Scared to Gain Weight (Anonymous)

I’m 21 years old and I’ve struggled with both anorexia and bulimia since I was 17 years old. I was about 120 when I got pregnant with my first pregnancy I gained about 45 pounds throughout the nine months, and I hated being so big, but since I never ate before my body held on to everything I ate. so towards the end of my pregnancy my daughter remained in my ribs so underneath the bottom part of my stomach was the extra flabby skin, which made me so self conscious, as well as the horrible stretch marks I had. I had my daughter, and tried to lose the weight the healthy way, and that lasted for about a month, I lost all that baby weight and more so quick everyone around me was worried, I ended up weighing 100lb. ad soon after my daughters second birthday I was slowly gaining weight again, then lost it again. well I found out I was pregnant with my second baby a few weeks ago, I’m currently 11 weeks and I have put on about 15lbs since I’ve found out I was pregnant. the thing is I don’t wanna gain a huge amount of weight with this baby and I wanna be healthy throughout this pregnancy, but I constantly feel like I’m going to pass out if I’m not eating. I don’t know what to do. does anyone have any advise they would like to give me. thank you in advance.

2 pregnancies; 1 delivery
2year old little girl
I currently have no pictures to send in.

Face of a Single Prayer (Allyshia)

age: 17.
Pregnancies: 2 // births: 1 and 1 on the way!
Age of children: 13 months and 9 weeks pregnant :)

I was 15, struggling through anorexia and I was 78 lbs. I was 4’10” and still am at the moment! I was about 87 lbs at the time I conceived my daughter and my weight went up and up and up! I had a sudden realization that I needed to eat. So from 200 to 1800 calories a day I went. I put on about 25 lbs in the first 20 weeks. Which, was actually 20 lbs of weight I needed for myself. So 5 lbs for baby! By 38 weeks, I was 138 lbs. I had gained about 30 for baby and 20 for me. I felt pretty good. Big but good! I didn’t get stretch marks untl 28-29 weeks though. So I had a long way and a lot of stretch marks to gain. I got them on my boobs, butt, back, belly, the back of my knees, my ankles, everywhere!

On February 24, 2011 at 12:30 am, my water broke. At 8:50 am, after only 3 hours and 20 minutes of hard labor, my beautiful 7 lb 11 oz baby girl was born naturally. No epidural. Nothing. Just breathing and relaxation. She is a beautiful little toddler, healthy and happy and just so happy! She has the normal health issues any baby would have; ear infections here and there, a yeast infection once, bladder infection once. I think it’s because I didn’t strengthen her immune system by breast feeding. I feel bad for not being able to but she has done so well anyway.

On February 15, 2012 her little sibling was conceived! (From the ultrasound we got) We are 9 weeks pregnant and ecstatic. It was unplanned but one night of passionate Valentines day love turned into another loved little one :) He/she looked like a little bean on the ultrasound.

My weight is about 118 lbs right now (still healthy range) and has only gone up a lb since this baby. Our weight gain goal is about 25-30 lbs. I plan on exercising and walking and eating healthier this pregnancy so it is easier to flatten my tummy. I don’t care about the extra skin. I just want to stop looking pregnant whenever I eat (except now. it’s okay now!). I might get a belly band as well. My stretch marks have faded all naturally. No procedures at all.

Thanks for reading :)


1st) 5 weeks/pre pregnancy body:
2nd) 20 weeks with baby girl:
3rd) 34 weeks:
4th) 38 weeks belly! :
5th) 8 weeks with this bub! :
6th: 8 week 5 day ultrasound:
7th) postpartum belly (taken today):
8th) my girl on her 1st birthday:
9th) my Lilia today! :

I Feel Like a Woman! (Dessy)

Hi! Thank all you beautiful mommies for helping me feel so much better about my body!

I am 23, and 18 weeks into my first pregnancy. The body changes have been hard for me to accept. I suffered from an eating disorder in my teens, so much so that I didn’t start having my period until I was 17! I went through a time of eating an average of 3 meals per week. I am 5’7″, and I didn’t get above 105lbs until age 19. Now, at 23, I was finally a healthy weight of 125lbs (or about, I threw away my scale over a year ago and decided to focus on overall health instead.) and I always felt I was fat. I started gaining weight rapidly with this pregnancy.

I am one of those lucky women who hardly had any morning sickness, so I packed it on. By the end of my first trimester I was up 15 lbs, and felt terrible about it! Everyone was telling me I was gaining too much, or commenting that I was showing way too soon. And now I’m up to 147 already! On top of this, my Husband is in Afghanistan (got pregnant on leave lol) and I am buying house by myself. Finally, i desperation and after much crying, I googled ‘How to feel beautiful pregnant’ and that is how I ended up here. After reading stories and seeing pictures, I started to feel much better about my body. I still have ‘off days’, but for the most part I am learning to love the extra curves pregnancy is giving me. Now I finally feel like a woman, whole and complete. I have never been this comfortable with my body! I am rockin’ these curves! ;)

With as much as I’ve gained already, I am fairly sure that I will never reach 125lbs again, but I have decided to set my postpartum goal at 140lbs, which for my height of 5’7″ should be very healthy. Through reading your inspiring stories, I even found the confidence to send my husband some sexy pictures of my rounder body… which he said he loves much more than the “skinny stick figure” he married lol!

These pictures are of me before becoming pregnant, at 125lbs, when I desperately wanted to lose weight

And me now at 18 weeks pregnant.

I can’t wait to come back and share my stretch marks and post-baby shape.

Trying to Find Beauty Among the Stretch Marks (Dani)

Pregnancies/Births: 1/1
Age: 21
My sons age : 1 month

I had a beautiful son January 8th, 2012, and on that day, I felt like a new person. All of a sudden, life had a meaning. I look into his eyes and I see his crazy, but amazing personality. And I cannot believe that I created something so amazing. He is my whole life. However, when I look in the mirror I want to cringe at how I look, and it makes me feel like a bad mom. I have this amazing little boy to hold and love, and I am concerned about my body? I have issues with my body for a long time, though….

I was always a little on the bigger side. My senior year of high school I finally tipped the scale at 170 pounds (I am 5’5”). I got so depressed. I started working out and eating a little less, I lost 25 pounds. Which that was good for a while. Then I started dating who is now my husband. Which he loves how I look and always has. But after a year of dating, his parents invited us to go camping for a week at a lake. I got so scared about being in a swimsuit. So, I started dieting and working out…It got so out of control. Over the course of a few months I went from 145 to 93 pounds. And I have kind of a medium build body, so I had bones sticking out everywhere, but I still felt so fat. Towards the end of my dieting disaster, I was only eating an apple a day. And even then I felt like it was going to make me fat. I would walk 2 miles to work, be on my feet for 8-12 hours and then walk the 2 miles back. I did this 6 days a week. And even then, I would sometimes wake up in the morning to go on a jog. But after a while, I had no energy. I even got tired just walking to the bathroom, but I didn’t care. In September, 2010 I missed my period and thought I was pregnant. So I put my selfish ways aside and started eating normal, for the sake of the possible child. I took many tests and they were negative. But just in case they were wrong, I kept eating and so my weight kept going up. I finally got my period again 3 months later. My doctor said my period stopped because I wasn’t eating enough. I was super devastated that I wasn’t pregnant, because I liked that idea. So, I decided to keep eating and then after a months of me getting healthier, my husband and I decided we would try to have a baby. We weren’t planning on succeeding the first month =)
I started my pregnancy at 130. By the time I delivered, I was a whopping 212 pounds. I have a thyroid problem, which was discovered halfway through my pregnancy. I didn’t have gestational diabetes and my baby and I were healthy, so I was hoping most of it would come right off after delivery….I was SOOOO wrong. I am not down to 180 pounds and cannot lose anymore. I am breastfeeding, and I was hoping that would help me lose weight, but I haven’t lost anything. I am watching what I eat, and exercising lightly. (I will exercise more once I get the okay from my doc at my next check up). I hate how I look…My belly is squishy and jiggly and just hangs there, and I have stretch marks like crazy (which is understandable since my son was 8 pounds 13 ounces!!!). But I hate it…i feel so gross…i still wear my maternity pants because the band holds in my sagging belly, which, wearing my maternity pants is pretty embarrassing too.

I don’t know what to do or think. I love my son and I wouldn’t change it for the world, no matter how bad I think I look. But, it’s tough knowing what I used to look like and then looking at how I am now. I guess I will have to get over it, cause it’s not like it’s going to change just cause I wish that it would…Once I am done breastfeeding him next year, I am going to go on a HEALTHY diet and exercise a lot more. I really don’t want to go back to how I was, but that is how I feel….I have to force myself to eat now because I ignore my hunger and feel guilty every time I eat. Oh well, I guess…I have beautiful son out of it, so I can’t complain too much =)

My struggles with weight obsession, addiction, depression and an unplanned troubled pregnancy (Lauren Elaine)

~Age: 20
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, due march 21st 2012

It started after the winter of 2009 when I was 18, I had made some very poor choices that year, endured physically abusive relationships. I was very depressed and self loathing. Then I weighed 190, at 5’ 4” I was considered overweight. I was going through a really rough time in my life and I truly hated myself. All through 2010, I turned to food to ease the pain that I felt. I would just eat and eat and kept putting on the pounds like nobody’s business. I thought that if I made myself ugly enough no man would want me, I thought that all men were pigs and I hated them all. I had always been proud that I had no stretch marks on my stomach but that changed in 2010, big ugly red welts sprang up on my love handles and they kept growing. I also began drinking heavily to dull the pain. I slept with my boyfriend for the first time on April 28th, 2010 on his birthday and I was truly quite drunk. Before that we had just been best friends but we had always said “I love you” to each other and I had known he had a crush on me for years but I thought I was too good for him (I feel like such a bitch looking back on this, if I had just dated him 4 years ago I could have saved myself so much pain and heartbreak and abuse). I weighed the most in January of 2011 at 220 pounds, considered obese. I had stretch marks everywhere! On my arms, my sides, by my belly button, the top of my thighs, my inner thighs, the back of my calves. I hated what I saw in the mirror. But I had a strange sense of satisfaction too, that this blanket of fat was my defense mechanism, that I would never be objectified again.

I was with my boyfriend at the time and he said that he loved my body even with all the stretch marks and cottage cheese which really surprised me, I think this is because he had always liked me (even though when we met I was a small 180). I began to come to terms with my self hatred, I realized that I didn’t want to be fat my whole life and who cares if guys looked at me again because I was with one guy and didn’t care what the others thought. I was tired of being fat, I wanted to be thin. In February 2011 I developed an eating disorder; I would work out for two hours a day and eat less than 1400 calories. I would get cranky and upset if I didn’t get to work out. I remember living off protein shakes and one day I didn’t eat at all. I was happy with my boyfriend but I still hated my body, now for the extra fat and the marks. I self medicated with marijuana, living in the moment, trying to forget the past, feeling that constant hunger. I dropped weight and fast. At first I was ecstatic because I had never lost more than ten pounds in my entire life. I worked very hard, spending hours on the elliptical and drinking gallons of water a day. I lost 50 pounds by June 2011 but my goal was an 85 pound weight loss to get back to what I was in 2006. In my obsessed state I even considered a 100 pound weight loss. I loved the compliments about how thin I was looking and how much weight I had lost, I was now 170 pounds. I was so proud to boast a 50 pound weight loss by the end of May 2011. But it was never enough, never enough weight loss, never enough pot to make me truly happy. I was so unhealthy; my hair fell out in clumps. I was starting to get a receding hair line from my starvation. I loved the smallness that I felt but I hated the loose skin and the marks that still remained even though they faded to silvery scars. What I hated most was the bags on my arms, I always envied the arms of skinny girls, how small and shapely they were. I baked in the sun because it made my stretch marks seem less noticeable, I lived in the gym. When I wasn’t at the gym or at work I was getting high with my boyfriend. I still don’t know how I could have worked out and smoke a pack a day.

I had stopped taking my birth control in January because it didn’t work well, I couldn’t stand the side effects. I thought every month that I was pregnant, and honestly I don’t know how it took so long, probably the starvation mixed with all the smoking. Anyways, I found out I was pregnant on July 25th 2011 when I was 7 weeks. That very day I gave up smoking. Cold turkey and I haven’t had a cigarette since! I’m so proud of myself not just for me but for the beautiful baby girl growing inside me. I truly believe that she saved my life! My little angel, I was on such a path of self destruction but she gave me focus and purpose. I stopped starving and I stopped self medicating. For the first time in two years I was sober for an extended period of time. I felt such trepidation about what the future might hold but I also was able to see through the fog of addiction finally and confront the problems of my past. I turned to faith when the bad memories overwhelmed me. I turned to faith when the addiction taunted and gnawed at me. And I was able to overcome! Because I knew that it was not just about me anymore, it was also about the beautiful baby that was growing inside me, she needed me to be the best that I could be.

Although I dealt with some queasiness during the first trimester I only threw up once. But I began to eat like a pig. I justified it with “I’m pregnant; I can eat what I want.” Not true, in the first two trimesters I had gained 25 pounds and I was back up to 195. I was disgusted with myself. I felt like I had done all that work this year for nothing. Luckily, I had room to grow because of all the loose skin so I haven’t had any new stretch marks until recently. I am currently 31 weeks and 205 pounds. I was dismayed at this gain, I had just lost all that weight, to be right where I started and I know I was only supposed to gain 15 to 25 pounds for my entire pregnancy. I just try to eat healthfully and I am counting calories. I do get tempted into self-loathing but I have to realize that I am not fat, I am pregnant. I have to be healthy and eat well for this little baby girl I already love so much. It was not an easy pregnancy. Addiction was the glue to me and my boyfriend’s relationship and now that I’m not high all the time there is a lot more tension. The first hurdle was making sure it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. The second hurdle was quitting my job because I can’t work as a lifeguard while pregnant. The third hurdle was getting ripped off for a car from a girl that used to be my best friend but now is just a junkie. This was one of the hardest because I went from having two cars to having no cars and being out 1100 dollars. Also, trying to get around with a big belly and no car is really difficult.
At 20 weeks I went in to get an ultrasound to figure out the sex of the baby. The ultrasound technician was unusually quiet and spent a long time looking at my baby. She told me it was a little girl but seemed subdued and left the room abruptly. She came back to tell me that the doctor would have to come take a look. That’s when my boyfriend and I started to get nervous. Just the way she said it put us on edge. The doctor came and looked at my baby too and then told me the bad news. The ultrasound had some abnormal results, my baby had no nasal bone and echogenic or bright bowel which were both soft markers for Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal disorders and she recommended that I have an amniocentesis done to draw some amniotic fluid and check the babies DNA for any abnormalities. After leaving the hospital, I cried and cried. I went there so excited to find out the sex of my baby and to hear that she might not be okay was just the most heartbreaking thing. I am only 20 years old so I thought that something like this wouldn’t happen to me. The hardest thing was that the doctor wanted to rush the amnio in case I wanted to end the pregnancy. That broke my heart, I already felt so much love for that little girl I couldn’t even picture terminating her just because she wasn’t perfect. We went to the genetic counselor a few days later and she told us about the risks, that there was a 1 in a 1000 chance that I would have a miscarriage but that the results of the DNA test were 99.9% accurate and that would give us peace of mind. We had to wait a few hours for the amnio, when we finally went into the room the nurse was very friendly and I’m sure that she had dealt with young scared parents in the past because she put me at ease saying that it would hurt less than getting blood drawn. They sterilized my belly and looked for the baby on the ultrasound to make sure that she was not in the way. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. The doctor stuck a huge 8 inch long needle in my belly, I didn’t look down I kept my eyes trained on the screen where I could see my little ones arms moving dangerously close to that needle. The pain was so intense. I felt my whole uterus contract and reject the foreign object that was threatening my little one. I felt panic, that she wouldn’t be okay. I began to hyperventilate; each vial they filled jarred the needle and caused excruciating pain. I was whimpering and I felt the needle move with each breath. The nurse told me to calm down and breathe deeply. I had my boyfriends hand in a vice grip. I felt really violated and worried, when they took the needle out and turned the ultrasound off I kept staring at the screen wanting to see baby girl some more. I felt the tears coursing down my face, out of nowhere it seemed. I recovered quickly though as I was curious to see the vials that they had filled with my womb juice. I joked with the nurse about the yellowish color and how it was literally baby pee. But when she left the room I had to collect myself, wipe my eyes and just lay there for a second staring at the ceiling, so glad that the horror was over. The healthcare providers had made it seem like a painless procedure but it was really quite invasive and produced weird protective emotions in me. It was the most stressful time in my pregnancy, not knowing if she was going to be healthy or not. When I got a call the next morning, I was still half asleep but when she said that the preliminary results of the amnio were in I was wide awake. She said that the baby had normal DNA and was for sure a girl. I was overjoyed! But also a bit mad, I had been so worried and put so much emotional thought into the idea that she might not be okay, I felt like I had been made to worry for nothing.

In the end, I’m glad that the doctors said something, they were only doing their job, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And I’m glad that I got the amnio done because now I can enjoy the rest of my pregnancy without having to worry if baby girl will be okay or not. I’m so grateful that she is but nothing could stop me from loving her either way! She is my angel and I’m proud to say that even though she wasn’t planned or expected she saved my life. She gave me purpose, before I was a pot smoking procrastinator and now I’m taking the steps that I need to take with the goal of going to medical school and becoming a doctor. She gave me this direction and this purpose. I can’t wait to meet the sweet little kicker that has been keeping me up at night. Thank you for saving my life, baby!

The before picture was taken in the summer of 2010, alcohol in hand! and the after picture was taken June 2011 at 170 lbs, I was probably days from conception
The second picture is about 18 or 19 weeks, a few weeks before the amnio, around 185 or 190 lbs
The third picture is my belly now, at 30 weeks and 200 lbs

Third Pregnancy After Eating Disorder (Anonymous)

I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for about 15 years, now. It started when I was 13. I’ve given birth to 2 beautiful girls, who are 5 and 4 now, and am pregnant again. I reached my lowest weight so far, this past spring, when I dropped to about 110 lbs. I should be 135-150. My BMI (which is a ridiculous way to gauge health) was only 16. It should be 20. I was severely underweight, and sick. I took ‘thinspo’ pictures of myself, one of which is posted below, and looking back now, I am amazed that I was so thin, and still able to get pregnant. I am now 18 weeks pregnant, and have gained a whopping 30 lbs. Bear in mind, if I was at my ‘ideal’ weight, I’d have only gained 10lbs.

Basically, i just want to say that there is hope, and that I am in recovery now, although my weight issues are not gone, and its a struggle every single day. I know I will deal with it postpartum, also, but I’m trying to take it one day at a time. I’ve gotten to about 160 with each pregnancy, so I’m assuming I’ll be there with this one too… But its okay. I just needed to share my story and my photos and show what a healthy, normal woman should look like.

Age: 28
3 pregnancies, 2 births (so far)
5 years, 4 years, and 18 weeks pregnant.
First picture: 16 weeks pregnant, 3rd pregnancy, 140 lbs
Second picture: April 2011, 110 lbs
Third picture: December 2011, 18 weeks pregnant

Bulimic and Breastfeeding (Linda)

First off I want to say that I am overjoyed that I found this website, it has already helped me to start the healing process.

Secondly, please forgive me as I have a lot to say and this post may be all over the place, hopefully at the end I can tie it all together.

My Story

I have had issues with body image since I was an adolescent. I was the chunky one for some time, but things came to a head in my late teens early twenties. I have been an over-exerciser (worked out for four hours straight once and passed out from dehydration and exhaustion) serial dieter and pill popper and at the age of 21 I FINALLY got to under 130 lbs and was a size two, WOOHOOO!!! That did not last very long because what I had to do to get there was everything but natural and healthy, and eventually the pounds came back on. I am 5 feet two-three inches (depending on the day) and I currently weigh 172 lbs. I began purging in my late teens, I can no longer remember how I got started but I have been battling it ever since. Through much introspection I have labeled the ED my crutch. Sometimes I can go months without it, but I always know that it is in the closet ready for me to pull out whenever I feel I need it and lately I have needed it every day. I have three beautiful girls, a three year old and twin 3 month olds. With my first I went through post partum which I battled on my own and eventually came out of. I don’t think I am dealing with post partum this time around but I am battling that old demon of mine, horrible body image.

I know all the reasons why this disease is not healthy and why I should stop. I know it doesn’t actually help me lose weight but on the contrary can add weight but that hasn’t stopped me. The reason is I don’t think I am ready to give up my crutch. I am EBFing my twins and plan to do so for a while, however I know I am damaging myself with my purging and possibly affecting my milk. I don’t want my girls to ever deal with what I am going through and I want to be healthy for them if not myself. Im not sure if it is the stress that triggered my ED but it has come back with a vengeance. Since I am nursing I am not able to get away much so I eat as my version of downtime, I eat to distract myself, I eat because I am bored, I just eat. And what’s funny (or not) is that I often don’t even enjoy it. I don’t know what to do. But I have been working out and TRYING to eat right and the scale mocks me, I see this stomach with this butt looking pooch in front and it pisses me off and makes me sad. I have no waist to speak off (always had this problem now its ten times worse) and I can’t fit any of my clothes and I…..

I’m sorry, I know I am rambling. I will stop here and hope that what I wrote made some type of since. I have so much more to share but maybe this is not the outlet for it. I just want to love myself as much as I love my children!!!
~Your Age: 31
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 3 children
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 3 months pp

Pic in red dress is me about 11 months pp with my first. Pic of my 3 month old twins. Pic of my three girls.

They Say it Takes Nine Months (Anonymous)

Previous posts start here.

23 years old
one pregnancy, one birth (an adorable son)
I’m now 9 months postpartum. I have a few dresses: size 6, size 8, size 9. I have several jeans: size 8, size 9, size 10, size 13. I have shirts: S, M, L. I am between an A cup and a B cup. I am five foot seven inches and 160 lbs. My measurements are 36 (34A)-28.5-43. Dark brown hair. Blue green eyes.

What do these numbers mean? What do they make me?
They can’t give you any insights into my character.
They can’t tell you that I can hoist 250lbs+ with my “thunder thighs”.
They can’t describe the work I put in to do pull-ups.
They can’t tell you I have an IQ of 153. Or that I love books. Or that I have a warped, twisted sense of humor and love to laugh.
They can’t describe the lengths I will go to in order to help my friends: midnight phone calls, trips to the ER, “cheer-up” trips, lending money.

They don’t give you any idea of the pain I’ve felt in just the last nine months: my grandmother dying, an old friend writing me a good-bye e-mail and committing suicide before I could do anything, another friend lost both legs and an arm in Iraq, I worried about another friend possibly committing suicide, I worried about my own health postpartum, I worried about my relationship with my husband, I worried about my own body and attractiveness.

Those numbers won’t do you any good in telling you how I’ve battled an eating disorder for over a decade, or how I overcame the desire to self-injure years ago.

They also won’t do any good in telling you that I love comedy, drama, action, animals, psychology, running, swimming.

They won’t describe the incredible relationship I have with my husband or the overwhelming love we both have for our son.

THESE NUMBERS DON’T tell you anything IMPORTANT about me.

They say it takes nine months for your body to “go back to the way it was.” I respectfully disagree. My body is different, not less attractive nor more attractive. It’s very close to how I was pre-pregnancy, but I recognize the subtle differences in my curves and various lumps and bumps :) I looked in the mirror yesterday morning and saw my body as a whole instead of the usual random conglomeration of body parts haphazardly sewn together like some kind of disproportionate frankenstein. I am not the sum of round arms, chubby legs, lovehandles, thick calves, and a soft-but-toned stomach. I am just ME. And I say take ME as I am, because I don’t want part of any friendship or acquaintance with anyone who thinks a person can be summarized by a small, narrow scope provided by a few numbers.

I am beautiful. And my stretch marks and scars only add to my beauty and uniqueness as a person. I am happy with myself, and I hope that all you ladies on this site can find your own beauty too.

Learning to Be (Anonymous)

My story starts in high school when I first started (unknowingly) with anorexia for a couple years. Fast forward to age 21. I got pregnant with my first. I was a healthy weight and honestly didn’t think about weight at that point in my life. I had a healthy baby girl that I had at home. I was happy and ate A LOT! I gained about 20lbs between my first and my second daughter. When I was 25 I was pregnant with my second daughter. Again, it was a beautiful homebirth. She was 10 pounds and did a number to my body! I got a lot of stretch marks but I was ok with it for the most part. At this point I thought I was done having my kids. I had 2 amazing daughters. After my second was born all I did was eat! My weight skyrocketed to 170lbs! I had gotten family vacation pictures back and realized just how heavy and out of shape I was so I decided to do something about it. I dieted. I was good at it! I lived at the gym and counted every morsel of calories that went in to my mouth. In that time I divorced my husband and kept on losing, and losing and losing….. another bout with anorexia. I thought I had in under control but no matter how thin I got I always felt I could be thinner. About 4 years after I divorced I reconnected with an old friend and we fell in love. He is an amazing man. I was upfront from the beginning that I struggled with anorexia and he supported me no questions asked. We were married a year later and in that time I had gotten very sick. I could barely walk and function as human. I was not the mother I wanted to be. My wedding day I weighed a mere 100lbs and I’m 5’10”. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to walk down the aisle I was so weak. Not only did I vow to love my husband through richer or poorer, I vowed to be there in sickness and in health and I promised I would get healthy again. The week after my honeymoon I did just that. It was the worst, hardest experience of my life. I gained 40lbs in just 1.5 months. Over the course of the next 6 months I gained another 10. I was miserable and depressed but in that time we realized something, we wanted a baby of our own. 3 days after deciding we were pregnant. It was a miracle because doctors weren’t sure if I could have kids again. 9 months and 30lbs later we had a 8lb 12oz baby girl at home.

I’ve been struggling with old habits. I’m trying to lose the baby weight the healthy way. I struggle with body image. By 8 weeks I had lost all the baby weight (30lbs) and now at 13 weeks postpartum I am 6 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I still feel like I have a ways to go but I am learning acceptance and love for my body. It’s got stretch marks and my belly is a pile of loose skin. My boobs are huge and uncomfortable and my butt is nothing but cellulite but you know what? I’m ok with it. I have a loving husband and 3 amazingly beautiful daughters. I have been blessed in this life. I have lived through anorexia and I can now be a positive role model for my girls.

Pregnancy is a trip and what it does to your body is an even bigger trip but it’s a small price to pay for what you get out of it!

Age: 36
Number of births: 3 homebirths
Age of children: 14, 10, 3 months

1st picture: after 2 pregnancies anorexic but still kind of healthy
2nd picure: 9 months pregnant with 3rd daughter
3rd picture: 13 weeks postpartum

Learning to Surrender (Anonymous)

30 years old, two pregnancies one birth.
Currently 8 months pregnant. 15 month old daughter.

I used to be a dancer and circus performer and suffered with eating disorders, self harmed and abused alcohol for many many years. By the time I reached 25 I had recovered and was able to maintain a normal and healthy weight at 128lbs and 5ft 7 although I still had issues with alcohol. I worked as a stripper part time which believe it or not was part of my recovery. I learnt to accept my naked body for what it was, although in the back of my mind I still had weight issues. I ended a ten year relationship and began to date my husband in 2008. I am very lucky that he likes curvy ladies and didn’t like my thinness at all. I fell pregnant in 2009 and had to accept the changes that were happening to me. I struggled at first with the weight gain and exercised alot through my daughter’s pregnancy swimming up to five times a week. Towards the end I began to relax and was able to accept and submit to the changes that were going on in my body. I gained 32lbs and had no stretch marks.

After a long difficult , but peaceful birthing using hypnobirthing, my daughter entered the world via forceps delivery. The pictures show my body 3 days after the birth and a week after the birth. My breasts became engorged with milk and I can truly say I felt the most beautiful I have ever been. I did lose the postpartem weight within six months (much to my husband’s regret) and had a wonderful if sleepless experience of breastfeeding my lovely daughter for 13 months during which time I fell pregnant again.

This time round I have submitted to my body allowing it to do what it needs to do without forcing it to exercise or maintain ridiculous standards of healthy eating and exercise. I am currently 8 months pregnant and on track to gain exactly the same as before WITHOUT THE HOURS IN THE POOL! My body knows what to do, my baby knows what to do and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been. I might not be able to fit into my old showgirl and circus costumes, but my 15 month year old now has the best dressing up box out of all her little friends!

Find peace in yourselves ladies. Our bodies are miracle workers.