Bringing Sexy Back with a New Body (Anonymous)

In high school, I was always a slender and athletic girl. At 6 feet tall, it was easy to put on 5 or 10 pounds without anyone noticing. I played a sport every season and enjoyed food.

When I went to college, I was the cliché: about 15 pounds, but lost it quickly, before my wedding. I got married after finishing my freshman year, to my high school boyfriend, and weighed 153 the day we got married. I was a size 10.

The summer before my senior year of college, we discovered that I was pregnant. It wasn’t what we had planned, but we adjusted and were very excited to meet our baby in the spring of 2004. I put on 61 pounds, including 12 pounds in the last week of the pregnancy. My body was so swollen and puffy.

My daughter was born 9 days before her due date and weighed 10 pounds and was 21 inches long. Within two days of delivering her, I could see my ankle bones again and was down 25 pounds.

Luckily, I enjoy walking and other forms of exercise, so I was able to continue losing most of the remaining weight in a healthful way. The stretch marks (which were so shocking at the beginning) faded to a silvery pink and don’t really bother me much.

We conceived our second child in June 2005. I had put on 50 pounds by my 35 week of pregnancy when I stopped feeling the baby move. We went in for a routine appointment to discover that our daughter had died. I delivered her two days later, in February 2006.

It was hard for so many reasons, but one of the least expected problems I experienced was coping with the post-pregnancy body without a baby to show for it. I wanted to scream, “This is baby fat–I just had a baby, but she’s dead!”

Support of friends, a precious husband, and a healthy workout pattern at the local Y helped me through those early weeks, and I lost 40 of the 50 pounds I had gained before embarking on our third pregnancy in April 2006.

We were blessed with a beautiful baby in December 2006, just 10 1/2 months after our second baby was stillborn. I was pregnant or breastfeeding 57 out of 59 months (through May of this year). My body was hardly mine!

Since then, I have been relishing the freedom to appreciate and use my body for myself instead of always setting aside my own needs for my children’s. I adore them, passionately and without reservations. But I am glad to have my body back, even though it’s not the one I started out with on this journey.

I currently fluctuate between a size 12 and 14, and weigh about 180 pounds. I work out 4-6 times per week, and will be running my first post-baby 5K later this fall.

Since having babies (all girls), I am more committed to appreciating the myriad ways our bodies are formed. The love handles, stretch marks, baby apron, and mis-matched breasts have their own beauty and give me a feeling of accomplishment.

I revel in the beauty I see on this site and all around me, and hope that our daughters (and their partners) will have an easier time of loving the female form than we have.

10 thoughts on “Bringing Sexy Back with a New Body (Anonymous)

  • Monday, September 29, 2008 at 2:40 am

    wOW! You have an amazing body! Your story was so sad, i cannot imagine having to give birth to a stillborn child, i am so sorry. But you have two beautiful girls and you seem like a fabulous, wonderful and hopeful person! Congratulations and good luck with the run (brave!!!) xxxxx

  • Monday, September 29, 2008 at 3:06 am

    you look really good. Your attitude towards your body is truly inspirational – I hope your girls grow up to be as positive about their body’s as their mother is.

  • Monday, September 29, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Im so sorry about your loss. You look great!! Im 5 7 and weigh 164 and my body looks alot like yours. You carry your weight really well and the stretch marks arent even noticable!!!! Thanks for being so positive!

  • Monday, September 29, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    i have the same exact belly…cept mine is prlly a little worse and look exactly the same when i bend over as well…u look freakn great tho…u go girl!! im on here too under 19 and insecure(tamara)

  • Monday, September 29, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for your kind words, everyone! I appreciate the community on here so much. It helps to have the support of other mommies out there who have traveled this same path. I was a little bit nervous once I submitted my story and pics (even though I’ve wanted to for a long time), but you’ve all made me feel great about myself and so glad to be a woman! :)

  • Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 9:22 am

    HI! I love your body! Mine looks SSSOO much like yours…….I have very small breasts…..I stsrted at an A and went to a c with my son and then back down after nursing and tehn to a dd with my daughter and back down again after nursing… I sag and droop.

    I am ok with myself, but could use a bit of confidence…I am so glad I found this site!

  • Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    thank you so much for writing from the heart. it’s so great to hear women who appreciate their bodies for more than just the cookie-cutter shape that Hollywood shows us. But even so, you do look pretty gorgeous. You go, girl!

  • Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I love the picture of your daughter reaching up to touch your pregnant belly. It is so precious!!

  • Monday, March 16, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I love the picture where you’re sitting, and the picture where you’re wearing jeans. Those in particular help me to really accept myself and be okay with my image–because I have both of those things in common with you (sans the stretch marks; I’ve never been pregnant).

    Thank you. :)

  • Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I think ur sexy an I can barely c n e strech marks I kinda like dem n e ways but listen u look good ur body is nice.

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