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Two Years On (Ruth)

I’m 32 (today!) and my son (my first and so far only child) is just about to turn two.

I put on four stone with my pregnancy, and despite various diets (and full-term breastfeeding) I have still not managed to lose it all. I’m starting to come to terms with the idea that this might just be my body now. My stomach is riddled with stretch marks which are now silvery in tone. They’re on my hips, too. It’s really wobbly and flabby and I’ve stopped wearing anything with a tight waistband. At the same time, however, I do feel more “feminine” than before. Maybe it’s because I prefer dresses now, as they skim over the flab and are more comfortable. I’m not sure I wanted to feel “feminine” particularly, but it’s happened, and I can’t say I mind too much.

I’m now at the stage where I’m wondering whether to try to lose more weight, or to come to terms with my body the way it is.

What do you think?

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in Belly, First Pregnancy, Mom over 30, Plus-Sized Mom, Postpartum, Submissions

12 comments… add one

  • Jenny Sunday, May 3, 2009, 1:47 pm

    I think the answer should be both — you definitely should accept and love your body for what it can do and where it is now, but at the same time, you should try to get to a healthy weight for you. Talk to your doctor about what what a good long-term target for you should be… but losing any weight should be about caring for yourself and nurturing yourself, and should not come from a place of self-criticism!

  • Lorena Monday, May 4, 2009, 11:59 am

    I don’t think just because you had a baby you shouldn’t keep trying to reach your goals. I read a really good book by Tosca Reno it’s called “The Eat Clean Diet”. It changed my life. The stretch marks might fade with all natural african shea butter. It’s helping me. And lastly, try to get some exercise. Exercise can be fun as long and you find something you like. Try to get some activity everyday. Remember, when you love yourself and your baby you want to be healthy so you can live a long, healthy, and happy life!

  • taiyo Monday, May 4, 2009, 1:56 pm

    You look beautiful. I too struggle with this question. I have about 10-15 lbs to go to get back to where I want to be, and sometimes I think “Maybe this is just what my body wants to be now and I should accept it.”) I think it’s such a personal thing. The means we have for determining what a person’s “healthy” weight is seem so arbitrary. I guess we just have to get to where we feel comfortable.For me, that’s where I feel fit enough to do the things I love to do. It also, ideally, would be to fit into the clothes I wanted to wear, but I think we live in such a culture of non-acceptance (even if we fit the beauty ideal) that we’re so messed up when it comes to the notion of “healthy.” Self-love isn’t about getting to a certain size first. You’re the same person no matter what weight you are, and I think this is something we need to focus on.

    You’re gorgeous!

  • Bonnie (SOAM) Monday, May 4, 2009, 5:55 pm

    *nodding*

    I agree with Taiyo. IMO, it’s really two different things we are dealing with here (and by “we” I am speaking globally for women with body image issues). Our self-image vs. our actual image. Our self-image may not be related to our actual image at all – we can lose weight but many of us just find some other thing to regret about ourselves. I think you should love your body exactly as it is. I also think you should eat healthy and exercise – but that has just as much to do with physical and mental health as it does with body shape.

    Peace, mamas.

  • Bonnie (SOAM) Monday, May 4, 2009, 5:56 pm

    PS, you really are beautiful!

  • TracyKM Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 9:40 am

    Sometimes coming to terms with your body now, will enable more weight loss. If you’re happy with yourself, and treat your body with the respect and dignity it deserves, you will naturally take good care of it. If you’re taking good care of it, then you will naturally accept whatever shape you have. It’s a wonderful circle.
    Some women won’t lose weight while bf because their body is holding on to reserves.
    A great, natural exercise is babywearing. You can wear your baby on your front to 20lbs, and on your back to about 35-40lb (age 3 for most). Find a good carrier like a mei tai or Ergo that keeps baby close and high, not a metal frame backpack that sets baby back from you. Your body is fooled into thinking you weigh more, so you’ll burn more calories, and passively work muscles, while doing your normal life. I totally miss it!
    I think you do look feminine!!! No man has the great curves you do!

  • Dawn Paczynski Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 9:48 pm

    Ruth, the first word I thought of when I saw your photo was, “Lush”. Ruben would have loved to paint you. Deciding to lose weight or not is a tough call, and one I’m working with, too. My youngest is 6 now. No matter what you chose, you are lovely.
    Dawn

  • Emily Sunday, June 21, 2009, 9:49 am

    You are very beautiful and womanly. If you want to lose weight do it for the health benefits because to me you look like a very curvacious sexy woman. I am built like a box and would love to have a shape and feel feminine!

  • shanen Monday, July 20, 2009, 9:37 am

    finally someone who looks like me. I am also trying to accept myself cause with diet exercise I can’t seem to lose the weight.

  • Heather Saturday, August 29, 2009, 4:42 pm

    Girl, you’re cute. Your proportions are pleasing, and your little one thinks you’re the most beautiful thing alive. Looks like you’ve got a little style going there, and I think you’re a rockstar for putting yourself out there. Weight is such a guilty thing – you’re doing fine, and needn’t apologize.

  • Carol Friday, October 16, 2009, 3:13 pm

    you might not have a model thin body but you dress sexy! you totally inspire me !! I have been feeling pretty blue about my shape, but now I see how incredibly attractive and sexy you look so Im going to try the same!

  • Angela Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 8:22 pm

    you have great boobs and cool curves! :)

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