The Curves of My Road (Anonymous)

~Age: 24
~Number of pregnancies and births 1/1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are 11 months postpartum

Ever since I can remember the shape of my body has been on my mind.

Memories from childhood echo with self-consciousness, fear of being different, and separation.

From the outside I grew up fairly normal. I had one of those childhoods filled with Kool-aid, Macaroni and Cheese, and baloney. In our house hold, love was food and vise versa. And so, as I matured into a woman those connections proliferated and became my identity, the way I expressed emotion, the way I hid, the way I self-medicated. My existence.

I began struggling with my weight off and on in grade five. I had a tummy. A couple of lovable rolls really. As the years went by, my self-consciousness was deep-rooted and my teen-age self knew no different. I remember being 125 pounds in grade 9 and thinking I was a boat. At a small 5’3 I wasn’t over weight by any standard. During that period of my life, my home life became complicated and ridden with upheaval. I ended up moving away from my mother’s house and moving in with my pizza and pop loving uncle. Goldmine! I had thought. Years of neglect and self-doubt were appeased with delicious food and an endless supply at that.

I struggled. By the time I moved away on my own at the age of 17, I was a 150 pounds. Those first few months of self-dependence meant many of evenings hiding out in my little apartment with food, alone with my first true love. I lived to eat. I ate for fun.I ate for love. I ate for pleasure.

I eventually met my husband, we began dating when I was 19 and he was 24, and boy did he also love food. While neither of us were big people, we could really pack in a good evening of eating. The catch was that he had a physical job, he could burn off those calories, while mine dove me deeper into a struggle. When I was 22 we got engaged. The normal head-over-heels excitement that a newly engaged young woman normally feels was on the back-burner for me. I was worried about my weight. I managed to get to a whopping 192 pounds and I had to find some way to make the train wreck come to an end.

After over a year of exercise and weight loss groups, I got down to 158 pounds. Over joyed with my progress, our sex life exploded. Two months before our long awaited wedding date, I got pregnant. My body had finally started to feel healthy again, so much so that it took literally one instance of unprotected sex with my fiance to get pregnant. I was shocked, happy, scared, hopeful. But secretly, relieved. This to me meant that I now had permission to stop dieting.

Our wedding date came and I squeezed into my wedding dress. I already managed to gain ten pounds by our wedding date, so it took a real foot in the rear to get it on, but I did. I have stinging memories of people whispering. Family that hadn’t seen me in a decade were wondering why I was “heavy”. I remember sitting in the bathroom at the reception of my wedding, I was parked on a toilet, wedding dress and all, trying to over come early pregnancy nausea. In the stall next to me were my notoriously very thing cousins. I heard them giggling and then talking. First about the cocktails, and then about me. She’s totally pouring out of that dress! One of them said. She’s gotten so… big? The other one retorted. I froze. I wanted to die right there on the spot.

Months passed and as my pregnancy progressed I’d encounter my weight again. There it was, a reoccuring topic it sprung up at a midwife appointment like a thug in a dark back alley. Well, you’re over weight so we’re going to have to do some invasive procedures during the last of your labour, one of the midwives said. It came up, again and again, and I began to feel guilty. Like I was some how abusing my baby before she ever even got here, just because I didn’t enter pregnancy slim.

Half way through my pregnancy, I decided that wanted to get a doula. I spent so much time reading about the benifits, and with us not having any family close by, I really needed the support. That doula turned out to be the medicine I needed. She advised me, guided me, supported me, and assured my that I’m perfectly fine just the way I am. I needed to hear that desperately.
The baby came in late spring, healthy as can be. The labour was long, and my birth plan blew right out the window almost immediately, but my little baby girl was born at a normal 7 pounds 11 ounces. She wasn’t the mammoth baby that nearly everyone was predicting.

I went home from the hospital weighing 223 pounds. Despite exclusively breastfeeding my baby, my weight barely fluctuated. My eating while emotional tendency was probably helping that to remain that way too. I was a wreck. I loved my little girl from the get go but those hormones did a number on me. I could no longer blame the pregnancy on being fat. I was officially back on my own and back on the wagon.

My baby girl is 11 months old now. She has taught me more about myself than anything in the whole world. She loves me regardless of my waist size. She loves to nurse regardless of the appearance of my breasts. She loves her mommy, even if mommy doesn’t love herself. In the last four months, something inside of me clicked. I began understanding that if I don’t take care of this body, I won’t be able to care for her. Once she started crawling I knew I’d have to get into shape or else. I am now down to 185lbs, and I’m a work in progress. I appreciate my body for all the things it has allowed me to do, experience and all that it allows me to love. It’s high time for all mothers to love the bodies that made their babies. I am breaking out of this shell that other people in my life have put together for me, piece by piece, day by day. I refuse to allow myself a lesser standard of life just because I’m not thin. In the mean time I’m learning to take care of myself, to be healthier, and happier. I’m on a journey, and one day I’ll be able to say I’m at a healthier weight, but for now, I’m okay with being on this windy road, full of curves, bumps, and hills.

24 thoughts on “The Curves of My Road (Anonymous)

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    thank u for posting. u look very similar to me. I’ve posted here to. keep up the good work and don’t let anyone bring down. ur baby is all that matters

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    you are GORGEOUS – inside and out!Your daughter is incredibly lucky to have a mom who will raise her into a healthy young woman. Bravo to you!!

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    You are so beautiful! My son weighed the same as your daughter when he was born & I was left with a load of stretchmarks… My story is on here somewhere (Rachael- a stretch mark love story!)… You are a beautiful woman & a strong woman at that! Congratulations on your weight loss… :) I am so happy that you decided to get healthy for your daughter & understand where your struggles with food began and how to deal with it. I hope that others can see the strength and motivation you have… you are an inspiration!

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    You are seriously beautiful.

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Beauty comes in all sizes and you my dear are a very beautiful, sexy woman as you are :) Good for you for wanting to be healthy for your family though. Just focus on eating healthy and finding happiness in other outlets or hobbies so that you aren’t self medicating with food. I’m sure you’ll reach your healthy weight and maintain it :)

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    I absolutely LOVE these photos. Gorgeous!

  • Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

    You are so strong and beautiful…although you know that I’ve always felt that way. :)

    Thank you for sharing your story – by reaching through your vulnerability, you have truly touched the hearts of others.

    I love you. :)

  • Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    You are absolutely lovely, and I am glad you know it.

  • Friday, May 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Your photo’s are awsome! Would love to see more. Were these professionally taken?

  • Friday, May 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    You are absolutely beautiful.

  • Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Thank you for posting. Your story brought me to tears. I can totally relate.
    You are absolutely beautiful!

  • Monday, May 31, 2010 at 3:09 am

    wow so beautiful. your body is similar to mine.

  • Monday, May 31, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    You are so beautiful! Beautiful!!! :D

  • Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I find you photos stunningly beautiful – you look serene and comfortable in your own skin – and you also have beautiful skin. Why can’t magazines print real photos like yours instead of airbrushed or celebrities who have the money for personal trainers and who eat nothing to stay skinny. You look great girl!

  • Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    You are beautiful. Congrats on your daughter and I’m sorry about your cousins being so insensitive – I’m sure you were a gorgeous bride.

  • Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I think your pictures are truly beautiful first. I felt the same about my body until I had my 1st child.I realized I had to love myself because it is my body and if I wanted to change anything I had to get up to do it.After my 2nd child nothing anybody said about me hurt anymore bacause I loved myself. I had to have a good talk with daddy though because he wanted changes not with my reach.I let him know I wanted to be healthy not exceptionally thin and that me being healthy was more important then his image of better looking. It ‘s taken him time and now he knows perfect doesn’t exist and that love,healthy and happy do.

  • Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Thank you all for your wonderful and loving comments.

    I’m working hard every minute,day,week to be the best mother and woman I can be. I know now, thanks to my baby girl, that there aren’t limits on motherhood and womanhood just because I’m not thin. I’ve continued to lose weight, very slowing but in the right direction.

    The photos were take by me, I put our digital camera on auto shoot with a ten second delay and zoomed across the room to attempt a pose :P Sounds funny doesn’t it?! My baby was giggling at her mommy hopping around the room.

    Again, thank you all for your encouragement. You are all very kind souls.

  • Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Your post made me cry. Thank you for reminding me that a woman is more than what society expect her to look like

  • Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I too am a work in progress…

  • Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    beautiful, thank you for posting! Great legs :)

  • Monday, August 30, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you so much for being so strong, reading your story of a journey to self love has really touched my heart! We are all on this path together.

  • Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 2:32 am

    I know it’s well after the fact but I just found this site and love your story. You look great in those pics. I just wish I was as lucky as you. Averaging 220 lbs before my first pregnancy i lost 100 in the first 3 months b/c i couldn’t eat at all but it all came back and weighed 275 just before she was born. Now I’ve given birth to 3 kids total and still weigh about 225-230 with my youngest turning a year next month. I wish you could tell me what you did cause i’ve tried almost everything i can think of and still can’t get back into a size 13 jean, i’m lucky if i can fit a 20.

  • Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:26 am

    You are a stunning woman! We are about the same size, same story, aside from the marriage and baby! I’m 39, and trying to get pregnant with my first child. My boyfriend is amazing, loves my body and is being very supportive. I go back and forth with weight gain fear, but honestly, as long as I have a good pregnancy and healthy baby, I can worry about weight later.

  • Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Thug! Ha! Perfect! That’s a perfect description! You should get into writing!

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