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How did you get comfortable with your new physical self? (MK)

March 5, 2012

I read about all of the women who have gone from being in shape, looking great and feeling good to looking like a “mother.” I read about how you are now comfortable and accepting of your new “beautiful” self. I am not as strong as you are. I want to be where you are mentally and I am looking to learn how you got to where you are.

I was a size 0; 119 lbs before the birth of my son 14 months ago. My hobby was going to the gym and working out. It was/is my stress reliever. I got back to my old size, yet I am left with stretch marks on my stomach, sagging/floppy boobs, huge nipples (I breast fed for 12 months) extra skin on my stomach and diastasis recti. The latter issue doesn’t bother me that much.

I am pregnant again–25 weeks along. I obviously look pregnant, like I should. In addition to me not being comfortable in my new skin, I also have dark, huge aerolas–which I think is pregnancy related! To me it is so unattractive.

I never had time to get use to my the new me because I am now pregnant again. But the issue lies here…

I don’t want to be touched or seen naked by my husband. In bed I have to be covered with a blanket. If I look down and see myself, I don’t find myself sexy and i get upset at what I see. I don’t want to be touched where the extra skin lies nor on my huge nipples! I get so upset and mad. I don’t feel like I deserve to feel good.

On tv and in movies, you never see people like “us” playing sexy roles and if you did it would ruin what the show is trying to capture. How can one find me/us attractive. I don’t get it?!!

There are boundaries in bed which I know isn’t good but I can’t get comfortable and accepting of the new me. Feeling good and feeling sexy is important for a good relationship.

I feel good in clothes and no matter how often others tell me I look good–I need to feel sexy and good with myself (naked). I know confidence is sexy, but I’m just not any longer. Even if I begin to feel cofident, I don’t feel I have the right to be. How did you do it? How did you begin to truly love your new self? Please help. I am miserable and my relationship with my husband isn’t where is should be.

~Your Age: 29
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2nd pregnancy
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 14 months and 1 on the way; due 11/3

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10 Responses to “How did you get comfortable with your new physical self? (MK)”

  1. Karla Says:
    March 5th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I understand what you are going through. This will be a battle you will have to fight every day. At least that’s the way with me. At this point this is the best I ever felt after my babies. What has helped me is that I started training for a half marathon. When I passed that fnish line it was like a dream come true! I never though I could do something like that..and my body and mind were able to…so that gave me confidence. Yes, the stretch marks, extra skins, saggy breasts are still there…but you know what? at least for today I dont care…I look damn sexy! and so far my hubby seems to think so ;) so I would tell you to stop comparing yourself to other AND your pre baby self. Look how you can be a better new you…re invent your self. and something else that helped me was to remember that just because other women are beutiful that does not make me ugly…there is space for all of us…each with our own beauty.

  2. Jan Says:
    March 5th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Look up “Grand Mother or Great Grand Mother” in the categories on this website… There is a post called Dora’s story, and I found it to be very impacting in my own healing. The question “what is beautiful?” is such a general question and yet we look to our society and culture to answer it for us… when we really ought to accept that we are beautiful NOT because of the aesthetic aspect, but rather by the incredible feats our bodies achieve… to grow a child and nourish him or her is a miracle… that is beauty. To provide safe hugs and comfort in a mother’s arms… that is beauty. Close your eyes and feel your skin, smell it… it is warm and sweet and your very own.
    Love your body for what it has accomplished. Yes, it looks different now, but try as hard as you can to respect it…think of it like this. Your breasts were designed to feed a baby. That’s why you’re a woman and not a man. Perhaps your nipples are large and dark but this is actually what they were destined to be! You are beautiful and I hope you will come to believe it.

  3. mia Says:
    March 5th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I never got stretch marks or sagging tummy so I guess it was easy for me to be comfy right away, Iam the same age as you. Just be yourself your husband isnt perfect either! lol

  4. Lauren Says:
    March 5th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I wish I had some advice to give, but I’ve just got to tell you you’re not alone! I went from being a D1 collegiate athlete to a “mom.” I still love to work out, and fit, and more or less thin, I guess, but when I look in the mirror I get depressed. I hate the bulges of fat, the stretch marks, the cellulite. I have hardly let my husband see me naked in the last two years. Its what you said – the entire world affirms that what i look like is not sexy. You would never see a body like mine – even though 5’6″ and 135lbs is normal – in a sexual scene, because its just not sexy. I am just praying and praying for God to help me love my husband enough to take my focus off myself! I need to see myself through my husband’s eyes and know that he loves me, and he wants me sexually because he LOVES ME, not because I am a model. It’s a hard battle to fight. I’m with you. I’ll be looking back here for advice!

  5. Marie Says:
    March 5th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I know how you feel. Just try taking small steps at a time. Many men LOVE big nipples and areaolas, so be thankful for this. Start by giving a little bit more of yourself to your husband each day or each week. Let him show you how great and hot you make him feel by looking at you and your body. We are our own worst enemies, so keep your head up, and be proud of what you are given. Who knows, before long we would love to see an update with your new confidence and maybe some pictures. Good luck.

  6. Proudmama Says:
    March 6th, 2012 at 12:55 am

    It’s different for everyone. With my first pregnancy, it took almost two years for my body to be at a point where I was really okay with it. Now I’m 8.5 months pregnant with my second one and I expect it will be the same this time around. But really was helps me be okay with the extra skin and wrinkles is to know how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to experience pregnancy and motherhood. I know way too many people who can’t get pregnant and they always tell me that they would trade their flat and toned belly with mine in an instant if it meant they could have babies. Would I love to have my old body back? Yes. But my life is so much better now that it really doesn’t seem that important. As for the relationship with your husband, just talk it out. Explain to him your insecurities and how you feel about your body. Communication is key and don’t forget that his body will change with age also but he didn’t get to do what you’re doing, growing two beautiful human beings. It’s an amazing thing! I hope you can find some peace and acceptance with time.

  7. 28 mom of 3y & 4y Says:
    March 9th, 2012 at 4:58 am

    I wouldn’t let my husband touch my stomach either. This went on for a couple years. I think he may have been touching it to let me know that he still found it/me attractive. My situation seems similar to yours. 5’4″ 115 lbs. I got pregnant with number 2 when number 1 was 11 months old. I would either stare at my reflection in the mirror with frustration and disgust or not look at myself below the chest dressed or undressed for weeks. I never denide him sex even though I really wanted to. When we did have sex I would either look up and away or close my eyes. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be doing it but because if I saw myself I would get turned off. I started to get comfortable with my body again because I wanted to beable to enjoy sex more. I started by still not looking at myself and imagining that my body was what it used to be. Eventually my husband’s enthusiasm for my body helped me to feel sexy to him. I’ve begun to see what he sees and I’m still hovering around 150. He touched my stomach a couple weeks ago. I tried to stop him but he reminded me that he thinks I’m sexy and he loves to touch me. It will take a long time but believe your man and let him touch you as much as you can stand to. Focus on the love.

  8. Louellen Says:
    March 13th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    My advice: go to a nude beach! You’ll see ALLLLL sorts of figures there from all walks of life. A good dose of reality.

  9. Michelle Says:
    April 23rd, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I am so sorry you are struggling so hard with your body image. I have never had kids but found this website so important because, as someone who has never had kids, I think that it is important to listen and try to understand what mothers go through in an effort to better understand and be more empathetic. I want to be able to support my friends who have had kids and are struggling with their body image. Body image follows all women, but I believe that the women on this site have an especially difficult time because of the type of experiences they go through and how big of a change it is.
    I can only imagine the daily torment you go through when desiring to be intimate with your husband and struggling because of your concerns.

    Since being so vulnerable with your husband is absolutely terrifying right now, something you can do would be to set aside time that is entirely separate from sex and gradually allow your husband to massage or caress you. You can pick body parts that are “safe” for you, such as starting with your leg, arm, or back, then moving to parts that may be more difficult for you like stomach or breasts. Then you can start by removing one article of clothing at a time until you feel comfortable enough to be naked. You can also ask your husband to give you verbal feedback during this time and tell you what he likes about what he is experiencing (sensations, sights, etc.). This would also be a great way to incorporate some foreplay into your relationship when you’re ready.

    Despite my lack of life experiences, I hope that this helps. Take care.

  10. Stacey Says:
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    You sound so much like me it brought me to tears. I have 3 amazing kids, 5, 3, and 2. All C/S. my body is a mess and my husband is upset that I won’t let him see me anymore. When I take a bath I literally lock the door AND wear a swimsuit because it makes me so sad to see my body this way, and with no time or energy to devote to myself and my fitness. I am happy to have found this website tho.

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