~Number of pregnancies and births: 1
~The age of your child: 4 yrs
I have wanted to contribute here for a while but didn’t know if I could contain all my thoughts on my body image/pregnancy to a few paragraphs. Always needing to do things either perfectly or not at all I have avoided it, but I need to get these thoughts out for myself as well as others who can relate.
I have always had a poor relationship with my body and appearance. I was overweight as a child through the age of 13 when I lost around 50 lbs on my own. At thirteen seeing the difference between how you are treated at 170 lbs and 120 lbs is a difficult thing to handle. Although I lost weight I was still unhappy with my body because I had stretch marks and a little lower belly pooch. I never developed much in the way of boobs. I did not wear bikinis EVER.
Fast forward to college years and a history of eating disordered behavior and bad choices with guys. The beginning of my junior year I finally met a “nice” guy who respected me. We were together for about 8 months when I found out I was 5 months pregnant (I have PCOS and was told I would probably need help getting pregnant, not so!) I am so so so blessed that this happened with the most amazing guy and love of my life. We are still together, engaged and soon to be married!
My pregnancy was easy, although I did gain 50 lbs going from 120 to 170. I did not get to many new stretch marks except for on my boobs. Most of the “flaws” garnered from pregnancy were ones I had pre-pregnancy (stretch marks, tummy pooch, loose skin) My son Nolan was born on October 9, 2005. My labor and delivery only took about an hour and I know I am very lucky with that!
Now to get to my current state of self acceptance or self hatred rather: I am currently 4 years postpartum. I lost the weight within a few months and have stayed between 115-125 @ 5’4″ for the past 4 years. I know many people would consider me lucky and some may think I am crazy for not being happy with myself. With that said, I am at constant unrelenting odds with myself to accept and be happy with my appearance.
There are times that I am happy with how I look but it never lasts, I will see a bad picture or obsess over my small boobs and extra skin. I did workout a lot over this past year and will admit I probably look the best I ever have but the problem is that it is never good enough there is ALWAYS ALWAYS something that needs to be fixed. I did finally gain the courage this year to wear a bikini though.
Some people may look at my pictures and feel bad or possibly some jealousy (I only say this because I have had these feelings) My point is that I do not intend that AT ALL and if you knew the constant struggle and inner turmoil I have everyday you would not have an ounce of jealousy. I am extremely jealous of all the women who have found self acceptance and I would take extra stretch marks and softness if I could be at peace with myself.
I think all the women on this site are beautiful and fine the way they are but somehow I cannot convince myself of the same thing. My main point of this all is to say that it does not matter what you look like only that you are happy with yourself. In this society all women are made to feel like they are not good enough and nobody wins in this situation. Everyday I have this constant struggle with myself when I should be worrying about MUCH more important things. Appearance is trivial and yet somehow I cannot get past it.
The pictures I included are ones I took recently in an attempt to find confidence in myself. I am one to always avoid cameras and I do not have many pictures of myself. I know these pics are taken in a flattering light, that is my baby steps lol. Also included some pics of my beautiful boys who give me strength each day. I don’t know if I conveyed all the things I wanted to in this post but I made an attempt and that is a step in the right direction for me!