Learning To Accept My Post-Baby Body

16:05


I have never had a great relationship with my body, or at least not since I was a child. I have disliked the way I look for such a long time that it feels normal, and I have definitely abused my body in more ways than one. I feel ashamed writing that down, although I'm sure I'm not alone with those thoughts. As a teenager I was particularly tough on myself despite the fact that I was a normal weight, and looking back now I was slim although I couldn't see it. My relationship with food was destructive and it's taken years for me to get into a happier place, and I'm still not all the way there yet.

When I began university I was miserable and to medicate that I did what I do best; I ate. For dinner I would eat pasta bakes, working my way through several people's portions with a whole stick garlic bread (dipped in BBQ sauce on the side). Of course, I needed dessert too so would often eat my way through a sharing bag of chocolate - caramel nibbles or minstrels were my weapons of choice. Slowly but surely the numbers on the scales creeped higher and higher.

One day in my second year I remember finding some scratches on my belly and thinking they were from a cat. But they didn't go away, and over the weeks that followed I got a few more and realised that they were stretch marks. I want to add here that although overweight, I wasn't particularly large, wearing a size 12. I begun eating healthier but it was too late, and the damage was already done.

When I finished uni I was filled with this optimism. I wanted to focus on my health, lose some weight and feel great about myself. What I didn't know was that I was pregnant, and that I was soon going to be covered in so many stretch marks that I looked like a zebra. Post-birth they've faded a bit, but they're still there. Still red and still so obvious. And whilst still overweight, I gained just four pesky pounds which are proving hard to shift - I'm almost back to my pre-baby size, and I am so happy about that.

But when I look at the marks covering my skin, they don't make me as upset as they used to. I can't say I'm their biggest fan, but they do make me proud. I made a person. A real living boy, who has made me a mother, and my life complete. And if all I'm left with is a few stripes, and some bad memories, it's so worth it because he is perfect. When I think about the fact that I was able to create and birth a baby all by myself it fills me with joy. I am so proud of myself, and it is no lie when I say that Zach is my greatest achievement.

I still have a long way to go with accepting myself, and I am at the start of a long journey in improving my health. But I'm getting there, one step at a time. One day I'm sure I will feel healthy and love the person I see in the mirror, and I can't wait to get there!

What is your relationship like with your post-baby body?

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6 comments

  1. You look lovely in that photo, I love your cardi! I have ups and downs with my body image, at the moment I'm on a downer but have been exercising more which helps me mentally. As for stretch marks, I often think that nobody else notices them, all the times I have been swimming or to the beach I have never noticed someone's stretch marks.We are so hard on ourselves!
    Becky xx
    #Sharewithme

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    1. Oh thank you Becky! You are so right, I've never noticed anyone else's! xx

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  2. Yes sister! Those stripes are well earned and you SHOULD be proud! It is so tough accepting such a big body change, I agree. I still feel like I am in another person's body at times and am having to dress completely differently to what I am used to because of this. Thank you for writing so honestly - it is so nice to know that we are not alone in feeling this way and it will help other new mamas think about how they see themselves and perhaps make it more positive. x x

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    1. It's definitely a struggle getting used to a new body but you're so right about being proud! Thank you for your lovely words Faye :) xx

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  3. You should be so proud you have done so well and look absolutely amazing. I think its hard to accept the changes we are not used to after babies no matter what size, shape we are. Babies just change things in so many ways I know my body will never be the same and I am trying to accept it a little late after two years of it. Having babies back to back isn't a good thing either in terms of my body but worth it to have them close in age. lol Give and take right??? Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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    1. Thank you Jenny, it's so hard but I think you're right about it being a bit of give and take!! xx

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