Happy New Year!
I am not usually the resolution type. This year I have chosen a word of the year to focus on (it’s “nourish” and you can read more about that here), and I’m also working on a daily moment to meditate on happiness (posting as zebrabelly on instagram under the tag #findinghappy2017 if you want to join in).
But this resolution here I think is reasonably easy to implement – it doesn’t require a daily or weekly commitment. You can do it as often as you think of it or as you need it.
When my daughter was little and just learning to talk, I made the decision to stop insulting myself in front of her. I didn’t want her to learn those habits. That small move made a huge difference in my self-esteem. So then I started complimenting myself where she could overhear me and it was good for both of us. Just a simple, “Wow, I love the way I look in these jeans!” or an “I’m having a great hair day today!” or even “red really looks good on me!” make a huge impact on you.
I have studied physiological psychology a little bit and the most fascinating and important thing I’ve learned is that our brains are kind of stupid. If they hear you say something, they believe you. If you speak ill of yourself, they start to think bad things about you. But if you say nice things about yourself, they start to believe that, too. You don’t even need to necessarily believe it at first – just hearing the words can be convincing to your brain. And the more you say it, they more they believe it.
So do it. Right now. Go say something nice about you to yourself. If your kids are around, make sure they overhear you. But if they are sleeping or elsewhere at this moment, let this compliment be practice. Because they deserve it and you deserve it.
Happy new year, you beautiful human, you.
When I was pregnant with my son I absolutely adored it. I guess I was channeling some fertility goddess vibes because I was at complete peace with everything — with my appearance, with however things would turn out, things I couldn’t control, etc. It was awesome to finally have a break from the insecure voice in my head telling me things were never good enough! I rubbed on my belly constantly and marveled at what my body was capable of doing.
I am now 6 months postpartum and love being a mom… but my first pregnancy led to gaining 70lbs. I went from a size 6/8 to a size 12. I already have a tall, muscular build, so the fat on top of the muscle just makes me look so bulky — particularly my arms! I was JUST NOW starting to slim down in my legs (I’ve never been one to carry a lot of weight in my thighs until pregnancy… wow, they were jiggly!) and not pooch out in my belly as much… I was feeling good (not great) about how I looked. I could feel sexy and hit on my hubby; I refused to let insecurity keep me from seeing friends or feeling confident in public. I grimaced while I bought XL or XXL tops and size 12 bottoms, but once they were in my regular wardrobe it felt better to wear those than try to stuff myself into a medium and feel ashamed. I know y’all know what I’m talking about with muffin top shame.
Anyway, I haven’t yet verified with a test, but I think I am once again pregnant — and I’d be elated if I am! Except for the idea of gaining more weight on top of this weight. The swelling! The cravings! The health scares of being in an overweight BMI from the get-go! The granny panties!!! Am I just going to keep going up and up in sizes? Will I really have to wait a year and a half until I am once again even this size? I figured some of you have dealt with this anxiety, come through it or had some words of encouragement. I don’t want vanity and weight-worry to get in the way of what should be just another beautiful pregnancy.
~Height: 5’10 Weight: 205lbs
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 birth, potentially pregnant for the second time by mere days
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 1 sweet 6mo. old boy
I am a mother of 3, my last one was in July of 2013. I was obese at the time, and my son was a 10-pound baby, so my canvas was not the cleanest when I set myself to lose weight.
I went from an unknown weight (probably 180, 5ft2in) down to an average of 130lbs. I’m very athletic, run, cycle, and a good amount of strength training. My diet is dang-near impeccable, with occasional slips on date night, taco Tuesday, or a glass of wine after a long day.
What I’m getting at is: I am doing everything right…as best as I can! But my mommy belly will not go away. It’s like I have a thick shield of fat on top on my abdomen that doesn’t match the rest of me.
I’ve made peace with saggy, stretchy, stripey skin…but the belly fat is pretty unwelcome.
I have read all kinds of health columns, and have been patient, but it seems like there is no use.
Is there anything I need to know that the columns aren’t telling me about the realistic expectations I should have about my fat? Am I truely an exception to all of the advice out there on the WWW?
Please help give me hope or at least peace of mind. I’m tired of feeling like a failure.
Thank you for your time!
~Number of pregnancies and births: 3
~The age of my children, and how far postpartum I am: 6, 4, and 3. Three years postpartum.