Body Image

18 Aug

Much has happened over the last few weeks that I have kept from you…inadvertantly, of course. I haven’t had much time to write and I’ve missed it very much. It keeps me sane. Yes, I’m insinuating that I’m going mad. I meant to. Maybe I am.

Motherhood is lovely. Surreal. I still can’t believe that I’m in charge of this tiny, beautiful baby boy. Sometimes when I’m staring at him, watching his every facial expression change, I think to myself how I barely knew what love was until he came into our lives. My definition seems to have changed and altered my whole world!

The remnants of my pregnancy are leaving me feeling a different way, though. That’s what I want to talk about today–body image.

Mine sucks. It always has, really. I don’t know where this comes from. I just know that I’m rarely happy with the way I look. In fifth grade, I began to notice that when I sat down in a chair, the fat (or skin) on my legs would flail out so I started sitting down with just my tippy toes touching the ground. That way, no one would know how huge I really was. This is absolutely ridiculous, especially because I was a really skinny kid.

In 7th and 8th grade, I dreaded changing in the locker rooms for my basketball games and then later changing again into my cheerleading uniform for the guys game. I would change in the shower most times because I didn’t want anyone to see my love handles that were actually nonexistent. I was probably 85 lbs soaking wet.

These self-conscious feelings never left me and when I arrived in college, much of my research began to be focused around body image. I worked at a gym and tried to stay in shape, but for the most part, I was rarely happy with what I saw in the mirror. After meeting Captain J, I cut myself some slack, I think. He made me feel good about myself and in turn, I wanted to be healthy, to look healthy for him.

I knew getting pregnant would disrupt that. I knew I would stress about gaining too much weight, stretch marks, not being able to workout, et cetera. I felt pretty good during the last nine months, though. It wasn’t until after I had Baby K and looked down to still see a woman who appeared to be about 5 or 6 months preggo that I began to worry again.

My stomach goes down a little every day. And I didn’t expect to be a size four again over night.

But, it’s just…

I’m frustrated! I’m frustrated mostly because I actually was feeling pretty good about myself until I went to the hospital the other day. Two people asked me when I was due. Seriously? Context clues people…I was carrying a diaper bag!

I ended up gaining 31 lbs. I’ve already lost 19 last I checked. It’s nice to see the number going down again. But I still feel pretty gross in all my old clothes and the end isn’t really in sight. My doctor has put me on bed rest- as in don’t get out of bed, don’t have visitors, and don’t you dare exercise orders. I was hoping to at least be able to take walks again. Releasing endorphins is another thing that keeps me sane.

But I can’t do any of that. I feel trapped in this bed.

All I want is to be able to feel good about myself again, but that seems so far away because I’m forbidden to work out. I know this all may seem very petty, shallow even to you. It’s how I’m feeling, though. I’m just so thankful that I have the sweetest, most beautiful baby I’ve ever laid eyes on to show for it.

He makes it all worth it.

And somehow I escaped pregnancy number one with no stretch marks. Miracle! I do love that cocoa butter.

Anyway, I’m just writing this down to vent. I know there’s someone out there reading who deals with similar issues. I could place blame on the media, but I won’t. I’ll take responsibility for my false beliefs about my body and do something to try to change them. The last thing I want to do is teach my child(ren) poor body image.


8 Responses to “Body Image”

  1. Haleigh Steele August 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I will never forget how I felt the day I was going home from the hospital with Mylie!! I put on my jeans and sweater and looked in the mirror and started crying!!! It was horrible!! I know how you feel but what helped me was nursing. I lost all my baby weight with Mylie and Maddox within a couple months. This last pregnancy on the other hand, not so much!!! So dont fret. I know you look amazing and the weight will come off!!!:)

  2. Mama M. August 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Oh, hon. I hear you.

    Loud and clear.

    I suffer from similar issues, and while I can’t promise you that things get fabulous soon, I will tell you to be patient. Yes, your body will likely never be the same before pregnancy (mine isn’t), it will and CAN be a wonderful NEW normal. Remember, it took 9 months for your body to grow a baby…give it at least that much time to “rebound”.

    I found, with my own babies, that I tended to lose the weight quickly. Often losing MORE than I had gained with pregnancy, but my body was still “off” for quite a while. Just be healthy. Exercise when you are able, but don’t over do it. Eat right, but remember (are you nursing?) to eat ENOUGH.

    It will happen…many women say they actually like their bodies MORE after having a baby because they feel more “womanly”. I’m not sure that I’m one of them, but I do know that I wish I had appreciated my body MORE when I was younger. I look back at pictures of myself and wonder why I ever thought anything was wrong! And, I’m sure someday I’ll look back at pictures of me NOW and wish I could have this lumpy old bod back!

    Hugs to you…it does and it will get better!

  3. Becca@ The Finish Line August 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Oooh, he is sooo pretty! Yeah – The body image thing…I think a lot of it has to do with not sleeping or getting interrupted sleep for a while. And some of it has to do with suddenly owning more skin 🙂 Breastfeeding helped tremendously to shrink it all down…and time. You should be napping right now, by the way 🙂

  4. Maria Graves August 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Mrs K you are a beautiful person and to have lost 19 lbs in a week is outstanding(my baby will soon be 10 and I have way more than 11 pounds to lose)! Just sit back and relax, enjoy Capt J and baby K. Life is about living and loving, don’t sweat the small stuff. I really enjoy your blogs, you know….. you should write a book:) Until next time.

  5. Jenna Lou August 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Just remember to keep your head up. Even if you feel like you are faking it for a bit. When you are ready and able to work out again let me know. We can encourage each other.

  6. cloudedpink August 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    I sooooo understand! Body image has been a real struggle for me from way back. Not sure why either, I’ve just never liked my body. I was never overweight until pregnancies changed me, and then a whole lotta stuff happened over the years that caused me to lose focus on health completely. Now I’m in a position that I can’t change without drastic measures… BUT! I want to be healthy again, and I WILL be healthy again. I don’t know Capt J that well, hardly at all, but if he’s like I THINK he is, he loves you even more today than yesterday. He loves you with a neverending kind of love that allows him to see through your skin right to your heart. Now, if you can muster up the strength to look at yourself with that kind of love, you’ll learn to love yourself too, extra skin and all.
    Love you – ALL of you!

  7. Karen T August 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    I can COMPLETELY relate to your entire post. My baby girl is 7 weeks old now and I’m getting closer to my pre-baby body, but I’m still finding it hard to adjust to my body now. For you to have lost 19 pounds already is awesome, congrats on that!

  8. Brittany August 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel about having a poor body image! For what it’s worth, I think (and always have thought) that you are a beautiful woman! I will be praying for you that you will not fall into Satan’s lie of believing anything different. Never forget that it is just that- a lie. Also, your little boy is adorable!!

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