Loving Myself (Jessica)

Having my son was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed me in a million ways, but unfortunately it changed my body too. I was slightly overweight when I found out I was pregnant, and I wasn’t happy with my body to begin with. I’ve always struggled with my self esteem and diet, I was at my heaviest weight (166) the day I saw the two pink lines. When I delivered I was almost 230lbs. I didn’t FEEL like I was that big, because I was “all belly” or so I thought. I ate well when I was pregnant, but I ate much more than I needed to and I didn’t do any kind of exercise at all. My son was 9lbs 8oz at birth and just perfect. I wanted to breastfeed so I didn’t consider cutting calories or anything like that until he was 3 months or so and I knew my supply was going strong. I didn’t want to exercise because I read that it can make your breast milk taste sour and the baby will reject you (not sure if that’s true). I was miserable with my body though and felt so insecure and ugly. I have stretch marks all over my hips and stomach, down my thighs and the backs of knees. I started trying to work out but I was so out of shape and tired all the time that I would just give up. As I started moving my son into solid foods, I started reading more about nutrition- I decided to become a vegan. I wanted to be healthier and treat my body right- and then I started losing weight. It felt really encouraging. I went from 180 to 170lbs in the first month and fluctuated in the 160s for a while. I got pneumonia in the fall and lost 20lbs, it was awful. I was so sick I could barely walk or care for my son, even for weeks after I was ‘better’ I was so weak. I weighed 140lbs but as I started eating better and gaining my strength back I gained more weight. I’ve started doing yoga and walking more, and now my weight is around 147lbs but I feel strong and healthy. I’d like to ‘tone up’ my wiggly parts but I fear my stomach may be a lost cause. My son is 14 months now and he’s learning about body parts, his favorite is the belly button, and he waddles up to me and sticks his fingers in my belly button all the time. He thinks the squishy weird texture of my stomach is great, so I don’t mind it that much. The only people who see my stomach are my son and my fiance and they both love me. My fiance supports my weight loss/toning goals, but he makes me feel beautiful all the time anyway. Things are so different now from a year ago- my body is healed and my confidence is up. I know my body isn’t going to be the same as it was (especially my boobs, I miss them! They were so perky and small) but I feel so proud to have brought a life into this world, and I know it sounds kind of corny and cliched but my body is amazing for doing that. I don’t beat myself up for the things I can’t change. I found this website when I was pregnant and I remember thinking that I would never be comfortable or happy enough with my body to post, but here I am posting my “success”- which after everything it turns out it’s not related to my body at all, it just means that I am happy and I love myself!

Picture Info: 1+2: 12 weeks pregnant
3: 6 months pregnant
4-6: 5 months pp (170lbs)
7-9: today (147lbs)

~Age: 24
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 birth
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 1 son, he is 14 months old

11 thoughts on “Loving Myself (Jessica)

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

    You have a lovely shapely body I am so glad you’re proud of what it’s achieved. The bit about your toddler sticking his finger in your belly button made me giggle as my little one does the same!

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

    you look amazing! our stories are similar, i posted blessed and tortured, i have just started using trilastin a week ago and can already see a soft reduction in my stretch marks. congrats on your shape of a mother :)

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I want to congratulate you on your commitment to health :) I have been vegan on and off for about two years. I was vegan when I got pregnant and slowly fell off the wagon towards the end. When my son was born I, too, thought “Oh, I’m all belly – it will be gone.” And, of course, no one is “all belly.” I recommitted to being vegan a few weeks after my son was born because when I looked in his eyes, I wanted to do everything to stay healthy for him for as long as possible.

    Some things on vegan eating: Remember your b12. The best way is with 2 table spoons of Nutritional Yeast fortified with b12 at least a few times a week. Make sure it is fortified. It is super cheap and you can stir it into most sauces or dressing. Damage from too little b12 is almost impossible to feel until it happens, and is irreversible! Also, vitamin D – if you are willing to eat a little fish, that is a good way. Or take supplements. But again, just make sure you stay on top of those things.

    I breastfeed and eat vegan and slowly, and healthfully, my weight and body have reemerged from the postpartum period in a healthy way. I have a lot of muscle mass and so much energy given the fact that I haven’t slept a whole night in 6 months ;)

    You look beautiful – Good luck!

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I think u look very beautiful. you have a very womanly shape. we have A similar story, I gained a tremendous amount of weight when I was pregnant coming from a smaller stature. 8 months later now I have stretchy skin on my stomach, I’m learning 2 to grow an accepted it. be happy you have to beautiful men who love you completely.

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You are so beautiful. A sexy mama!

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I can see such a difference between your two sets of post partum pictures. You look awesome now!

    I just wanted to add that it is a total myth that exercise sours your breastmilk. The most it can do is make it a little salty–and that’s from the sweat on your nipples, not any difference in the milk. If you think about it, early humans were much more active than we are today and they all exclusively breastfed–it wouldn’t make any sense for exercise to make your milk bad! :)

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    You are beautiful, you look very strong and healthy! And your boobs are marvelous :) I would kill for a pair that looked that good.

  • Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    You look so amazing.

  • Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Beautiful! Good luck with your health goals .. your doing a great job enjoy your boys!

  • Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Thank you guys! Reading these comments just made my day =) I just found out that I’m pregnant AGAIN and due in November(I probably was 2 weeks pg when I took those last two pictures!) and I’m really excited to do it right this time around.

    Alexis, thank you for the tips! I have nutritional yeast that I sprinkle into pasta all the time, and my soy milk is fortified w/B12 as well. The prenatal vitamins I’m taking contain DHA that is fish sourced, but I am a-ok with that if it means having a healthy brainy baby =)

    I’m going to continue doing yoga throughout this pregnancy because it makes me feel good, I hope I can update soon with a healthy pregnant bod!

  • Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 5:06 am

    I gave birth to a big, healthy boy four weeks ago. In the two years before my pregnancy I started gaining a lot of weight. When I found out I was pregnant, I was almost 200lbs (I am 5’8). I gained 34lbs during my pregnancy. I have severe stretch marks, and a very loose belly now. It’s very depressing, but your story and photos are very uplifting and encouraging. You look great! Thanks for sharing! :)

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