no pictures, just me..

April 3, 2012

I have been feeling a little down lately. I know I mentioned this before, but losing weight post pregnancy has been really difficult for me. I get so discouraged that I don't even want to look in the mirror. I hate being naked {not the greatest thing when you're married, especially to a hunk of an athlete sorry michael}. I just feel so not myself. I beat myself up inside and question how I ever let myself get like this? 60+ pounds of weight gain during pregnancy felt so out of my control, but I certainly never tried to control it really. I feel ugly and broken, embarrassed and ashamed.

Then today I looked at my little girl and thought how could I ever talk to myself like that? How could I ever let her hear these negative views I have of my own body without her second guessing her appearance? I cried some more because then I felt I was failing her as a mom even though she has no idea what I am feeling or thinking in my head. 

Now that I have had some time to reflect on this little experience, I want to share something I learned. Loving yourself, trusting yourself, and humbling yourself all take courage. We have to look past all the insecurities and find that strength inside of us to act, to change, to appreciate, and to learn. As we learn to do these things we begin to develop confidence. Eventually, a little bit of joy starts to develop- until slowly we find joy in every goal met, even the seemingly small and insignificant ones. 

Tonight I tried to look in the mirror in a different light. I looked at my stretched out tummy and appreciated how hard it worked to get little Sydney here safe and protected from the world. I looked at my arms and was thankful I could hold and cuddle my little girl when she is upset. I looked at my face and even though its a little fuller and marked with tired eyes, appreciated the beauty in all my features; the light freckles dotting my forehead, my somewhat large mouth, my blue eyes.. For the first time in my life I loved every little thing about my body. I felt so much gratitude for this gift.

That's it. Our bodies are a gift and we need to take care of them- mind, body and soul. So instead of criticizing myself I am learning that constant nourishment in the forms of eating healthy, exercising, providing spiritual nourishment, and learning are all the ways I am going to find joy. 

I have a lot of changes to make. I know I will probably make mistakes a long the way, but I also know I have the power to be positive with god's help. Looking in the mirror shouldn't be about what is wrong or worse, but rather what has changed and what is better. 

Sorry if anyone finds this offensive. I know most people look at me and don't think I should complain, but this is my struggle and for someone who used to run 12 miles no sweat, it's a big deal. I don't want to be "skinny," I just want to be healthy and happy. 

Sydney, once again, thank you for helping me be better. You teach your mother more than you will ever know. 

8 comments:

  1. Jess, that was so tender. I can only imagine how hard that must be. But I'm glad you have been able to see the beauty in all your features, because you really are beautiful. And being a mother to Sydney is the most important thing, so that is so good that you recognize that.

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  2. Jessica, I love this post. Losing baby weight is such a struggle and I've totally felt the same way. In the end, I ask myself if I'd do it all over again and I'd say yes in a heartbeat. I'm learning to accept that my body may not ever be the same as it was pre-baby but that's ok because if I know I'm doing my best to be healthy than thats ok. Besides, i think you look great! :)

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  3. Very well said Jessica! You said things that i feel, but couldnt find the words to say them.... If that makes sense. I feel the same. Except my baby is 2 years old and im still holding on an extra 20lbs. I struggle with losing weight because im just not consistent with excercise and eating well.. Ill do great for a week, and then do awful for 2 weeks or whatever. It's awful! You are definately not alone. Thanks for your inspiring words

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  4. I love posts like this that are just...honest. I think that too many blogs out there cast motherhood in this light of "everything is perfect and my life is perfect and I am so happy all the time", which is NOT reality. There ARE things that we struggle with - things that get us down - that is the truth. Motherhood is a wonderful thing, but it is not all hugs and kisses and happy times. There are sacrifices involved, and although we know they are part of the package, sometimes they are really hard to bear.

    I totally understand your body image issues. I think that pretty much everyone who has become a mama experiences that. I know that I have. It's the part of become a mom that no one tells you about, so you are not prepared for it, which make it all the harder. Losing the weight can be really tough, and it makes it harder when people are insensitive and say things like "oh please, like YOU need to lose weight - ha!" - those kinds of statements trivialize your feelings and are not helpful. I have gotten those comments every time I've had a baby, and I have to remind myself that I have my own standards for my own body. I know what is healthy for me, and I will try to reach that goal, regardless of what other people think.

    You body DOES change after a baby - you can tone it up and get in great shape, but really, you shouldn't expect to ever go back to exactly the way you were before pregnancy - it's just not possible. Even if you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight (which is definitely possible for many women), you body is changed by pregnancy. Usually, your hips are a little bit bigger and even if you tone your belly like crazy (which I do), the skin is just never QUITE as tight as if was before. And don't even get me started on your boobs once you are done nursing - terrifying. That is the part that is hardest for me, because it is something that I have absolutely zero control over. I can exercise all I want and get my body tight and fit, but there aint nothin' I can do about my pathetic chest. :) But you can definitely slim down and tone up - it just takes time, dedication, and patience.

    Like I said, I think this post is great - thanks for sharing your epiphany about your body and for being a good example for your daughter. Anytime I feel like complaining about the way I look in front of my kids I immediately think of what it will do to their OWN self-esteem and self-image and I stop myself. And isn't that what motherhood is really all about? Doing what is best for our children? So I'd say you're on the right track. In the meantime, keep working at it, eating well, and in time you'll get your body back to feeling more like "you".

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  5. You are so cute! And from your pictures, you already look SOO skinny. But I know how pregnancy can wreak havoc on your body. Isla is 9 months and I was just BARELY able to fit back into my pre pregnancy jeans, but my stomach is still a blob!! And it didn't happen until I stopped nursing. There are so many factors that go into your body recovering. Just know that you are not alone in feeling like your body will never be the same! I promise it just takes time. You will get there. And you will feel better. In the meantime, you look great!!

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  6. P.s. I would love if you shared some diet and excercise tips along the way! I need the extra motivation. Also without sounding weird i want to tell you i think you are so gorgeous, and have such a good light about you.

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  7. You are such a sweetheart. I am sure I will go through the exact same thing in a few months:) she is lucky to have such a sweet loving mommy!

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  8. Jess you are beautiful and I just love you so much!! Thanks for sharing :)

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