was all over and I had these two beautiful babies to love I was left with a body that was just foreign to me.  I was so happy to not be pregnant anymore that for the first month or so, I didn't care what I looked like.  But then I started to notice more and more the changed landscape every time I put on my old clothes and nothing fit or looked right.  The last few months of pregnancy being spent on modified bed rest means my normal activity level pretty much stopped and as a result whatever muscle tone I had quickly disappeared into a jiggly mess.  Not fun.  I actually lost weight during the pregnancy but everything looked so different and was in a different place so it was hard to tell.  Then of course the hardest hit area was the tummy,  I still look pregnant and can pick up what's left of my stomach in both hands and knead it like bread, oh yeah it's like that.  The other day Gabe asked me if I had another baby in my tummy.  Out of the mouths of babes right?  So there's a lot to get used to after having babies.  Something that's never happened before was something called diastis recti, which is where the six pack muscles in your stomach split apart allowing your "innards" to poke out when you do a crunch (which is not recommended for peeps with the diastis btw).  It's what's causing my stomach to stick out like I'm still preggo it's also the cause of a lot of other problems like back pain because until the muscles are repaired you basically have no core supporting you.  I remember having a really hard time standing upright and breathing right after the girls were born because my core, my entire support system was blown out (among other things).  Basically, it's freakin' traumatizing!

So after all that you would think a body like mine would be more socially accepted.  I mean did you read some of the things that happen to your body?  But as I sit here typing this I'm listening to an entertainment reporter discuss the best post baby celebrity bodies...I'm not even kidding.  Uhg.  Really people??  Let me tell you, those women and celebrities who seem to bounce right back are the absolute exception to the rule and/or the result of an expensive team of coaches.  Normal people, the majority of people, don't look like that after having a baby so the comparisons stop there.  I could diet and exercise to get back to where I was, but I'm breastfeeding and knowing from past experience if I start exercising I will lose my milk, and quite frankly my babies need that milk, so what's the rush?  I will get there eventually but why does it have to be a race to see who looks best post baby the fastest?  You know what?  I have created, sustained, birthed and nurtured 4 precious lives with this body, the last two at the same time!  The squishy stomach, the stretch marks, the sagging are now going to be looked at as reminders of freakin' awesome I am!  They are badges of honor.  Right now, my body is not really my own, so I will leave it on loan for now.  I will get it back some day and when I do it will be for me and no one else.  It's time to embrace it and not berate it.  It helps that I'm lucky enough to be married to a man who truly loves me just the way I am, and it's only taken me eight years to finally believe him when he said that.  Time well spent :) you SEE that?? And that was about a MONTH before I delivered, yes, it got bigger

About two weeks after they were home. Like popping a balloon.


  1. I love this post, and I can think of so many ladies that should READ this, and accept their bodies. So much pressure and for what to be a size that doesn't exist or not a size at all, but regardless it just takes up too much time and stress and you end up missing out on things that are more important. I like to work out and want to be healthy, but in the end...we do the best and then eat some chocolate right?

    1. I was just re-reading this and saw your comment. Amen to that sista!