New baby, new body

18/04/2020

Body acceptance

I am grateful for my body, it gave me my little man, it’s not a process that everyone can go through.  Nevertheless, I have struggled to recognise and accept my body.  Not only because it looks different than pre-pregnancy but because it doesn’t feel as healthy and it doesn’t feel mine, I will be lying if I told you I didn’t think about it often.

Once we got our baby home I felt physically crappy for 14 weeks, I did not have the chance to think about my body at all. I just knew my clothes didn’t fit me, not even my maternity clothes and I was too busy to care and entertain any negative thoughts about my body.

During pregnancy I exercised almost right to the end, I loved it just as much as I loved food.  I did not restrict myself of any foods and I made peace with the amount of weight I was gaining but I did not expect to gain weight post-partum but after my caesarean I put on an extra 10 kilos and this made me feel really bad, I didn’t look at myself for a really long time.

One night, baby Oscar was in bed and I was getting out of the shower when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I thought- wow is that really me? What’s happened to me? Why is my belly still hanging? Did I really get all those stretch marks? Am I really this big? I was offended by my own thoughts.

Through the years I have learnt that being comfortable in your skin is not dependent just on how you look or the shape of your body, there is so much more to it! The times I have been comfortable in my own skin and have felt confident is when I was at peace inside (career, family life) and when I was healthy and physically strong. I didn’t need anyone’s approval or compliments to like myself (despite the stretch marks from my first child or cellulite), the confidence came from within.

There was no point of looking at myself and feeling worse than I already did? there was not much I could do, I was always exhausted and in pain and most importantly in a baby bubble.  As a new mum I was already putting unnecessary pressure on myself (breastfeeding, routines, not neglecting eldest child), I felt vulnerable, weak and I was alone in a new country, with loads of time in my hands.

I had so much time to reflect on what us (women) go through in regards to our bodies, the way we judge our bodies. Seven and a half months post-partum I am putting the pieces together of all the experiences my body and I have been through and learning to find my inner peace.

I don’t necessarily like myself but I am learning to accept my body right now.  I have new stretch marks, a mum tum, cellulite, my hips are eight inches wider, my boobs are not the same size, no I am not confident but I can accept these changes, some are temporary, some are permanent.

I have let go of my pre-pregnancy body because it is in the past. I refuse to go on diets, I refuse to work-out every day, I choose to concentrate on my family and do things at a pace that is good for my body and mind.

Until next time, stay safe and kind

Julie x

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