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I Love My Body (Gwen)

January 24, 2012

I have been so thankful to have found this site; it helped me through a period in my life where the physical changes of my body were difficult to keep up with. My self-image and esteem were in a young, and unstable place when I got pregnant. As much as I have always been thankful for my fertility, and having brought my son into my life, I won’t lie: There have been hard times, where I have been genuinely out-of-sorts about my shape, and the way I changed when I got pregnant, and my body after that.

Women have a lot of bad press that surrounds what we are told we need to look like, and what shapes we need to be. We will most likely have more gains and losses in weight because of motherhood, and hormonal changes, and hosts of other things that we will endure in our lifetimes. Some of the things I have read through this site, from brave and loving women and mothers, have gotten me to REALLY see the reality of what we all think – and never dare to say aloud.

There have been other things that have made me so incredibly sad. Words that women have said about themselves that are not only untrue, but they’re unfair. A body is beautiful not because it is perfectly thin, and the skin is flawless; it’s beautiful because there is NO other like it in the world! It will conceive, nurture, and bring forth PEOPLE! It will create milk for an infant, and warmth to soothe tears, arms for wrapping in loving embraces, and so many more AMAZING things! I find that frequently it’s so saddening to read how women *really* feel about themselves, especially when what *I* see is SO beautiful.

I can’t deny that the weight I’ve lost doesn’t make me feel good about myself on some level; but look at the time it’s taken me. Honestly, I didn’t make this as much of a priority as a lot of women do. I let nature take what it needed, and left what *I* needed to be healthy, and sustain breastmilk, and just be able to have time to experience what I wanted, and not feel the stress and strain of what other people thought I should be doing. My body is not perfect. my breasts hang lower, my thighs aren’t smooth anymore, the flesh of my stomach is rife with faded stretch marks. This is what I’ve got, and dammit I love it.

From day 1, my husband has accepted my shape the way it was (12 mos PP), and loved me unconditionally. This is a love I hope every person has, or will have. He has seem my body at its best, and when it was in the transition of post-birth. The expressions I see from him while we are intimate have never lost their enthusiasm. We have both changed physically, and have worked through the hardships and the ups/downs of how we wanted to see ourselves. Love and marriage aren’t always easy, but he has been my pillar through this journey.

I fervently hope that people keep here keep inspiring each other on this site, and keep supporting each other. I have come to love the honesty, and the raw stories people share about their fears and triumphs, and newly found loves in their motherhood and their beautiful children. The support of women who doubt their own beauty and can reclaim their self-confidence, and share that empowerment with each other is an important boon to one another. The love of our families, husbands, dear-ones, and friends are also just as important because there are those of us who don’t want to open our ears to listen to that praise and love.

Our bodies will change, and life will keep forcing us to adapt. This is the nature of the world we live in. Our bodies have such great capacity for miracles that it is almost wrong that we find the aftermath SO damaging to our minds, and feelings about WHO we are. MY body is not WHO I am, it is what I exist in. This is my vessel, and that BEAUTIFUL vessel carried me through pregnancy and a son who has changed everything I ever knew about love, and about what legacy I will leave this world. I would never make any other choice, if given an option to go back.

Love yourselves, ladies. You are the absolute essence of beauty, and the most important part of who we are as human beings. Thank you, everyone, for everything you share. Keep supporting each other, keep showing each other that this is not something we need to be afraid of, or feel terribly about. THIS is beauty!!

First Photo: 7.5 mos pregnant
Second photo: 12-18 mos pp. NOT my most flattering angle!
Third Photo: Take today, 34 mos PP. 154 lbs.
Fourth Photo: Side
Fifth Photo: Side
Sixth: Side, where you can see I have some belly left. :) It can get hidden in the angle, but I assure you there is no flat tummy here.
Seventh: Full-belly shot. Stretch marks are still there, I promise! They’ve faded away into the rest of me. :)
Eighth Photo: My beautiful son.

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5 Responses to “I Love My Body (Gwen)”

  1. Mandy Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    you think this way because you didn’t get stretch marks and tons of loose skin like I did, if I looked like you after a baby I would feel the same way.

  2. izzy Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    What a beautiful post! You look absoluetly amazing and your son is gorgeous :D I hope to look half as good as you do once my daughter gets here.

  3. Jennifer Says:
    January 26th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for the wonderful message, I’m trying to learn to love myself more everyday. congrats and best wishes!

  4. Christine Says:
    January 29th, 2012 at 6:37 am

    I come to this site because it has been helping me with the pregnancy and post-pregnancy process. I never wanted to get pregnant, but I find that after all this time (I am only 3 months PP), I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I am not religious and as I mentioned, I didn’t want a child, but being that I have him, I find I could care less about the massive stretch marks I have.

    However, the weight (I gained 45 lbs and was already a bit overweight when I started) has been a larger burden on me than anything. So, when I come across posts like this in which you CLEARLY illustrate that our bodies do not all go back to pre-pregnancy size in 9 months, I feel that I have hope.

    I make no intentions of having another child and I would like to be healthy and fit not only for my benefit and sanity, but for his. I have two parents who are very overweight and have diabetes and I would like to not end up that way.

    So to see posts like this is entirely encouraging and I thank you. And even though *I* can’t see your stretch marks, I believe you when you say they are there.

    Did you exercise regularly that entire time or just let nature do its thing? Did you alter how you ate or give up things you once indulged in (like Coca-Cola for me.. which was my water during pregnancy as it was the only thing that didn’t give me heartburn)? You see, I have a billion questions of other women who have had children and didn’t just ‘magically bounce back’ to what they were. I know my body could be worse off, but I still dislike what I see in the mirror every day.

  5. D Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Mandy, that was an inappropriate response. This site is supposed to be a resource for all women and outlooks, no matter what the outcome. Gwen, thank you for your positive outlook and sharing your story.

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