I’m trying to find balance and respect my body, but it’s hard. I admire people who preach about loving their body no matter the size or circumstance. I dream about being that girl, the one that loves herself unconditionally. I love my kids unconditionally, why can’t I love myself the same? I want to embrace all of the woman I am and step into my power again. I’ve tried to understand patience & admiration & being kind to myself. I’ve tried to tap into that state of mind. I want to say I’m there, and I love myself no matter what, but that’s just not the case.
Some days I’m able to just accept the changes and create a logical explanation. Sometimes I guilt myself because as everyone knows “I just had a baby.” Without meaning to, some people make me feel shame for thinking about my weight or body image because I’m 7 months post baby. I know their intentions aren’t harmful, but it’s harmful to tell me my body doesn’t matter. My confidence – doesn’t matter. Maybe that conversation should be shifted from “don’t worry about your weight, it’s not in your control you just had a baby, so focus on that…” to “To me you look beautiful as a new mom, and your weight is not a factor in that. You’ll get to a weight you’re comfortable in, and you’ll be just as beautiful as you are now…”
It’s almost like there’s the hidden message that you’re praised when you ‘snap back,’ but if you obsess over ‘snapping back,’ then you’re not prioritizing correctly, or focusing on your blessings, or giving your body ‘time.’ Why is it that when a woman does ‘snap back’ we immediately praise her, assume she’s healthy, and get vocal about how good she looks because of her weight loss? Why are a lot of the same people who shame new moms for obsessing over weight loss, the same people who are praising moms who lose all the baby weight quickly?
I’ve noticed I’m so hard on myself. I meet people or see people on social media, and I never judge them for their body weight or physical appearance or any of that crap. I find beauty in the energy people put out. In the way they carry themselves. In their confidence. Thinking about this makes me feel worse knowing I’m holding myself back. Knowing I’m capable of that same energy and confidence, but I’m tearing myself down instead. It makes me feel like I’m superficial, but only with myself. It’s a frustrating place to be mentally.
I’m also constantly in a mental battle of caring and not caring. It’s extreme – caring to a point of obsession, or not caring to the point of self destruction.
Today is day seven of working out & eating nourishing foods. I’m near a breakdown because I’m not sure if it’s even worth it. But I’m at that point where I’m tired of being in the same place for so long. I’m tired of feeling lethargic, and physically uncomfortable. Since Jaz was born, I’ve had a couple efforts to get physically fit again, but they all usually end day three or four. I have a hard time being realistic, and lose patience. I’m an emotional eater, and after a full day of ‘MOMing,’ I have a habit of de-stressing with calories. I’m tired of not feeling sexy. I’m tired of not knowing what size to buy. I don’t see a physical change yet, but I feel so much better just moving. I’m trying to focus on that. I feel like I’m at the point where I might just give up – but now is when I need to push through. Even if I’m currently questioning if it’s worth it. I’m trying to shed my thoughts about what people think, while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of moving my body. I’m trying to shed my thoughts of an end ‘goal weight’, or physical changes, and focus on FEELING good.
This week, I’m triggered when I know I’m going to see people for the holiday. The thought that someone may comment on my weight, or not comment at all. I don’t know why I even care. The pandemic has been great in the sense that I’ve been isolated and had most of my postpartum recovery to myself without worrying about having to see people or get dressed, but on the other hand, knowing I’m going to see people has become this HUGE barrier of fear and anxiety. It’s like I want to hide. But I’m also so lonely. It’s a push and pull of desiring company, and dreading it.
If you’re a new mom struggling with something similar, I’m pushing through with you. I know that physically & mentally these times are so challenging. Whether you lost 30lbs the first week home from giving birth, or gained 20lbs after, or anything in between. During times where it seems like everything is out of our control, body image slipping through your fingers can just add to that stress.
Today I’m not ok. I wanted to share that with you. I want to eat my feelings, have a glass of wine, and stay in bed sulking. But I’m going to force myself to workout, and pray for mental clarity.
I KNOW this isn’t the most important topic, and there are BIGGER things going on in the world. But I just needed to release some of this, and hope to provide relief for anyone feeling the same kinds of emotions. This is not about my baby, this is not about being ungrateful, this is me sharing a coming and going thought. This is ME checking in while my baby is napping and the words in my mind overflow my existence.
Here’s what I’m telling myself today: “My body is forever changing, and it’s ok to be where I am now. Time is always ticking, and I get to decide where I’m going next.” I’m looking forward to the days when I love what I see in the mirror, regardless of weight.