Yes, I’ve ventured way off the 31 day challenge course but I have had this on my mind for a few months and today decided I wanted to get on my soap box and talk a bit about body image.
I read something a few months ago from a woman who was expecting a child, this was after having other children. She was bragging about how quickly she lost her baby weight before and how quickly she planned to lose it this time, needless to say, I no longer read things by this mother. Her words hurt so badly I can’t even begin to tell you. They didn’t just hurt me and my struggle with losing baby weight, they hurt me for all the other mama’s and women in general out there who struggle not only with weight, but their body image as a whole! Not everyone is this blunt, thank the good Lord, but it really made me think and re-think my stand on weight after turning 30 and after having a baby.
I was lucky, I lost a lot of weight in the hospital with Hoke. But I also gained a lot and those last 20 lbs. took me 10 months to get off. Yes I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I also gained a bit back after I cut back nursing and after I turned 31. Not only is the weight thing a struggle but Lord have mercy does my body not look the same. Without getting into details, I’m pretty darn sure no woman’s does after carrying a human in her stomach for 9 months. Some get their bodies back, some don’t. Some do, get pregnant with a second, third, forth and never can get theirs back and ladies IT’S OK!!
I decided I wanted to make a list of things that not only made me feel better but may make others feel better too.
1. Don’t brag about your weight loss because you never know someone else battle: I don’t even mean a battle with losing the weight. As a woman who lost a child, I seriously longed for that weight gain. When I got pregnant with Hoke and had a healthy pregnancy for the first time I did a happy dance when I saw the scale move up, up, up. Maybe not towards the end but in the beginning it was music to my ears. You don’t know someone’s battle. You don’t know that woman who longs to have the weight gain because it means she is growing a baby!
2. You had a BABY! A HUMAN!: You formed a life inside your body. Sit and fathom that for a second, a human being. Your hormones went up, they went down. Your metabolism shot up then plumited. You were starving one second and throwing up the next. Your body was not your own for NINE MONTHS. That’s almost a year! Why in GOD’s name would you think your body would morph right back to bikini model status even 4 months after giving birth. It’s not normal and it is healthy, best of all, It’s ok!
3. Try to look at it from the other perspective: When I read what this woman wrote, needless to say my first feeling was anger. Why would she say this, how does this make other people feel. And then I think I went and weighed myself haha! But I had to think for a second, maybe this is her struggle. Maybe she defines herself by her looks and how other’s perceive her and believe me, I was there a long time ago. So I thought, that was her battle and that maybe this was her way of getting through it. It still made me mad but that made me feel a bit better.
4. You should be with someone who loves and respects the miraculous thing you did: I hope and pray that you have a partner who respects and loves you for the gift of life you bestowed on this world. I hope this person does not look at your new body with disgust but with complete love and awe at the task you yourself took on. I hope this person tells you you are beautiful and special every day. This person may not be your husband, your partner or your child’s father. It may be your best friend, your mother, your father, but I hope you have someone who makes you feel what you deserve to feel.
You are beautiful. At a size 0 or a size 30, you are beautiful. Whether you have had a baby, had 6 babies or none, you are beautiful! You are beautiful not only because you are unique and no one else is like you but you are beautiful because of your heart. Pretty is as pretty does my friends, remember that!