Working With What I’ve Got (Anonymous)

okay, i’m a 3rd time participant here on SOAM. here is my last submission

i don’t know about you, but i am tired of hearing about how some moms don’t jiggle when they run down the street, “motivational” exercise tips & being told that i’m a failure if i don’t make time to work out every single day. i’m a typical mom, i make time when i can. so, i’m sending in a few “update” photos (not much has changed 2 years pp, except i’ve lost 5 pounds) along with my own tips for how i use what i have while i have it. first off, i’m still breastfeeding & my son shows absolutely no desire to stop anytime soon. believe it or not, breastfeeding does not just suck the pounds off of everyone. some of us retain the fat & that’s okay. it may come off after weaning, i have no idea. i’m taking vitex (chaste tree berry) capsules in an attempt to regulate my hormones. if i remember correctly, the prolactin produced by nursing is resulting in elevated estrogen levels, telling my body to store fat for the baby. vitex helps balance the prolactin & can help me (along with my sporadic exercising) to lose my weight gradually & healthily. (i just want to stop being such a hormonal bitch!) my best advice is to:
1. shop for your size! you are probably a few sizes larger than you were, so learn now what size you’re at. after being a small-to-medium petite my entire life, i now find myself barely slipping into a large (i’m now an XL by conventional standards). it depressed me for awhile, but now i’m dealing with it. also, your underwear is too small, so either size up, or forget them altogether, like me. i find that most underwear digs unattractively into my luscious curves, which looks tacky under clothes. going commando is a great solution & i’ve been doing it for years. :)
2. invest in bra inserts for lopsidedness. i went nearly 2 years feeling extremely aware of my different breast sizes before i finally purchased some inserts for the small breast. i cannot tell you how it has improved my confidence.
3. choose clothing that flatters your new womanly form. i like flowing, natural, cotton jersey that allows for movement & comfort. i wear mostly skirts & loose tops. i’m not a teenager anymore & tight, lowrise jeans do nothing good for my new shape!
4. find & accentuate your sweet spots. have a graceful neck or beautiful behind? use jewelry or accessories to bring your favorite bodily attributes to the forefront. instead of “oh, when are you due?” it’ll be, “dang, where’d you get that gorgeous necklace?!”

these are just a few of my own personal methods for improving my self-confidence that i want to share with other mamas who might want to try.
i’m slowly on my way to being stronger & perhaps smaller, but my size is becoming less important to me. i’m working with what i’ve got right now & it may change, but if it doesn’t, at least i’ll be prepared & no longer weighed down by my former concern with “getting my pre-pregnancy body back”. i’m a sexy, strong, capable, intelligent woman. i spend almost all of my time with my child & i love being a mother. i have other things going on besides being a mom, but i definitely took the first year to really focus on him & his needs. my body took a back seat to other priorities. i’m okay with my choices.
to those in the media & those affected by the media who think that we, on SOAM are somehow gross, scary or ugly, i say, “i’m not usually this size, i had a baby. what’s your excuse?”

mamas, let’s stay strong & focus on those role-models who are proud of their curves & remain positive & healthy instead of those who hit the gym a week after birth & make us feel like failures if we don’t all conform to the hollywood cookie-cutter standard. enjoy food, cuddle your baby, & just keep yourself healthy. you’re doing the hardest job on earth & every mother deserves to feel valued, appreciated & beautiful.

24 thoughts on “Working With What I’ve Got (Anonymous)

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 11:01 am

    you rock! thanks so much for sharing and for the pep talk! love the cutlets for the bra! you look beautiful!

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 11:33 am

    You look fantastic and I LOVE your attitude! Finally, a woman who isn’t ashamed of who she is. Ladies, THIS is the type of role model we need!!

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Great post! Great tips! Great ATTITUDE! HUGS TO YOU MOMMA!

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    AMEN! While I’m sure it’s not intentional, I feel as though I’m judged because I didn’t bounce right back after giving birth. I exercise, I watch what I eat, and I breastfed my children…but my loose skin can’t be dieted or exercised away…it is what it is…and it’s okay!!
    I love your advice…and I hope women take it for what it is – help that’s actually helpful, not condescending or hurtful :)

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    where did u get the inserts? i need one too!

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    well, this is going to blow my “anonymous” cover, but i wanted to say thanks for the kind words, ladies. the bottom line is, i came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that if i were to be this size for the rest of my life, i would honestly be okay with that. southern mama, i bought those inserts at Joann fabric store & since i only use one at a time, they should last me awhile. good luck mommies!

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    A real mother speaks. I again really feel it’s important to stress that a lot of woman who post to this site are younger mommas. It’s easier to bounce back to your “before” body when you’re in your twenties. I’m 32 and just now (16 months later) have finally reached my original weight; although my body is still rocked and will never be the same. My daughter and I walk to the park, feed the ducks, and I sometimes get time alone to go to pilates. I wish you all the best; but am particularly proud when a mom is able to say, “who cares…”

  • Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Great post. You’re beautiful, and your pictures and story made me smile. You do have an excellent attitude and I really appreciate it. I know what you mean about choosing positive role models and how important it is not to be brought down by the bs that’s thrown at us every day. Thanks!

  • Friday, February 6, 2009 at 6:00 am

    ANGW…though age may have something to do with it for some people, like stretch marks, I think it is completely different for every person. I am twenty years old, have stretch marks all over, have an IMPOSSIBLE time losing the last 15 lbs. I was a dancer all my life and completely fit when I got pregnant. Again, it is different for every person! On a happier note…I am learning to not care because I get to spend every day with my son and at only 7 months old he calls myself and my husband by momma and daddy constantly! :) yay! Being a mother is the best thing I have ever experienced and I am incredibly lucky to have the chance to do it! Children grow up faster than you realize. I don’t want to be the mother who focused so much on myself and my body, that I missed out on the beautiful miracle that that body created to get that way!

  • Friday, February 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    You are gorgeous! LOVE your hair!!

  • Friday, February 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you so much for posting these pictures. I thought I was the only one with lopsided breasts after breastfeeding (my son has a definite preference for one over the other and it’s not changing anytime soon!) That’s a good tip to get an insert. Thanks again. You look great mommy :)

  • Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 5:11 am

    I absolutely love the picture of you holding the breast pad with a huge smile on your face. I am going clothes shopping tomorrow and you just gave me the boost I needed to not come home empty-handed and depressed…and you’ve also reminded me not to shop in the junior section anymore :P

  • Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 6:12 am

    I hope I don’t come off too harsh with this comment – harsh about the site, not about your beauty…
    I haven’t visited this site for a long time because I was feeling frustrated just reading about women whose bodies looked great to me, but were being criticized by their owners for reasons most of us would wish was our only body issue. I decided to take a look at the site again last night after many many months and I was so happy to see your post. Your attitude is healthy and strong and while I’m sure you are just like me and struggle every now and then, you seem to have a great understanding of how to accept how you are in order to be happy with yourself. I think this is most important. I can only hope that others reading will gain some knowledge from you.
    Congrats mama – you did it!

  • Monday, February 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    love your hair,lol.

  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I agree with Meeshel. Finally a woman who is proud of her body and a body of a beautiful mother at that!! Honestly I get sick of reading about young-ins at 19 etc who have the smallest frame and body god ever made post-partum and a couple of stretchmarks! they are young and will bounce back, but I’m in my 30s it takes a lot longer. And yes, every young woman is different. I speak for the ones I’ve seen that make me more depressed at looking at this site! Also, to be fair, everyone has their issues.

    Pleased to see you accepting your body again, your previous post seemed like you were a bit sad.

    Well done and keep it up!!

  • Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    oh you are just wonderful! you are beautiful inside and out!

    i don;t think age has much to do about anything. i had my first baby at 17 and got covered in stretch marks. it’s been 3 years and i have yet to loose a single pound. my body didn;t bounce back and i have a pretty strong feeling that my body will never ever be any better than it is now. saggy and 88 pounds over the recommended weight for my body type.

  • Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Well contrary to what you said, most men prefer seeing woman jiggle when they go down the street. Great body.

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I think genetics have more to do with stretch marks and skin issues than age, honestly. I was 36 when i had my 1st child and i had nary a stretch mark. My belly wrinkles like crepe paper tho, which is exactly like MY mom. I kinda laugh- if i could put on a few pounds of belly fat, the wrinkles would smooth out! I’m happy with my body even though it’s a very different one from my pre-momma days.

    Thanks for the beautiful post.

  • Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I can relate to the lopsidedness. . I have a DD cup on the left, small B on the right. I have what I call “chicken fillets” for my bra and I tell you, I feel normal now in my clothes :)

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    So much wonderful advice! You look amazing, and SO happy! I also recently decided to start really shopping to flatter my body, instead of trying to squeeeze into those hipster jeans in the size I want to be, I bought the more flattering pair that are extra comfortable and honestly look so much better and I am all about empire waist and babydoll tops!

  • Friday, March 13, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    i do the same thing. thank god for the fredricks of hollywood bras that allow you to take out the pad in one cup. =]

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I LOVE your advice! You are an amazing woman with an amazing body.

  • Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Thank you, loved hearing what you said, you rock!

  • Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

    P.S. You are so adorable!

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