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Australian Ex-Professional Dancer Battles with Post Baby Body (Anonymous)

July 19, 2010

28
one child
ten months post body
65-kg before pregnancy
95 peak pregnancy
75-kg to date,

i use to dance professionally in burlesque and cabaret-bars , having my whole job revolve around my body and my own sense of sexuality i was always great shape , having to keep toned by having a active and a healthy life style.

when deciding to have a family i had no idea what the consequences were to be upon my body , i had the idea to keep working afterward ( of course with a healthy time of to share with my baby) but i find my self with a incurably saggy belle and a thousand strong deep stretch marks , i will always have to wear a corset now if i decide to go back to work,, during my pregnancy i ate all hearted !! i ate lamb shanks , mash potato , i though to my self i am growing a baby i may as well give her all the food she needs !! or was that food for me ?? during my dancing i had to watch what i ate, it was plenty of small frequent low carb nutritious-meals , to keep my figure , so needed in the high class of exotic dancing,, i had a lot of water retention and the blue marks appeared-around week 34 and at my peak of pregnancy i had put on a whopping 30-kg but gosh those cup cakes never tasted so good !!! best yr. of my life !!!

i have lost the weight but now i am left with the saggy left over skin.

sometimes i wonder weather the skin stretched so much because i put on so much weight and it was all my own fault, but then i have two friends that were tiny ( like myself) before falling pregnant and have bellies-like my own ( very saggy and wrinkly , so i think its a mix of heritor ( my mother had the same thing ) weight gain , and skin elastic ,my daughter was two weeks over due and i was huge … my skin stretched to impossible lengths it was like i was carrying twins , ( see pic below in labour )

so i find my self kinda in a state of shock , my body has changed so quickly in just one and a half yrs. , been put through so much strain, ( created the most amazing thing in return ) but sometimes i feels hard letting go of my own body image and excepting the change .

it some times does not feel like my body, i am uncomfortable in my sexuality for the first time in my life , and find my self not wanting to share my self with my lover , i feel ashamed with the change , i am trying to love and except ,, but its not easy …

my breasts are much fuller and saggy now , i personally feel quite at peace with them in my own private life , but the thought of returning to work now and showing my breast sounds terrifying to me,, but my belli is a different matter , i am so disgusted by it i cannot even look at it ,i always am having to wear a corset , to be honest i think i just may never dance again ,, which honestly is devastating ,,, i love what i do and love bringing joy and humor to people through my shows ,, my savings were extremely healthy and i always had strong work ethics and was am proud of what it do ,i was never ready to give up dancing,, i feel like my successful business was taken away from me .

if i was GIVEN 20 thousand dollars for a breast enhancement and tummy tuck would i do it ?? YES
would i pay 20 thousand from my OWN savings for the operations ,,, NO

my hard earn money would go to my family , not myself . but god i would love to win the lotto !!!

in retrospect if i had of know back then of what i do now of my change in body i would never want it any other way ,, the joy of mother hood far out ways the way i am feeling about my body ,, one strechmark for every smiles from my baby girl ,, now that a good exchange :) , i am trying to move on and heal through this , thats why i want to say a big thank-you to all you other moms who have shared there story, you are all apart of my healing .

i am struggling to keep positive

Second entry here.

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26 Responses to “Australian Ex-Professional Dancer Battles with Post Baby Body (Anonymous)”

  1. Shannon Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I think you look good for 10 months pp…it will get better! Maybe your daughter gave you this new body so that you would not go back to dancing. It is not a good thing to teach your daughter (dancing for men, and showing off the “ideal body”)…you want to teach her to love her body, big, little, saggy, tight…

  2. Sarah Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I’m in agreement with Shannon. You look amazing for just 10 months postpartum. Believe me that things will change with time. Ten months is a drop in the bucket. :) And your pregnancy photos are breathtaking. Gorgeous!

  3. Tracy Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    You look good, If you love dancing so much it would be ashame to give it up :( maybe once you are more confident with yourself you will continue to dance and show all of us and your daughter that you dont have to have the ideal body to be sexy and confident, just love you and what you love doing :) wish I could take my own words too heart, I know from experience how hard it is.

  4. t.s. Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    to the first comment: how exactly would quitting something she loves (dancing) because of a new negative body image, teach her daughter to love and accept her own body?!

    I am struggling with exactly the same issues as this poster, though I am not a professional dancer. I don’t think it helps a woman to deny to herself that a loss of physical beauty has occurred – a woman needs to grieve. For me the only way forward has been to acknowledge that in the end we are valued or judged not only by our tummy fat, especially by the people we care most about.

    So, if dancing was all about sending a message that goes something like “want me because of my boobs/butt/etc.” it will only make this poster more insecure going back to work, but she is the only one who can tell if that is the intention behind the dancing, or if there is another genre she can go into to get the same satisfaction with less physical exposure.

  5. meredith Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I think we should all reserve judgement about other women’s choices of occupations. Not all of us would choose to work in a cubicle, hospital, school, etc., but we all need clothing, food, shelter and the ability to provide for our families. This is HER life and motherhood experience, and she was gracious enough to share it with the rest of us. Let’s respect that.

  6. Colleen Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    You had the most beautiful pregnant belly I have ever seen! I was always disappointed with how small my belly was even at term, and yours was big and gorgeous! I’m so jealous :)

    I can see both sides of the debate going on in the comments section. Girls today have so much pressure to be “perfect” and “sexy” from such a young age, I’m not sure what effect having a mother whose profession revolves around her body would have on a young girl’s tender self image. On the other hand, having a mother who eats well and works out and truly loves the work she does (rather than just doing something to bring in money) could have a positive effect on her. If you could go back to dancing despite your current insecurities and a less-than-”perfect” body (and perfect is really a matter of opinion), I’m sure your little one would learn that the human body is beautiful, plain and simple.

    Your body has done an amazing thing–it grew another human being. Let it continue to do amazing things and use it to make yourself happy–however that may be.

  7. Shannon Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I was not trying to be harsh…It is just my personal opinion that her job choice does not teach good morals…but it is her choice…either way, you look great!

  8. sarah Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    she’s a burlesque dancer-not the same as a seedy strip joint…
    Anyways!! Teach your daughter whatever you want. Shes YOURS! I think your look goreous! I am sore no one will object to seeing your boobies.
    If you think of yourself as sexy others will think you are sexy. And mamma-I for one think youre sexy!

  9. Mary V Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Your pregnant belly pictures are stunning!!! Well, all of your pictures are :) Sometimes I think the same thing you do “I put on so much weight and it was all my own fault”, but day after day I get more and more confident about my body (It took me 18 months after my second to get my body toned up again). Just work on it, maybe dancing will be the activity that gets you in love with yourself again! I found that yoga really helped me find some piece and eat smarter. Once again, beautiful pictures!

  10. Jennie Says:
    July 20th, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I love this post. Your body resembles mine, post babies. I feel the same way you do about breast lift/tummy tuck. Anything to go back to those golden years of youth and tight skin! You look great though now, despite your own insecurities. You are still healthy, fit and youthful!

  11. Shannon Says:
    July 20th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    also…I did not mean that she does not have the body to dance (notice how i put “ideal body” in quotations)…what I meant is that maybe she should not now that she has a daughter…

  12. meredith Says:
    July 20th, 2010 at 7:58 am

    What’s immoral about it? She’s working and making an honest living. Would you say the same about a ballerina who restricts her calories to stay in shape or perhaps a bartender? Having been to a burlesque/cabaret show, I can honestly say that it is an artistic genre in it’s own right albeit with bawdy, sexual overtones. Looking over the audience, there were just as many women watching the show as men – maybe even more. I love this country, but we are so uptight about the human body. It’s for this same reason that breastfeeding women shroud themselves in a veil of secrecy after the socially acceptable age of 12 months. There’s nothing immoral about supporting yourself and your family in a legal and artistic manner regardless of your audience.

  13. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    July 20th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I think there is something to be said about being a role model for your children in terms of your career – BUT I feel this extends to any career that could possibly require some focus on your body as needing to meet certain societal standards. And really that’s nearly any job, since even an office job expects an employee to be well-dressed and groomed (and this so often heads directly to body size or shape or simply just self-esteem). So, what it comes down to, is how well you handle such subjects with your daughters and sons. Bring them up aware of the issues so they can learn how to think outside of them and be strong for themselves.

  14. jerryred Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 7:33 am

    just to let you know i do have another fantastic job i am also passionate about so i do have plenty of role models in sites for my beautiful girl , i could never go back to FULL time dancing i knew i would have to give that up when i was eight weeks pregant ,being a full time mother i thought a night a week would be great though, there was a comment above about that i just need to find the confidence in my own body again ,, me out of all people have been beautiful fuller figures through nights of shows,,its true women of all shapes, i love and admire ,

    i only have a few more yrs of me dancing because as soon as my daughter will be old enough to ask questions the dancing yrs would be behind me, and i am a good role model , and it is some thing that will always be personal that i enjoy as a adult,
    my daughter would only know about when we are both sitting down to a wine together when she is 18, and the time is right.

    thanks for all the positive feed back , it means alot ,

    i wanted to share with you because i am feeling the pain like so many of you post baby , it is a shock , such rapid change, can we forget talking and debating about ( the job ) i am a just a woman opening and sharing .

    i will always teach my daughter the art of dance , it is a beautiful art , and with taste and composure can be done beautifuly ( with clothes on :P ) . bless

  15. jerryred Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 8:04 am

    and i think allot of these posts may be american ?? burlesque dancing is very taste full and different over here in oz , you get some fantastic venue and good work ethics , its all about glitter and glam and not full nudity and full of comedy , sadly the word burlesque in many minds means strippers
    ,, not that there is any thing wrong with this* strippers *,i can admirer women who love and there sense of sexuality and self, some of the most strong, fit ,smart ,influential ladies in my life have been in the industry of professional dancing , many great mothers,
    any way i bought a abb pro delux the other day to help out with my tummy , !! wish me luck , i am going to put in some work so i feel strong again and do cart wheels and the splits with my daughter !!!!

    i want to be the best role model for my daughter by eating well and enjoying sport and teach her to be confident and comfortable in her body , health is so important

  16. Shannon Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I agree about eating healthy and exercise! We eat most organic, and i try to work out in front of my son. I do not remember my parents ever exercising around me (even though I learned to love exercise), so i want to make sure i exercise around and with my children! Try and take up weight training…you don’t have to have a gym membership (i do everything at home). I just have some hand weights and i do squats, lunges, bicep curls, etc with them! Resistance training is so important…not just for appearance, but to keep our muscles strong as we get older! I am sorry if i offended you, it was not my intention…i think that i first comment was taken the wrong way. anyhow, you look wonderful, good luck with everything.

  17. jerryred Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    thanks shannon and def no offence taken i understand were you are coming from compleatly, but i still belive that under the right infulence no matter what a mothers job she can still be a amazing role model, our number one job is to protect and inspire, regardless of her job, its about the way she goes about it dancers can forfill that role. but thats my opinion and lots of other ladies to by the looks of it.

    i will be doing dance classes with my daughter , here in sydney we have tap dancing classes for mother and daughter, ( cute yes i know !!) , i want us to both use our bodies in a active way , and my daughter is such a inspiration , and i only ever want to be a inspiration for her , my daughter only ever eats organic, ( bless )

    i have read so many self astem issues here and there is many fears of passing that down to there children luckily i am not in that position , but i am def in the process of letting go of the perfect body , its not easy , but i am attempting , no matter how much work i do my tummy will ALAWYS have saggy and loose skin ,
    how do we ever learn to feel sexy with that ?? help !!!! maybe its something we never get over , or more learn to love it because we get use to it ??

  18. Shannon Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I think we learn to love it because our babies gave it to us. My first son, Connor, passed away when he was 19 months old. Sometimes when I am thinking of him I rub my stretch marks…he gave me most of them!!! I love them because they were left behind from him :) think of your body that way…your baby girl gave you those marks. Even when she is grown up with a family of her own, you can look at your belly and remember that she will always be your baby!

  19. jerryred Says:
    July 29th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    thankyou shannon what a wonderful way to think about it x bless , that brought a smile and a tear.

  20. Kitty Says:
    July 31st, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Honestly, you look great! I can empathise with you as at the moment I am really struggling to keep positive with the post partum changes. I was a few years ago an escort( for all you judmental peeps–> pls keep ya comments!). I was and still believe am very obsessive with my body shape. Even after I left the industry and finally settled in my professional career, the need to keep looking great was intense( I even got a breast lift!). Pre-pregnancy I was 65kgs as well and I also reached the peak of 95 weeks at the birth of my boy. I am now 85 kgs, 3 weeks post partum and I have spent some days crying looking at myself. I am not thinking of going back to the adult industry, but I think i can relate to you a bit there. I feel, I am growing over it day by day with a great husband who still love and kiss my jelly bits, and a gorgeous boy that I love so much. I love Shannon’s comments! Really touching! I have always believed things happen for a reason and greater changes are on your way.( God Bless)

  21. Kitty Says:
    July 31st, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    PS:Falling on your posts has been a bonus blessing. As you stated, it is really a transition from ” Girl to Woman”.

  22. Ruth Says:
    August 7th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Hello dear,
    I read about your worries and I would like to tell you that they are ABSOLUTELY not necessary!
    First, you look very good! You have a beautiful face and a very womanly body. If you want to tighten up your skin you just need to work out a little (do weight lifting mainly). Secong, your stretch marks will fade. But they will NOT stop you from being a dancer!!!! Please check pictures of Nicola McLean on the Internet: she is a very beautiful mother and model who has lots of stretch marks on her tummy, too. Or check for example the mothers on bodybuilding.com (e.g. making_a_change or amysud): most of them have stretch marks and saggy skin, but a lot can be much better with good nutrition and exercise and CHARISMA :) Men don’t care in general. And a dancer doesn’t need to be perfect to move and dance. You became a woman and you are beautiful as a woman as when you were a “girl” – just a little different. Please be proud and good to yourself! Best wishes

  23. Ruth Says:
    August 7th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I meant amysuds :)

  24. Mum of 2 Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Hi there, Just wanted to take the chance to talk to you about this as a Mummy living on the other side of things and share the other side with you. i.e. I have a husband who is sometimes taken to the kind of clubs you have worked in, and other places that focus on young girls for male gratification, when he’s with clients on business in Australia as sadly we’re in a culture where it’s encouraged as part of the boys club (good money is made from it as you’ve said) and it’s often expected or frowned upon for males not to go along with it (they’ll be called gay or uptight Christians etc) and promotion prospects affected (we can see why women find it hard in business!).

    I have been having body image/confidence issues for the fist time in my life (28yrs) over the past year which began when I was pregnant with my second child and became aware of this as sometimes being a part of his job and the combination of this and hormones seemed to start these issues off. With my first baby I had no worries at all, I let nature take its course, it took a full year to get back to what I was, but I did and felt fine the whole time as I didn’t feel I was competing with anyone; after all I was the only women my husband was around naked and I have never read magazines or gossip sites.

    This time round I feel so insecure knowing that while I was huge with my son and now while I’m waiting on the last 4kgs to go he’s seeing these young (usually pre-family) girls who’re there to turn him on, and of course no woman can ever compete with a variety young and different girls at any time but especially not during the pregnancy and post pregnancy phase. And I realise many people claim that exposure to such things and/or pornography has no influence on how a man will think of his wife or real women, as a research scientist I can assure you that studies have repeatedly shown that it does, (if it’s not already blatantly obvious!) and effects that occur on the subconscious level are hard to tackle. For that reason, I find it very hard not to feel incredibly insecure over it. It’s hard to deal with the fact that still in this day and age while so many of us work to show that women are capable of so much, society is still so determined to keep us objectified and convinced that our appearance is the most important thing, you only have to look at this site to see the harm and unhappiness it causes for women.

    Anyway, the point I’m getting to is that the reason your body is so ‘disgusting’ to you is because we live in a world where we no longer, as women or lovers, just have to keep our own man happy in the home, we are keenly aware that they are constantly bombarded with images of younger and usually thinner women in provocative poses and even in more active ways in strip clubs etc. And, until you can feel confident that none of that really matters and your partner is content with you, you will never be happy, but of course that is going to be so much harder for you as you were very actively involved in promotion of the pre-baby female body as the pinnacle of beauty, having previously made a living by turning on men who for the most part have wives or partners who could never compete with you visually often as a result of carrying their children. Maybe you’ll come to realise how hard this makes things for other women. You, like the rest of us, will have to somehow come to terms with the fact that there will always be a supply of young women with young bodies willing to put on a display for men to get some cash, and you can’t be one of them for ever.

    Maybe the positive for you to take from this is that now is the time to explore what you can achieve through other lines of work that are so much more meaningful and valuable for our society than reinforcing women’s role for pleasing men. I would guess that when you find something more important that you want to do you will find much more satisfaction, the kind that will last beyond your youthful years.

  25. kasey Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 6:36 am

    :)

    I am on EXACTLY the same page.
    Except, I am three littles in.
    We probably worked together! :)
    Goldies? Dallas? Men’s?
    pm me at
    kasey dey (Fb)
    Maybe we can share tea and sympathy and a zumba class and pram walk!
    It’s been a long winter….It’s time to enjoy the kids and think about an extra way of earning income…. :)

    With love, respect and in complete alignment.

    XX Kasey

  26. kilala Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    i wanna dance but i have that same problem is there anything i can do so that my stomach won’t show?

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