I could keep an entire blog about my issues with weight and body image. But one blog is plenty for right now, so I'll just share my thoughts here. I hope someone can relate.
I think weight and body image is a BIG BIG BIG topic for mothers because being pregnant and giving birth completely changes your body and how you feel about it.
Some moms are lucky; nothing changes--or it does a little bit, but they don't mind. I'd say a about 8% of moms fall here.
Some moms are average; things kind of change & maybe they mind sometimes (like swimsuit season), but in general they are okay with their body. I'd say about 50% of moms fall here, that's not a scientific fact, just my opinion based on conversations with friends and family, and the media.
Then there are the moms who weren't really okay with their body to begin with, and pregnancy completely threw them for a loop and their post-pregnancy body drives them nuts almost all of the time. This is probably 25% of moms.
Finally, there are the moms who completely hate their body and it flows into their daily life and seriously depresses them, often leading to an eating disorder. This is probably 5% of moms.
The rest fall somewhere in between, depending on the day/time of month.
I'm in the third category. Thank God (seriously, I do every day) that I have a great network of support (primarily my husband) who keeps me from the last category. Although, I have recovered from a previous eating disorder...perhaps I will write about that one day (as that is also related to mothering--regarding how to keep my daughter away from them).
I love G. I love being her mom. I'm still working on accepting that my role for our family right now is best served at home...and that means I'm unable to assign a monetary value to the work I do (read my thoughts from last week)
I do not love my momma body though.
I don't like how I can run an 8 minute mile with really bad knees, but still weigh 163 pounds. I can also sprint like a mad woman, but still have jiggles all over. I don't like how I can lift weights, carry a 16 pound baby around, do core workouts, and tear up cardio equipment, but still be a size 10-14 depending on the brand.
Perhaps I will look more toned after I wean G, because I currently don't want to do anything to crazy with my diet--because she and I both need a lot of nutrients/calories.
So here I am, almost 25, married, with a baby, still dwelling on how I look. I know many people say that once you are married and have a baby, it doesn't really matter how you look. They are obviously lying. It does to me. I have 6 boxes of size 8 clothes that I very well may never fit into again. That irritates me on so many levels.
Looking back, there was a time I should have been very happy with my weight and how I looked...but I wasn't and now I will never look like that again. Stretch marks and loose skin are for.ev.er. I hate walking by a mirror, and sometimes, I don't even need a mirror. When I'm all alone, I just look down, pull my shirt up a little to inspect the skin and fat hanging off my belly...yup, still there. I squeeze my love handles a lot, as if to remind myself how imperfect I am. It's a mental thing, and I need to change it. I'm annoyed with myself for being so hung up on how I look. This blog is an affirmation that I'm going to really, really try to be happy with my body and how I look in (and out) of clothes.
I'd like to end this thought on a positive note.
I am strong.
I am feeding my baby nature's intended food for her, and not all momma's are able to do that.
I am healthy.
And for all of that, I am very happy.
I am also irritated at the media for showing us all those moms who bounce right back to stick skinny and perfect bellies less than 6 weeks after having a baby. Nice air brushing, I'm sure. For a reality check, see this site: The Shape of a Mother (may be graphic at times).
Please let me know your momma thoughts on body image! Or, if you're not a momma...I'm sure you have plenty of thoughts on body image in general--fire away!