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Shape of Me: Take Two (Mom)

Age : 28
Number of pregnancies : 2

I am a mom of two beautiful and I mean beautiful children. Not just saying that because I am mom ! My son was born ten years ago and two years or so after that, I completed an entry into this forum with photos. It was the scariest thing I had ever done. It was the first time anyone saw me naked, and in the light. It was the first time I shared my insecurities with what might as well have been the entire world. It was a freeing experience and though it did not resolve my body image issues, it did bring about a sense of adventure and a step into the unknown. It also allowed me to relate with hundreds of women and hopefully provide understanding with other women. Their comments truly made me smile. Their feedback was appreciated and it never left me, their words of positivity and wisdom.

I had my son at the young and impressionable age of 18. Back then media was worse than it is now. I was devastated to see the impact pregnancy and childbirth had on my body. I was a single parent , no visitation, nothing. Previous to that pregnancy I struggled with a major and almost deadly eating disorder. I was very small, underdeveloped. When I became pregnant I made the brave and selfless decision to devote every day to growing and making that little being as healthy as possible. For the first time, I ate and enjoyed meals. I gained a whopping 100 lbs. considering I was less than 100 prior to pregnancy, I gained a healthy weight and then a pregnancy weight. My son was born weighing in at 10.2.. I had major stitching, was hospitalized myself.

The years that followed were emotional not just with having a baby, but having a new and not improved (in my eyes) body, new relationships, new experiences at school. As my body shrunk back, I was left with thousands of stretch marks from arms to legs.. Deep and dark, lifeless breasts and a shredded stomach (not in a good way). I wore girdles , push up bras, I fake tanned, cream tanned, ran … I dedicated every ounce of my time to my body and what I thought could repair it, and my self esteem. I had relationships that failed, friendships that suffered and a lack of parenting found that I’ll never get back. I was receiving media messages that I could not filter. I had to be beautiful , I couldn’t afford it. What was I to do? My efforts in my own eyes were fruitless. Small improvements were made. Days were good, and then so low. I took photos of myself , I compared, I cried. I had sex with the lights off. I knew all the ways to conceal imperfections in moments that are meant to let go, be vulnerable. I had never been. I moved around , squirmed, sucked, tucked , rolled and mainly bent over for any intimate relationship. Imagining revealing my imperfections was mortifying. Imagining being abandoned for it was devastating, a nightmare.

Years later, I met my husband. This was after countless failed relationships. We met on a whim. An absolutely breath taking and handsome man. More than I could have imagined and a glowing loving personality that could not be beat. We fell in love. We made promises to help me become vulnerable. He was gentle and amazing and over the past four years of our marriage I have opened up more than I could have imagined. A man who loves me as I am. A year ago I had my daughter. The most beautiful creature I have ever seen, wild and gorgeous. My body minimally changed as I kept up my fitness in pregnancy and did yoga religiously (a huge passion of mine), but most of all I was grounded and loving and calm throughout my pregnancy. After having her I continued my fitness (which is much more to maintain my shape than for health) on a regular basis.

You know, I love my life, I love my husband but we live with more than just our children. We live with this angry other person in the room. Someone who tells me I am hideous and not good enough for my husband. That he deserves a woman with the perfect body, not me , used and destroyed …. I look back at my first pregnancy and I would do anything to go back and have more self restraint about food and knowledge about exercise. I ask why did this happen to me? Why did I get this body? Why do I work so hard to fix it all for nothing ? I see women in social media and the news and I cannot believe they have been so blessed with breasts and bodies and smiles and how were they dealt such an amazing hand ? I know I’ve read some stories here and then looked at the pictures and wondered , “what’s wrong with her !? She’s gorgeous!!” , but this is my personal fight and I try not to judge.

Body dysmorphic disorder is real. We don’t always see ourselves the way we are, or the way others do. I don’t have any answers. I have lots of questions and lots to learn. I feel always at the beginning of my body journey and nowhere near the end. I’m only here to bare all again and share and show and expose myself because it’s a tiny piece of my healing that I wish to share with you. I don’t wish you all to be cured in one day, I just hope like me, that you find small ways when and if you can on some days and moments in time to really be in the moment, as who you are , as you are feeling the wind or maybe the sun or maybe just observing what’s happening around you and that not every moment is spent with focus on what you are missing or what you want. Sometimes we have so much and we don’t notice until we stop time. All the best to you.

in Belly, Body Dysmorphic Disroder, Breasts, Eating Disorder, Postpartum, Second Pregnancy, Submissions, Teen Mom
7 comments… add one
  • Kam Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 4:40 am

    You definitely have that disorder because you look amazing.

  • Kristi Thursday, November 5, 2015, 8:51 am

    You’re story is breath taking. I have known all of those feelings for so long. Even if one thousand people tell you that you look great and you’re beautiful the only one who truly needs to believe it is you. I am a mother of a 2 year old, and I’m only 21. I got pregnant in college and it somehow made everything hard, being a young mother is so hard because you see other girls your age and feel like you’re nothing compared to them. But you are the world to your children, and you have an absolutely beautiful and gorgeous body, I see nothing wrong with it at all! I went to counseling for body dismrphic disorder and I still have my bad days, so I know 100% how it feels. I just want you to know that you have a beautiful figure and body and wear it with pride, you brought two beautiful babies into this world and nothing is more beautiful than a mother. I am so happy I came across this story because it’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one who behind closed doors looks at myself this way. I have tons of stretch marks and I just now 2 years later realized that I will rock a bikini with all these stretch marks showing because I have an amazing son, and my body is amazing for what is has done! You go girl!

  • Sabrina Thursday, November 5, 2015, 11:38 pm

    Your breasts are similar to mine. I used to have cute, perky, perfect little A cups. I loved them. 9 years after my daughter, they’re flabby and uneven. Wish I had words of encouragment, but I don’t. Just know you’re not alone.

  • Sam Thursday, November 12, 2015, 10:02 pm

    I honestly don’t know why this other commenter would justify your insecurity here, I mean I get it, we all have insecurities about the changes pregnancy has put our bodies through… And it’s a struggle every day to accept my body too, so I get it… But I just wanted you to know that your body is so so so gorgeous. Seriously if my body looked like that tomorrow, I’d feel so freaking sexy and awesome and finally free to stop worrying about how I look naked. You inspire me to keep up with my workout routine. You look fabulous.

  • laila Thursday, December 3, 2015, 1:17 pm

    we have the SAME body, but i think you look stunning, i have my moments

  • Original Poster Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 6:26 am

    Thanks so much ladies that means the world. I had not come back to check on this as it took quite a while to see it on the site ! I hope that you all continue to be inspired to love your bodies. It takes time. I am still a work in progress and have a long way to go…. So hard , the body struggle and I appreciate your kind words. All the very best to you x

  • Shelby Monday, August 15, 2016, 7:27 am

    This is the first time I have not felt completely alone. As I read this, there were times I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. ? Thank you!

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