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A New Outlook on Life (Kayla)

April 28, 2011

Before I was pregnant, I was actually 100% happy with my body. If someone would tell me that I’m fat (mean people) or could lose a few pounds before I get too old and can’t lose the weight (my parents), I would let it roll of my back for the most part. I liked my body. It was curvy and strong and I had a flat stomach for being a “bigger” girl and I never felt disgusted with myself when I stood in front of a mirror.

Then I got pregnant and didn’t really show BIG TIME until I was about 6 months along, and then there was hiding it! Patrick was ready to be the center of attention even in the womb! =) Toward the end of my pregnancy, people started to make remarks that were hurtful, and it had little to do with my crazy hormones. “My goodness you’re huge! Are you going to have that baby right now!? Are you sure there aren’t twins in there?!” They may not have always meant it in a negative way, but it definitely made me more sensitive to comments about how I looked. Then my son was born…and he has been my #1 priority ever since. I am able to be home with Patrick all day, every day and I haven’t dropped the baby weight, and I know that everyone has noticed. I have heard a few comments that have stopped me in my tracks and taken everything in me not to take them 100% to heart. Consider the source, I try to remind myself…but it’s hard. It’s hard when I used to be what is more socially acceptable and happy with my size, and now people expect me to be back to that because I now “don’t have an excuse and the kid’s already 6 months old.” I hate clothes shopping. I pretty much always have, but now that I’m in a body I’m unhappy in, I hate it even more. I still expect to look in a mirror and see the “old me” and sometimes find myself wallowing in self pity and disgust at how I now look.

And then one day, I asked my boyfriend, Don, if my “new” body bothers him. If he misses the body I had when he 1st met me. And he said something I never thought I’d hear again: “You’re beautiful and I still love YOUR body. New or old…it’s all the same to me because it’s you.”

And so, every day I will try to remind myself that each stretch mark is a memory of my pregnancy that I will always have and wouldn’t trade for the world. Every part of me that some may look at with disgust and pity of how I’ve “let myself go” is a part of me that my son will never hate me for. To him, I’m perfect. I’m beautiful and strong and warm and loving and perfect. When Patrick looks at me, he doesn’t see me as being anything but his Mommy…and I’m going to do my best to start seeing things from his and Don’s perspective.

I am not who I was before I became pregnant. I do not have the body I had before I became pregnant………..

And I wouldn’t go back for the world. Patrick is my everything, and I wouldn’t trade him to be or look like the girl I was before. He has made me a better person and I’m proud of that. Some people have told me that they actually are jealous of me! ME! Some of you are probably wondering why in the world someone would be jealous of me. Well can you guess what they have said?

They said they envy how I know who I am, and I’m proud of it. I am a strong, independent woman, and although I have let negative outlooks on my body chip away at me a little, I’m self assured. I gave birth to my son, who is healthy and smart and growing just as he should because I carried him in my body when some may say, I didn’t have to. I have a man who loves me so completely, others stand back and just watch the way we look at one another and communicate through more than words. I can stay home with Patrick and take care of him and see all his milestones and be there for him 100% all the time. They envy the obvious love and admiration I have for my son and the love Don and I have for each other. My body may not be magazine cover worthy, but it’s real and it gets me through every day of my life, and I’m grateful. I am done letting society’s views on appropriate size dictate how I feel in my own skin.

I am 25 years old…and as my grandpa Harold once told me, “Life is too short to worry about fitting into anything but a coffin, and even those can be made bigger.” So if I want to eat buttery popcorn at a movie theater, I will. If I want to bake cookies at 11 o’clock at night and have 2 each day for the rest of my life, I’m going to. Because the only man in my life whose opinion matters to me thinks I’m perfect just as I am, and it’s high time I start listening.

So bring on the clothes shopping and the 360 degree mirrors, because no matter what, who I am on the inside is all I need to take note of. =)

Age~25
Pregnancies~1
Births~1
7 months postpartum

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8 Responses to “A New Outlook on Life (Kayla)”

  1. Alyssa Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I love ur attituide!!! I too wondered if my BF who is my sons dad ever misses my old body which was fit and 120lbs.. he always says “you were to skinny before I like u thicker” Sometimes no matter how many times he tells me that I still have a hard time accepting my body.. I love to eat! and I love to Entertain friends with dinner parties.. B4 I could eat whatever I wanted and now I have to watch what I eat…Your post really made me feel a lot better about myself..I used to always think everyones was looking at me thinking wow she was skinny what happened.. i mean 140 is not big to me just a bit thicker… You look great and ur baby is adorable!>.. Thank You!

  2. Bree Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    while i agree with your attitude, is it really healthy to eat bad foods? Isnt your health important to you? what about your children, there are already way toomany overweight parents in the world…why not have an attitude of healthy eating? So many moms get the idea its acceptable to gorge on junk and eat the wrong kind of foods and get it in their heads they can eat whatever they want to, this is not a good attitude to have. Dont you want to be there for your child and not have issues like diabetes or obesity? I would rather eat healthy and be strong and physically well for my children than eat cookies at 11 at night :(

  3. Colleen Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I love your second to last paragraph! I am part of a wonderful group of friends who are all embarking on a weight loss journey together. I had the least to lose (15 pounds, when most of the ladies are up in the 100-to-lose range) and I’m the only one NOT losing anything? Know why? Because I love cookies and chocolate :) I LOVE baking and eating the yummy sweets I bake. I’d rather be this weight forever (and really, I’m not overweight. I just want to lose the rest of the weight from my first pregnancy) than give up the foods I love. The rest of my diet is healthy and I will not deprive myself because it’s “bad”.

    To Bree, yes, being healthy is important. But so is being HAPPY, per what I just said. You can be healthy and still indulge in buttery popcorn and cookies after the kids went to bed. My grandma didn’t give a flying hoot about all of that “health food” stuff and she was healthy as a horse up until about a month before she died, which was right before her 93rd birthday. Her doctor once said “you’re 85 years old, and you’re not on any medication, and you should be at your age!” Eating cookies and popcorn doesn’t guarantee you’re going to end up obese and diabetic. Your other choices are important too.

    Kayla, you keep rocking out your positive attitude and never let ANYBODY put you down for it. You’re beautiful, mama :)

  4. amber Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    i love your post and i think your beautifuL!

  5. Advice to those who are struggling with their body image (Kayla) | This Is A Woman Says:
    April 29th, 2011 at 7:14 am

    [...] has an entry up at SOAM, too. Tags: Inspirational, No Photos – Story Only, Submissions Permalink: Advice to those who [...]

  6. Jenny W Says:
    May 3rd, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Great attitude, I say eat what you want, but definitely keep health in mind. Being healthy is important but so is not depriving yourself. I hope you reach your weight loss goals.

  7. L Says:
    June 22nd, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for posting this. may you find happiness in yourself and not your pre baby body. We wont get it 100%back I have lost all pregnancy weight but still stretched a bit and have stretch marks fr.my two kiddos.you are a beautiful girl and so is your son. Your eyes are striking and all your photos are awesome!! Wish I could paint im so not artistic but I can bake lots of cakes n cookies which does make it hard to keep my weight fr fluctuating but im happy. Wish you the best!

  8. Kayla Says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks everyone for the support and wonderfully helpful comments! To those of you worried about how I worded the “eat what I want stuff,” I simply meant that I’m not going to stress over having a cookie or 2 each night because that’s not going to make me lose the weight any faster. I have lost 15lbs since the middle of May (2011) and I’m still going strong. I feel beautiful and sexy and happy. My wonderful boyfriend I mentioned…well, he proposed May 7th and we’re getting married April 21st, 2012! Believing you’re beautiful and embracing everything that makes you what you are is the “new outlook on life” that I have, and it’s working! My life is looking up, ever since my attitude did. So, Bree, and others concerned that I’m living unhealthy and showing my son bad habits, I happily say I’ve never been more healthy. My son is growing up with happy, loving parents who, while we’re counting calories to a point, we’re willing to go easy on it some days and work hard to make sure the “fun” calories aren’t stressing us out.

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