Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's Talk Body Image

And I mean let's really talk about it.

I'm in the midst of a battle, ya'll.  This is a battle that I've never fought before in my life, though it's been somewhat ongoing for the past year.  The battle is really threefold: to clean up my lifestyle, shed a few pounds (ahem, like 13 or so would be great), but most importantly, to regain control of my body image, both in the essence of possibly losing that thirteen pounds, but also in the essence of finding some contentment on what I see in the mirror now. 

I'm not going to lie to you, I spent half of my teenage years and some of my adult life fighting a completely different battle.  My diet consisted of Little Debbie's for breakfast, mozzerella sticks and soda from Sonic for lunch, whatever my madre collaborated for supper, and a big ole honker shake some nights before bed.  Throw in other 'snacks' in there - that weren't on the 'diet' plan.  I still couldn't get the scale to move from 105.  It was a time in my life that I had major insecurities about my body... no curves... high prominent cheekbones... and clothes just wouldn't fit right.  People talked, they were wrong, but I knew it and it hurt.  But I couldn't gain weight despite my efforts.

Somewhere around my Sophomore year of college, I gained about 15-20 pounds.  A lot of factors weighed in (no pun intended): birth control (helllllo marriage!), age, etc.  For the first, short period of my life, I really liked the girl looking back at me in the mirror.  Sure, I found other imperfections that irked me like my weight once had, but my shape was not part of my problem.

In 2008 B was born... 17 days early, and just over eight pounds.  He was a big ole hunk of love.  I'll never forget lying on that delivery table and being -ahem- repaired and hearing the nurse (who was so delightfully punching around on my stomach) say, "And look at that, dear, 20 minutes after delivery and your stomach is already flat!  Don't tell the other moms, they'll stone you."  She laughed and walked off.  I sighed in relief.  Body image haunts you forever.

Sure enough, she was dead on.  Sure it was a little deflated for awhile, but I left the hospital at my pre-pregnancy weight, and two weeks after delivery I was wearing my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.  All of it.  Luck?  Probably.  I did nothing to deserve it.

I spent the next two years in my happy little bubble and then Ansley was conceived.  Something in me knew it, though I hoped and wished it away.  This time around wouldn't be as easy.  And you know, when you deliver a 10+ child, maybe that's part of it.  Others have told me it's the second child, everything is already 'stretched out', it takes more work to 'put it all back'.  More work?  I didn't work at all the first time!?

But here I sit - almost a year and a half later - 13 pounds heavier than I 'should be' and I can't look at a cupcake without gaining three pounds.  My 1200 calories a day feels like a prison sentence.  And I still hate the way my clothes fit.

How did this change happen? Just like that?  The snap of the fingers?  Metabolism? Yikes!

And you want to know the crazy thing?  The crazy thing is I like the me in the mirror pre-dress.  Seriously.  I'd venture to say that I'd look better in a bikini (take my word for it, I'll spare you) than I would in 98% of the clothes in my closet.

So - maybe I'm fighting a loosing battle?  Maybe the problem is, I've never dressed this kind of body before!  Clothes shopping has been more and more depressing as time has worn on, because I don't know what to try on!  Nothing 'works'... nothing 'fits'.

So - I propose, as the lactation consultant comes in to help you get on with your new role in motherhood, a style consultant comes with them.  Someone who can show you how to downplay your middle and your hips, and even the other 'assets' I so desperately wanted at one point in my life.  What I'd do for that skinny little shape to dress!  I knew how to dress her!

So anyway - there's my vent, rant, thoughts and suggestions on this whole post  pregnancy body image topic.  From a girl who had baked tilapia last night and spinach tonight, in hopes of someday wearing the clothes in her closet again.  (And never eating a cupcake?  I still haven't decided if it's worth it...)


1 comment:

  1. Wow.... I felt like I just read what I think about myself...crazy!!!! Minus the second baby!!! I finally decided to eat out only on weekend...unless there is a special occasion. I also run 30-40 minutes 4 days a week just so that I don't have to count calories bc I did feel like I was in a prison. Ur beautiful on the inside and if ur happy with the way you look then that's all that matters. Just change ur wardrobe...even weighing the same as I did pre baby nothing fit the same...NOTHING!!! If it was big in my waist then it's big in my butt now...etc. etc...always remember those babies r worth every flaw or mark they caused! :-).