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No Comparison (Anonymous)

January 5, 2012

We hear so often that celebrities aren’t comparable to real people because they have things we regular mortals can only dream of: trainers, laser treatments, personal chefs, plastic surgeons on site, maternity fashion stylists, spa treatments, etc. And I guess all of that’s true. And I guess I can accept that and not compare myself to them. But what about when your best friend glides through pregnancy in high heels, skinny jeans and with fabulous hair? What about when she walks out of the hospital thinner and less scarred then you were before you ever even thought about having kids? What about when everyone says she must have had such a great pregnancy/post pregnancy body because she had her kid at 23 and nursed. And you did those same things (but at 21!!) and your body looks like a horror story? I wish I could say that I didn’t compare. I wish I could just be happy that not everyone has to go through the mental agony over their bodies that I did after my baby was born. I wish I could realize that maybe others have their own personal trials and not glorify my own image issues so much. Everyone has problems, no one is perfect. I say it to myself every day. Jealousy is wrong because it makes us focus on what we don’t have and takes away our focus from all that we are blessed with. I know this! And yet, I have a very hard time not comparing myself to others. Especially other mothers. I had my baby 2 and half years ago. My best friend had hers three weeks ago: Not a stretch mark, not a drop of extra skin, back in size 2 pants. The stats shouldn’t matter but they do. Everyone has problems, no one is perfect. Everyone has problems, no one is perfect. How bad am I that that thought comforts me? I don’t want my best friend to have problems, but if she doesn’t my own flaws seem so incredibly magnified. It is so easy for me to see the beauty in others. Which might be considered a good trait, except that I use their found beauty to tarnish my own. I’ve worked so hard and the weight was gone quickly but my skin is ruined. I wish someone had told me. I told my friend. She laughed it off and she was right, for her it was a joke. Pregnancy did nothing, she’s said so herself. (In a sweet way, she’s really kind. these issues are my own and not hers, just wanted to make that clear.) I want to be a better person. I want to see others AND myself as beautiful. I want to stop apologizing for my scars. I want to stop feeling like I failed. Everyone has problems, no one is perfect.

I’m 24.
I’ve been pregnant once.
I have one son.
My son is 2 and half years old.
I’ve worked so hard to get here! These pictures might not show that but they’re where I am today:

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24 Responses to “No Comparison (Anonymous)”

  1. shannon Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 7:41 am

    You look amazing! You stretchmarks may seem like a lot to you, but trust me…others will not notice them! You should look at my story (go to child loss, my name is Shannon). I compare myself to others as well. My 1st would be a little over 5, and my 2nd will be 3 in April. I am 25, I have stretchmarks, loose skin, and another 10 pounds to lose (STILL!). My cousins wife just had a baby 4 weeks ago, she is 24, no stretchmarks at all, and she has about 2 pounds to lose! We are all different…I do compare myself to other moms, I wish I didn’t. Even when I looked at your pictures, I thought “she looks better than me too” :)

  2. Mandy Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    i actually have to disagree, trainers and food nutritionist just know what they are talking about, its not hard to pick up a book and read about good nutrition or to go for a walk or ride a bike…i have had 3 kids and still look damn look, flat stomach thhat can rival jessica albas,lol…

  3. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Mandy, I don’t think that’s what she was getting at. I think she was talking about the reasons behind and the futility of comparing ourselves to others.

  4. Karla Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    You have put in words what I have been trying to explain to my hubby in years. Yes! I dont care if I dont look like Jessica Alba…but I did allowed myself to compared myself to one of my best friends…and of course she was in a two piece in a few weeks after having a baby…so yeah I know what you mean…it makes you feel like crap. It would kill me knowing that I ate healthier than her, did more excersise than her in her whole life and yet I was the one stuck with strecth marks…and an easy pregnancy…I had to finally let go (it took a while). I started seeing the beauty in me and realized that even though she is beautiful that doesnt make me any less beautiful. Hope you feel better soon! you look great!

  5. jen Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    adding “lol” at the end of a comment doesn’t make it less catty. and having the knowledge won’t automatically make you look like a movie star. lots of us “picked up” plenty of books about nutrition/exercise (and put it all into practice) during our pregnancies. but guess what? that didn’t magically get us off the hook genetically. grow up Mandy. you missed the whole point of this awesome post: NO COMPARISON.

  6. Liz Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Mandy, we are all entitled to our own opinions. This is a place where women come to be heard, understood, supported. Do you feel as though your comment was necessary? Do you think that the woman sharing her feelings, her heartbreak needs your negativity?

  7. Em Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I understand where you are coming from 100%. I complained about my body recently on an FB page for new moms. Most were in the same boat, but one girl went on about how she worked her butt off before, during and after pregnancy, so her tummy snapped back.Seriously? Some of us don’t have great skin. I was think growing up. I held records in sprinting. I had a low body fat %, but my legs were covered in stretch marks. My breasts that were almost non-existent had stretch marks. And my sides had awful awful marks. I knew I would have problems with stretch marks during pregnancy, regardless of working out or not. I was on bedrest, so very little exercise happened (placenta previa). I hate my body, too. I know women who have had twins with no stretch marks and no loose skin. Honestly I know I cannot get past it. My apron of skin will have to go. I am saving for a tummy tuck. I know myself well enough to know that I cannot look at myself in the mirror and see any kind of value. It’s stupid, and I shouldn’t feel this way, or at least everyone says I shouldn’t feel this way. Well, I DO feel this way. For now all I can do is get rid of the extra weight, wear a slimmer under clothes, and trust that my husband loves me for me, and not that I fit a certain size or shape.

  8. river Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Mandy that was uncalled for. Anyway. I completely understand your feelings. Having friends who bounce back when they dont even try can hurt. And eating healthy and exercising doesnt always prevent stretch marks or loose skin. But heres the thing. How do you know she is unchanged? Have you actually seen her naked and close up. This is not a criticism but what women seem to forget is that we dont know with 100% certainty that some one is completly unchanged. And if some one says they arent changed by pregnancy whos to say they arent lying its not like theyre going to lift their tops up and show you now are they? And some times there are medical changes which you cannot see. Such as urinary and rectal incontinence.

    Besides at the end of the day going through one pregnancy and bouncing back does not guarantee the.same for all pregnancies.

    On another note you look awesome! So youve got a few stretch marks. Doesnt change the fact you could rock a bikini! You look great and should be damn proud.

  9. ambar Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    i think you look fabulous! Each person is only given what they could handle. Be happy that you’ve got a great figure, and a healthy baby… i understand too! i compare constantly , search blessed and tortured.. I may be small but the skin and stretchies are there, but i embrace the great shape i have ;) and you should too

  10. kyla Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 5:21 am

    hey momma, you’re perfectly gorgeous.

    those stretch marks are a graffiti tag that your little boy left for you, and it says “i was here”. he didn’t write that for anybody else.

  11. L Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Similar situation I gained alot of weight with my pregnancies but I still rocked it. Great hair makeup nice clothes.. my husband loved me the same maybe even more because I has carrying his kids. I did lose the weight I gained but the shape of my belly changed and I did get stretch marks all over. I did exercise afterwards I worked 40+ a week with my first and my son was tremendously sick during my second pregnancy. We almost had to do a bone marrow test but thank the Lord he is all better now. I did have a similar situation this summer. A good friend went about dieting during her pregnancy and only gained 25 pounds. She lost it to before she came home from the hospital and no stretchmarks. She lost an additional 10-15 pounds I believe. She is really skin and bones. I’ve only known her for a while so not sure what she looked like as a teenager. However her husband tells her she is too skinny and he has dated thicker curvier girls before her so I don’t know. But everyone is different some people change in pregnancy others don’t. Most women do however it’s more common to have stretchmarks than not. Best wishes you and and like you said you worked hard to get where you are so be happy and enjoy your baby ..

  12. Stephanie Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I lost all the weight within 5 weeks after my first. Then came my second…..and lost hardly anything. Remained 20 pounds up until I worked really hard and lost 15. Every person is different, and every pregnancy is different. Next one might be a different story for both of you. FWIW, you look great!

  13. shakti Says:
    January 8th, 2012 at 12:34 am

    I have yet to see a post entitled ” I’m Mandy and just perfect”

    As for the OP, you look great. Forget everyone else, i know its hard but just try and focus on your love and relationship with your son. Time goes by so fast..too fast to be caught up in how we’re not as good as the next. You are a beautiful and perfect goddess to your son, now believe it!

  14. Chelsey Says:
    January 8th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    What Mandy said was really childish and grossly innaccurate. Some women can eat burgers and fries every day and not gain a pound, while some of us eat like rabbits and could run every day but our skin elasticity sucks (good ol’ genetics) and we just cant “spring back.” I had an emergency c-section because I am 5ft 3″ and had a beautiful baby girl over 9lbs thanks to my hubby being well over 6ft tall. I gained 48lbs during 41 weeks of pregnancy and lost all but 9 within the first week (alot of baby and other stuff but not alot of fat).People were addimate that I was haing twins >:( I have horrible stretchmarks all over my tummy and sides and a little apron of loose wrinkly skin over my ugly scar. I love my daughter but like you I struggle accepting my image. Now I am pregnant again and I have to constnantly remind myself that I am not “fat” I am “pregnant” lol Its difficult because we all want to be perfect but girl I must tell you, you look amazing. And you have your beautiful baby to tank god for. Don’t give up. We always look much worse through our own eyes.

  15. Chelsey Says:
    January 8th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    **Side note I just noticed all the spelling mistakes,
    Sorry ladies! :)

  16. Anonna Says:
    January 10th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I know exactly what you mean…I was only 21 when I had my son, I started at a healthy weight (on the thin side really), gained only 30 lbs, and lost it all afterward; but I still came out of it with stretch marks everywhere – even on my calves! All the while, celebs were gaining 60 pounds while pregnant and then looking perfect again 6 weeks later :) Everyone’s body is different, but it’s so hard not to compare.

    PS – you could be my stomach twin…I think you look great! Thanks for posting.

  17. johanne Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I totally understand the impulse to compare. I saw Jessica Alba’s tummy and I was jealous. Mostly because I dont even know if any amount of excersize will take away the loose skin. My tummy looks wrinkled! Its so awful. I am use to practically living in a bikini. Here’s the thing, most days I am ok. I cant wear a bikini but there are some killer one piece’s suits out there. My hubby is pretty awesome and reassures me that he loves me and my body. Most important, if this is what it took to get the most precious little man in my life, then I would do it a hundred more times! Your baby is gorgeous! and You are too!

    Mandy- Your a bone head.

  18. Tati Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I completely understand. Word for word I could have written this post. Except now I’m 25 with 2 kids. I had my daughter 3.5 years ago, I worked all the extra weight off and then some…. And I hated my body even more after. Then I had my son and I still hate my body and I’m completely unmotivated to loose the extra weight this time because I see it as pointless. Blah… Anyways sorry I have pretty extreme body issues and I struggle daily to not compare myself to the rest of the world. Im constantly jealous and I NEVER use to be that way so it’s been really hard to deal with. I wish I had some magical advice for you that would make it all better. Sadly I don’t. All I can say is I understand and you are not alone.

  19. NRivera Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Oh Honey you look great! I had my first @ 21 yrs old. I am now 29 and have a 21 month old. My stomach is 10X worse that yours from my first pregnancy :) And I am now ok with that but I understand what you mean. I have felt the jealousy but now I joke about my stretch marks. I own a maternity store now and I try to comfort new moms who are worried about getting stretch marks. I just blogged about this and also share this website as much as I can with other mothers:
    http://utah.todaysmama.com/2012/01/13/stretch-marks-suck/

  20. NRivera Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    And you were definitely right about not being jealous because it takes away from the things we should be thankful for :) Very good advice that everyone should tell themselves every morning when they wake up! T

  21. Karini Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I feel the same way as you. *sigh*

  22. heather Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    And to the poster. I think you look good.
    3 years after my second child and my stretch marks are still very dark and my skin is loose so that no matter how much I work out or how flat my tummy gets it’ll always look pudgy.
    I have felt everything you have and can sympathize.
    I just try to focus on being healthy and not commenting on my looks around my daughter (so she doesn’t grow up thinking that is where her value lies).

  23. julia Says:
    December 12th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I love this. I feel the same way. I beat myself up everyday thinking what if I did…what if stretchmarks are not genetic and I just failed. I realize I had twins too and didn’t bounce back like all the celebrities you see. I exercised every day and ate healthy. Could have I done better? Ugggg who would have every guessed my stomach would be such a negative obsession. Wish I could have done everything to the point I could say…well I couldn’t have done any better.

  24. Shannon Says:
    December 12th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I had my first son back in 06 only then to become pregnant with my second son when my first was only nine months,follow a year later to the T I got pregnant with my third my lil Girl. None were planned all loved! My body on the other hand still feels like a cruel joke. My waist is the size it was before my kids as is my hips and well pretty much the rest of me.Except my breast and the skin on my stomach. I was a c when i first got pregnant and am now around (ddd).My husband says i’m more beautiful now than when he met me because of the miracles I gave him I feel the same but I still can’t look in the mirror and get very angry when I see people who have had more kids and look like they’ve had none!One day I’ll be able to accept my new form but it’s not today.

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