If only I loved myself as much as I love my life… (Miss Meliss)

I really do have a wonderful life. I have a beautiful son, a loving husband, a supportive mother, a best friend of almost 30 years. I am a student-nurse. I live in a nice, modern home. I drive a decent car. I have a dog, 2 cats and some fish. I laugh often, I love constantly. I do not want for anything…except my old body back. I am not a fan of what has become of Melissa. Matter of fact, I am completely devastated by how my body has changed. I am not ashamed of who I am, I am just tortured by the way I look. Writing this essay makes me queasy. The thought of attaching a photo? Downright nauseating. I cant look at myself in the mirror…and when I cast that fleeting glance, I think, “That is not me.”

Most of my life I considered myself fat. Key phrase being “I considered myself fat”. No one else ever thought I was. Matter of fact, most considered me rather shapely and thin. I am 5’8 and now 205lbs. And I detest what I look like. I have had BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) since my very early teens. I decided to journal to this site because I know I am not alone, that I am a garden variety postpartum mom, and I want to ease the hearts of other women as they have done for me. And while I am sickened by my physique, I am enamored by my life. I just wish I could figure out how to meld the two and accept myself for who I am and not by my size or how much I weigh. It has affected many aspects of my life. My self-esteem, my sexual attitudes, my style, my grooming…I just don’t feel like “me” and I really, really want to. I just seem to be preoccupied with my weight. I compare myself to every woman, and it just makes me feel worse. I don’t care to dress nicely or fix my make-up or hair. I don’t even care if I match. I want to draw the least bit of attention to myself. But then I look at my son…and none of that matters. And when my son is with me, attention is what we catch…and lots of it. I can make him laugh and smile, he had bonded to me like glue. He looks into my eyes and I know I am beautiful, because he sees the truth. He sees me with no judgement, none of the much influenced, unattainable norms. He sees Mommy…and he loves what he sees.
I gain 76 pounds with my angel. I weighed in at 238lbs on the day I had my C-section. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I dropped all of the years of dieting. I just let it go. I wanted to be able to eat copious amounts of whatever I wanted…and I did. And the doc never complained. Since I had started at a much meeker weight, no one really seemed to notice the scale (but they did remark on how rotund I was becoming with each passing month!) My little man entered the world kicking and screaming at a healthy 9lbs 9oz and 22inches long! He was a big’un. I was so swollen and distended antepartum that by the end of the second week I had lost 25lbs. And what was leftover was not nearly as “cute” as when he was still riding shotgun. I never got any postpartum complications. I didn’t even have any antepartum issues either. I had a wonderful, easy pregnancy. For the first time in my life I was able to live a life free of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. It felt good to be anticipating the arrival of my son. It felt marvelous to have my son. Every moment that I have spent with him has been the best moments of my life. While I long for the body of yesterday (er, yesteryear…) I wouldn’t trade in this body for the world. Without my fat, flabby, uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin body…I wouldn’t have the single most amazing treasure on earth. I love being a mommy. I love waking up to seeing his smiling, happy, exuberant little face. I love hearing the raspy, melodic and curious jibber-jabber. I adore that laugh. Oh my oh my, that laugh. And those two little teeth he has? Pure joy. I love how total strangers compliment his handsomeness. I love how people walk over
to me and tell me how wonderful of a mother I am…or they say my favorite, “That boy sure loves his mommy!” I have followers on my facebook, people who have never met us, that look forward to seeing my happy, sweet boy. I love when my mother hugs me and says to me: “You are beautiful, and you are the best mother I have ever seen…” And I know she means this. And I know she wishes I could just see the beauty in me. While I can take all the compliments and praise…I just don’t feel pretty anymore. I often say that if I could lose the weight “I’d have a perfect life”. Something I never thought I would ever have. My son has completed me, I just need that itsy bitsy complement. But, I will wait for it…I’m trying not to rush it. After seeing all you ladies post pictures and stories, I feel a bit better. I feel like a little breath can be taken, and a little pat on the back to congratulate me on my acceptance into the “Mommy Club”. Where great women come in all sizes. Where strong women have the right to complain. Where valiant women are awarded with the utmost love and admiration. If only I could just get back to me.

Age: 33
1 pregnancy 1 birth
10 months PP

Pictures 1,2 and 3 are me, 10m PP.
Pictures 4 and 5 are me pregnant
Picture 6 is me and my boy

18 thoughts on “If only I loved myself as much as I love my life… (Miss Meliss)

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

    When I look at your photos… I see lovely breasts and skin that looks so soft and touchable. I see a stomach that carried and protected a precious life. I see a smile that is contagious, and eyes with genuine soul. You are simply gorgeous from top to bottom, and anyone who reads your story will see it, and be able to feel that love you have for your son. You are right, nothing is as important as your son’s safety and happiness.

    All of that said… taking pride in your appearance and looking your best will do wonders for your confidence! Waking up just a little bit early, or getting someone to watch your son so you can pamper yourself/be pampered once in a while (or often!) will help you feel so much better. The hardest thing for me taking that time for myself was the guilt. I felt like I wasn’t making my daughter my priority, but believe me, when YOU feel better about yourself, you can be a better mom and wife too.

    I hope that you can continue to find healing, and I am so happy that you have embraced the beauty of your family and life. One day you will see how gorgeous you are.

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

    It’s funny how we always see ourselves in such a different light. The way you described your body I was expecting something completely different than the lovely shape I see in those pictures. I think we have similar shapes, I too had a big baby (9.2lbs,22inch) and it definitely did a number on my body. At only 5,3, I weighted in at 170. I came down to 135-140 but my body was never the same. I’ve accepted my mommy shape and I’ve even decided to try for baby #2 (I’m 3 months along) even though I’m scared of what it will do to body. I figure as long as my children are happy, it will be enough to make me accept my body. It doesn’t mean that you never long for what was before but our lives are so much better now, I don’t think either of us would trade our former body for our children. I don’t have any secret for acceptance, but trust me you are beautiful mama and hopefully you can see that one day.

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    You are gorgeous. I also am a Melissa, who had a large child (10 lbs 6 oz) and had a c-section. I started off my pregnancy at 178 (very shapely.. I miss it. lol) and ended it at 235. I’m 11.5 months PP and am 198. You can lose the weight, but it will take time, some of us are not blessed with the quick rebound. (I most certainly am not. pre preggo I was 168 then my body decided to gain 10 lbs for preparation lol) Try viewing your as a work in progress, a temple and treat it as such. Your body is what brought this beautiful life into the world and should be worshipped and adored. Pampering definitely helps. :) I feel ya mama. But we’ll get through it. Your personality, and kind spirit show through your writing. :) Your little boy is one lucky guy. :)

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I feel like I wrote this. Thanks.

  • Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I can relate to so much of what you said. And the part about your boy is precious, I’m still pregnant with my first and even though I know I will have plenty of body issues I cant wait to look at my little girl like that and have them not matter anymore. And by the way, I think you have awesome breasts.

  • Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    You are SO beautiful!

  • Friday, September 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I feel like I could have wrote that myself. No matter how much my husband tells me I’m sexy I feel like, well, like a fat blob. You’re beautiful and you have great boobs!!!! Mine are going south lol

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Wow. That’s exactly how I feel… I don’t feel like I need to write my story now… lol But I will say this: You’re beautiful. Also, I agree with Kristin, YOU HAVE GREAT BOOBS!!! (My nipples have a foot fetish, they’re always staring at my feet….)


  • Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 2:49 am

    I also had large children (11 pounds and 12 pounds) and after them, my stomach looks saggy. I’m not fat, just saggy. You look wonderful. Welcome to the mommy club and wear it proudly! I wore my first bikini this summer and when people stared, I told them I worked hard to look like this (saggy skin and all). Shine girl!

  • Monday, October 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    i have bdd too. Its horrible. I just wish I was as beautiful as all those other women..
    I feel your pain.

  • Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I feel the same too. I lost 20 pounds and still can’t love my stomach full of stretch marks and sagging skin. Each year my kids get older (ages 5 and almost 4) and I love my life, but only see the sagging skin. You look a lot like me and I am having a bad day so I appreciate you sharing your story and I hope we can get through this body change together. I know my day will be better tomorrow when I hear my 3 yr. old daughter tell me why “today is the best day ever.” She is the most positive person I know and it is what keeps me going. And my son told me this year that I am more beautiful than the ocean one day when I put on a dress. I just wish I could see myself the way my kids see me.

  • Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Omg! That is MY belly! Thank you for your story! I wish I had half your bravery to post. xxx

  • Friday, February 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

    You are very pretty, and your breasts are amazing! :)

  • Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I cried (ok balled) while reading this. THIS IS ME! Our weight our baby boys weight our feelings about our bodies EVERYTHING the.exact.same. I could just copy and paste your story for mine I felt like I was reading my own thoughts here. Your not alone by any means and I agree with everyone else the only thing different about us, ur boobs are amazing! Lol

  • Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    You look great honey.

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Your shape is so lovely, and you have such a pretty smile. Reading this and looking at your pictures I thought, “That woman is glowing, she looks so warm, and kind, and good.” You and your son are lucky to have each other! I hope one day you will love yourself completely.

  • Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    You and I are the same age and height, and the first torso picture could be me. Thank You. I looked at your pictures and thought they were beautiful, and then I realized they looked like me, and I could be beautiful too!

  • Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I’m a new nurse grad, and I can’t help but say…what normal woman doesn’t put on weight during nursing school????? It is an incredibly stressful time; please don’t beat yourself up about that, even if you are surrounded by a bunch of 21 year old girls who look like tooth picks. I’d like to take a moment to congratulate you for continuing your dream and putting in the hard, hard work to become a nurse, even while pregnant! I got pregnant one month after I passed the NCLEX…I have absolutely no idea how pregnant nurses handle all the glorious smells and being on their feet for 12 hours with very few potty breaks. I’m 26 weeks pregnant now, 237 lbs, and your story gives me courage. Thanks for posting!!!!

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