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My Journey to Accepting My Body (Anonymous)

October 18, 2008

Before and During Pregnancy
I have always been rather slender. I am very petite; the heaviest I have been is 113 pounds and I am 4’11.” I should also note that I have never had an eating disorder and have never been on a diet. Sure, there were times I was out of shape and a little heavier than I should have been, but for the most part I have been a normal, average, healthy size.

In the year preceding my pregnancy, I was in the best shape of my life, working out regularly, wearing a size 0-1, and I was a healthy 90 lbs. Needless to say, I am a very disciplined person. During my pregnancy, I maintained my workouts for the most part, except I modified how I did abdominal exercises so that I wasn’t lying supine. I also listened to my body and stopped when I started to get overtired. During the last 4-6 weeks of my pregnancy, I hardly ever exercised because I was too tired. As far as my pregnancy diet is concerned, I didn’t change anything about my normal way of eating. That is to say, I ate moderately: I ate when I was hungry, and stopped when I was full. I had a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, vitamins, nutrients, and other healthy stuff. I avoided caffeine and too many sweets. I gained about 30 pounds during my pregnancy, it was my 1st baby (1st pregnancy also), and I was 25. I gave birth vaginally at 37 weeks without any problems to a healthy child.

After Pregnancy
I was in my pre-pregnancy clothes and wearing a size 0-1 again by 3-4 weeks after delivery, although I wasn’t nearly as toned and as tight as I was pre-pregnancy. I also breastfed my baby for 9-10 months (exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months).

I didn’t start working out again consistently until my baby was about 7 months old. I wanted to, but at first I wasn’t motivated, then I was too busy (I returned to work when baby was 3 months old). By the time my baby was between 5-7 months, my post partum depression had reached a peak. I certainly didn’t feel like working out at that point. Consequently, I wasn’t feeling very confident about my figure, even if it looked good according to most people’s standards.

But I did start working out again, like I said when my baby was 7 months old. I started off slowly, only 3 days a week with light weights, and I gradually built up to my current (and former) routine of 4-6 days a week, doing cardio and weights (3-10 lbs), and occasionally running outdoors 2.5 to 3 miles at a time. Exercise definitely helped me combat my depression, and coupled with good friends and a supportive & loving husband, I was able to beat depression completely without medication. I now work out consistently as if my life depends on it — because the quality of my life really does depend on it. I feel better, I look better, I’m more emotionally stable, and I have more energy to submit to my family and my friends.

My baby is now 17 months old (I am now 26), and for the most part, I am content with my body right now. I didn’t get any stretch marks, and I felt like I took very good care of myself to avoid excessive weight gain, but also to maintain a healthy diet for my baby. I have worked very hard to get my body back after giving birth, and since I am a perfectionist, I will always have more goals to attain concerning my body. I never got back down to 90 pounds, but I am at 94-95 pounds and I look just as great (possibly even better) than I did pre-pregnancy. Be encouraged – it is possible!

Despite meeting my personal goals, I have battled with my self-image for a long time. For the first few months after weaning, I didn’t like my breasts at all. They were (and still are) so small. I was a perky 32B/34B pre-pregnancy, and with my small frame they were the perfect size for me! While nursing I went up to a beautiful 34C and I loved it! Now, 6 months after weaning my baby, my little pancake breasts hang at a 32A. For a long time I was extremely dissatisfied with them. When I first came across this site about 3 months ago, I was amazed at the gracious self acceptance I saw, and I wanted to be able to say(like many women here) that I love my breasts and that the way they look is a testimony to how I’ve nourished my child. I have never regretted breastfeeding at all, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. But I admit that I am a little saddened to see how they look now. I don’t, as other women do, truly consider them a “badge” or “mark” of honor. For a long time I just saw how small and flat they look. I struggled with this daily for several months. I even considered getting plastic surgery to make them perky and just a little bit bigger, but all I ever really wanted was to just accept them and change the way I think about them. My husband has always abhorred the idea of plastic surgery, and he insisted that I was focusing too much on my breasts. He would tell me that I am beautiful and that my breasts nourished our sweet baby, which is what they were always meant to do. He loves my breasts because of that reason. “And besides,” he would tell me, “they work wonderfully for their sexual purposes as well.”

After some self examination, I can finally say that I kind of like my breasts. Sure, I still wish they were perky and a little bit bigger, but I have finally taken a step and at least accepted them. I am glad they are natural and soft flesh, instead of silicone or saline implants. Okay so they’re not my idea of perfect, but I can accept them today, and appreciate them as a gift. I am still on a journey to accepting and loving my body and breasts just the way they are. Part of that journey is to share my story here. I feel like this will help me admit my struggle publicly and I know that this is part of my process of acceptance. Thank you for allowing me to share my story anonymously.

Lastly, here are all current photos of myself, taken at 16 months post-baby.

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24 Responses to “My Journey to Accepting My Body (Anonymous)”

  1. tabby Says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    I think part of the problem is that you know how your breasts looked before pregnancy, so you are comparing your current breasts to those breasts instead of judging them objectively.

    Objectively speaking, your breasts as they are NOW look great. There is nothing “flawed” or grotesque about them whatsoever. They have all of the characteristics of breasts that we typically admire in this society (round, smooth, medium sized nipples and a nice handful size).

    So stop judging them against the breasts you once had and judge them as they are now based on their own merits.

  2. Michelle Says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    wow, you look great. you’re boobs look great, not pancakey at all! You are so lucky that you didn’t get stretch marks and that you have no overhanging skin. I must say, your butt is awesome. I had a baby 11 months ago as well, and let me tell you, I don’t look like that!

  3. cmom Says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    “a healthy 90 pounds” — there is no such thing for a grown woman.

  4. *n* Says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    lol omg you are my boobie twin but your stomach looks 10x better than mine. lucky!

  5. big daddy Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Don’t sweat it. You look fantastic!

  6. SV Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 4:08 am

    I think you look absolutely beautiful. I am 5’1 and my breasts are a 34A and look nothing like yours (yours are much nicer). As for the previous comment, I disagree! My mother is the same height and weight as you are and she is a regular at the gym and she is healthy. Take into consideration the fact that you have been working out more and have probably added on more muscle resulting in a slightly higher weight of 3-4 pounds.

  7. Lela Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    You can weigh a healthy 90 pounds if you are only 4’11.

  8. sam Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    First, I would like to say that you look great!

    Secondly, I would also like to reply to cmom’s comment by saying that 90 lbs can be a healthy weight, it just depends on your height and frame.

    Keep up the positive attitude!

  9. Louise Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Your body looks exactly like mind does. And I have the same hang up about my breasts. (I didn’t breastfeed and my breasts and the back of my legs are covered in stretch marks. The stretch marks dont bother me.)
    I think you look great. I hope that I too can become comfortable with my “new” breasts.

  10. jenna Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Sweetheart I would love the chance to accept your body in place of mine! You look great, best wishes.Jenna

  11. Beth Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    It’s so refreshing to see (literally) how open and relaxed you are with your body. I am much older than you but look forward to a time when I could do a similiar post.

  12. Amber Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I wish i looked as good as you

  13. MilkMama Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Are you taking pictures of me? LOL. Those are my breasts and if I think I look sexy then so do you! You look fabulous!

  14. samera Says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    you could be a model your body is so slim i have 2 kids the youngest is 5 months i brestfed her for 4 months and i would love to get a boob job and a tummy tuck. u should be so proud of your body

  15. Lauren Says:
    November 3rd, 2008 at 6:33 am

    In response to CMom’s comment, “a healthy 90 lbs” is indeed possible when she only stands 4’11″ tall.
    The whole point of this website is to encourage one another….not to judge. Let’s not be so negative, ok? She looks fantastic.

  16. rose Says:
    November 19th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    you have an amazing body! embrace yourself! there are millions of women out there who would love to look like you. you have a perfect shape and your very proportionate!

  17. aimee Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    you have an amazing body, ill trade you anyday, you have such a cute body, be happy you got lucky!

  18. Dancingsky Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    You look amazing- better than me, and I’ve had NO kids!!!

  19. Caroline Says:
    January 10th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I don’t even have that nicelooking breasths pre-pregnancy. I would be so happy if my breasths were like yours.
    I have had a complex for mine as long as I can remember.

  20. Original Poster Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I have checked back to this site from time to time, remembering what I posted, and to see the comments.

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you who have said such encouraging things.
    It really did help for me to be published on this website… it helped me on my journey. I really do feel a lot better about my body. I have continued to take care of myself, working out regularly & eating healthy & moderately. I do think my body looks even better, almost 5 months after I originally posted my story & photos. My breasts are still small, but they are beautiful, and I can honestly say that.

    THANK YOU, to everyone who gave a heartfelt word of encouragement. You are a part of my journey. Thank you.

  21. Cynthia Collins Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    You have a great body, and your breasts are perfect. Kudos to you for breast feeding. I am beginning my journey of accepting my body today, OFFICIALLY. I weigh over two hundred pounds and I have been on every diet none to man. I surrender. I am tired of berating myself, so effective today, it is what it is.
    I want to dive into the feelings and deal with them, and not go running behind food

  22. velisha Says:
    June 7th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Your front part looks similar to my body, only I am 5.4″. My breasts are kinda similar to yours, only little bigger (34 B) and I also have problems accepting them. One day I love them, next day I hate them and want to have a boob job. There are only two ways: accepting them or plastic surgery. I choose the first option.

  23. Dav Says:
    November 1st, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I would love to come home to you at night!! Not a thing wrong with your lovelt breasts.

  24. Antoinette Says:
    January 21st, 2011 at 11:14 am

    You have great tone on your stomach and bum. I have the same shape as you… im 5,4 125lbs – and wear a 34A bra. Your whole body shape looks quite similiar to mine. I dont like my body shape… i feel my breasts are too small and i dont feel womanly because of it. Its such a pity too because when I look at your photos I see a perfectly normal, attractive body shape with proportionate sized breasts! But i still cant come to terms with accepting my own ~ maybe i should do what you have done! iNSPIRING…thanks for the read


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