Let’s Get Real. I Don’t Love My Body.

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READING TIME: 4 min.
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Seven months before we got pregnant with our first

If I have to read one more blog post about loving by body after baby, I’m going to be mad.

Wait no, I am already mad.

Let’s get the something out of the way: I’m not talking about body after baby because you are struggling to get back in your size 4 pants 8 weeks postpartum. I’m not talking about body after baby when you say you’ve lost all the baby weight 4 months postpartum and just need to lose a few more pounds to be back where you were.

I’m talking to the tried-everything-cut-everything-working-out-like-crazy-and-not-losing-weight moms out there.

I am right here with you. I see your pain. I feel your pain. I am living your pain.

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Last month with my two cuties

I see you hot and miserable in jeans at the park chasing your kids, because you literally can’t find shorts that fit. I see you hiding in a swimsuit, shorts and a tank top because nothing else will cover what needs to be covered. I see you sneaking through the clothing section at Target, inching closer to the women’s section and grabbing clothes off the rack, hoping no one see’s you.

I get it. I really do. I look in the mirror and cringe. I hide behind my kids in pictures. I loathe having to put on something other than yoga pants and a t shirt.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to lose the weight. I know, I know, “everyone loses weight breast feeding.” But I don’t. I am exclusively breast feeding my baby and have not dropped a pound since he was born 5 months ago. I eat a balanced diet and consume about 1700 calories a day. I have cut out the majority of carbs, sugars and alcohol. I work out. I chase a very active 2 year old all day long. And nothing is working.

So you see, if I have to read one more blog written by a mom who has managed to lose all but the last 5 pounds and is struggling because she is in a size 8 instead of a size 6 jeans, I might scream. (The other day a friend told me she understood my frustration with body after baby. While I can’t manage to lose weight, she loses all her baby weight and more – she has to eat eat eat to keep at a healthy weight. Not. helpful.)

I don’t want to love my body. I don’t want to make peace with my body. I don’t want this size to be the rest of my life, because I want to be a healthy example to my kids. I gained 25 pounds with my first and didn’t lose a pound while breast feeding. I managed to lose 12 pounds in the 3 month window between ending nursing with my first and getting pregnant with my second. I gained 32 pounds with my second and was on modified bed rest and was not allowed to work out at all. So that’s 45 pounds to get back to pre baby weight and I’d like to be 20 pounds less than that to have a healthy weight. 65 pounds. UGH.

I don’t love where I am with my body.

So what next? I don’t know.

This isn’t a blog post with all the answers.

I look in the mirror and the voices in my head are saying, “You’re fat.” “You’re ugly.” “What a loser, you can’t fit in your early maternity clothes.”

Yet the voices around me are saying something completely different. My two year old says, “I wuv you momma.” “Hi darling momma.” “Hey momma hold me.”

So why do I let the voices in my head win out over the voices of my family? Shouldn’t I listen to the voices of the people who actually see me rather than the cruel voices in my head that have been telling me I’m not enough since junior high?

That’s all I’ve got. I’m not at peace with my body. I don’t love my body. And I don’t know what to do about it. But what I do know is that I am going to work on actively listening to the voices of the people around me, instead of the insecure voices in my head.

What about you? Did you struggle or are you struggling to lose weight after baby? How did you cope? Any suggestions for other reader’s struggling with the same problems?

12 COMMENTS

  1. This was great Laura! Yes, I get super annoyed with love your body speak too. I don’t think that’s realistic. I don’t think that staring in the mirror harder til you suddenly start loving what you see is the answer. Your desire to get healthy is awesome…until then…I think you have to give yourself grace and time. I think it’s healthier to look in the mirror and say “I’m a work in progress”…than “wow, I love what I see”…Like I blog about at http://www.workingoutlove.com – I think the biggest amount of freedom available is in keeping the bigger picture. Your look doesn’t affect your worth or value – even though society makes it feel that way. You are more than your jeans size…and at the same time…that doesn’t mean desiring to change your jeans size is a bad thing! 🙂 My encouragement to you is take the pressure off! I know you want the weight gone now…but…it’ll probably be a lot easier even six months from now after those hormones calm down. Weight came off quickly with two kids and slow (if ever) with other two… Grace…grace…give yourself grace! 🙂

    • Heather – you are so right; I need to work on giving my body grace. I am so grateful for the two healthy kiddos I have and extend grace to them all day….why is it so hard to extend that back to myself?? I am loving your blog; your words are so wise!

  2. Laura your post today was so good, very real and I appreciate that!

    I don’t know if this helps/hurts but I did have a friend who was just like you-couldn’t lose a dang pound, stopped nursing her son after about a year and lost the weight she had gained. I can’t imagine though having the maddening experience of everyone sing the praises of nursing and weight loss and having the exact opposite happen!

    I do hope that you can let the positive voices have some stock-because genuinely, when I saw you the most recently I didn’t see anything that you see-I was impressed with how happy and beautiful you looked as a mother of two (even with Parker crawling all over the floor :P) and hoped I managed to have a similar appearance as you.

    • Cassidy, I almost freaked out last night and asked for it to be pulled, but I am so glad I didn’t. We need real conversations with real women regarding the issues we face every day! What matters is healthy, happy kids and a grateful heart on my end for having such blessings in my life. Glad I looked happy last time you saw me – Parker makes me feel like a crazy person sometimes!! 🙂

  3. Laura,

    Thanks for posting this. I think so many moms are the same way! With my first I didn’t lose much weight at all breastfeeding, and was able to lose some after I weaned at a year, but not back to prepregnancy weight. I think the hormones weren’t letting me get rid of the weight… With my second now 3 months old, some weight is coming off but I’ve got a long way to go to get back to where I started. And it is OK! In 3ish years you have brought two new lives into the world and your body let you do that. Keep being healthy and know that so many other moms are in your same boat!

    • Ashleigh, thank you for your encouragement! I hope this post lets other momma’s out there know they are not struggling alone in silence and shame. All our bodies are different and all our bodies change/react different to pregnancy! I hate the pressure our culture puts on moms so quickly after they have a baby. I personally consider it a success when we all leave the house in semi clean clothes 🙂

  4. Thank you for your honest and real post! I’m one year postpartum and majorly struggling to get the weight off…and trying to before we consider having another. And I breastfed for a year! Yesterday I felt awful about myself because I saw another blogger who posted a picture of herself on Instagram – 3 weeks postpartum and in her pre-pregnancy jeans. After a whole year and I’m not there yet! Your post made me feel more encouraged that there are others like me. Thanks for being so honest. …and that is so me, sweating in my jeans right now because that’s the only thing that fits. Chelsea {Houston Moms Blogger}

  5. I just wanted to throw in my two cents… Once I heard Arianna Huffington say that we compare ourselves to the wrong people — those that have more than we do. Instead we should compare ourselves to people who have less.

    There is so much to love about your body — even if you aren’t totally happy with it. Look at your legs and feel thankfulness (and love!) that you can walk with your kids without even thinking about it. So many people deal w/ chronic pain (or even paralysis) every day, and a simple walk is a huge accomplishment. Your lungs provide you with oxygen, your breasts provide your child with food. Focus more on the function of your body, and love it for all the amazing things it does.

    I don’t mean to minimize the impact of weight and self image — I know how crazy it can make you (or ME, at least!!) Keep eating and living healthy, and reassess after you have weaned. Also consider what things you love doing. I am crazy about dancing, so I started doing pole fitness after my first kiddo was born. It has changed my body SO MUCH, primarily because I love doing it. I’m not a person who can “exercise” very easily, so finding something that was super fun was key to me. I’m only three weeks post partum w/ my third kiddo, but I can’t wait to get back into it!

  6. Have you had your thyroid checked??? Mine was all out of whack after I had my first. It completely slowed down my metabolism and I had no energy. I now am on synthroid and feel 100% better. This could be your problem!

  7. Yeah. That. Exactly Heres my two cents
    I decided when the scale stopped I would spend $100 at consigment and thrift stores on a capsule summer wardrobe for THIS body in THIS season.
    My baby is almost 3 months and I am 50lbs away from my healthy 35-40 away from pre-baby. I thought about it for 3 weeks then shopped. The pressure is off. I don’t love my body but I am not embarrassed by Clothes that don’t fit. I also splurged on a haircut and pedicure. So the top and bottom are great and I am slowly ever so slowly aiming for a different middle. But I am not obsessing anymore I need to be around the littles and listen to the voices in the real world.
    It’s working most days. And these clothes can go back to where tHey came in a couple of months ….. Maybe more.
    Thanks for the honesty

  8. Word. Yes. I mean I’m in almost the exact situation. I exclusively breastfed my 2 year old for the first year and plan to do the same with my second who is 5 months. Nothing works for me while nursing. I’m also ravenous line a pack of wolves and feel hungry (like actual hunger pangs) all the livelong day. So, no wisdom really just another mom out there going yep, you’re not alone. Thank you for sharing this. I promise to remember when I go try to find something to wear tomorrow.

  9. Thank you for the real post! Hang in there!!! I am pregnant with #4 and kind of dreading the process again as SO MANY people don’t understand and kind of judge you about it. Sigh. Just so you know, on the positive, lots of my “SKINNY” friends struggle with lots of weight gain after they stop nursing due to getting into bad habits (which I didn’t have). After all 3 of my children, I couldn’t lose the remaining weight (after that initial small hospital loss) unless I was sleeping through the night AND done with breastfeeding. After my third, I was in my upper 30’s and kind of bummed to still have some of the weight when my youngest was 2 (but then again he wasn’t sleeping through the night! haha!). I decided that I needed to try something different which did work for me. He was done breastfeeding and then sleeping through the night when I switched to partially eating vegetarian. The meals without my husband (breakfast and lunch) were vegetarian (and some dinners too) and I also cut way back on any bread (one serving per day). Mark Bittman wrote a book about eating vegan before 6 called VB6 which I kind of followed (but I eat some eggs and honey). Over about a year, I was able to lose the additional weight without being hungry and not have to exercise a lot (I have a treadmill/bike in my basement for about 30 min per day which is all I could manage with 3 small littles). It was nice to feel “normal” in my weight department again. BTW – even if you lose all the weight you will need different clothes as I had a stomach/belly that will not flatten anymore.

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