I’m really struggling with my body image, I always struggled but it’s worse than ever. I have never felt so horrible about the way I look. In my mind, I have the worst and ugliest body ever, to the point of tears, incredible sadness and depression. I just had my third and last baby almost 3 months ago and my biggest fear is that I will never lose the baby weight or be able to look in the mirror and be o.k. with what I see. I am nursing my little guy and so I can’t diet and/or possibly revert back to old ways ( starving ).
All this causes a huge strain in my marriage. See, with my first son, I was a single mom. With my second son, my husband died the week I gave birth ( we were in a bad car accident ) and so this time with this baby, it’s the first time dealing with the post baby body with someone who sees how horrible I look. With him, it’s even more difficult because for the first 3 plus years we were together, he wasn’t exactly loyal, there was a lot of damage done esp. in regarding my body image. He was always complementing other woman, looking at other women, saying how hot they were while I got nothing. I remember like it was yesterday, we went to a water park/hotel. Prior to the weekend we went, I told him how hard it was going to be for me to be in a swim suit in front of people and that I’d like it if he complimented me when he saw me in one. Well, I put my bathing suit on and got nothing. When we left our hotel room and got to the water park, he proceeded to drool over every other women there. Several times, I have put on lingerie and literally got nothing or at most a little look at that’s it. These are just 2 examples of MANY and I have such a difficult time letting go of all the times I “wasn’t good enough”. Before you ask me why I am with this man, let me explain something. Before me, his only other experience with a real woman was in high school and after that for about 10 years until he met me, all he had was porn, page 3 girls, magazines, strip clubs and his buddies who weren’t much better. The man was a pig and a thoughtless jerk and because of the porn and other smut, I believe he was a victim of what society does to men ( brainwashing them about what woman look like/what woman are for, just like we are affected by all the crap we are fed ). For the past 2 and a half years, he’s really changed/grown up. (at least I hope he truly has ) He won’t dare ogle other women ( at least not in front of me ), he’s extremely affectionate, he compliments me every day, he’s really attentive, is a wonderful dad and a hard worker for our family. But every time he looks at me, I am thinking of all the women he wanted/was attracted to and I know I can never measure up or be as good as them. And it kills me inside because all I want is for him to look at me and see the most beautiful woman ever ( which he claims I am ). I guess I am really stuck in how he use to be and afraid to trust that he really does love me and my body now or that I am what he wants, in spite of my flaws.
I hate!!! my middle, wish I didn’t have so many stretch marks or cellulite and my nipples look deformed to me…one is much lower than the other. After I gave birth, I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight within a few weeks but because of nursing, I eat and eat some more and have put on almost 10 lbs. So, as most women lose weight after a baby, I am gaining and this messes with my head. It doesn’t help that it’s a bad winter and can’t get out for walks. I am stuck at home, in p.j.’s, covered in vomit and it’s just hard to feel sexy/sexual. I try to look at my children and remember that my body did that….gave birth to 3 beautiful boys. I avoid anything that triggers me feeling worse about the way I look and of course, I am ever thankful for SOAM for showing me I am not alone. I just want to feel good in my own skin and maybe even one day, feel beautiful. Thanks for letting me share and for posting some pics ( I couldn’t decide which ones to post so I am sharing them all ). -Lee-Ann
# of pregnancies-7/live births- 3
Ages of children- 18, 9 and almost 3 months