Has Having Children Made You LOVE Your Body More?
When I was a young woman, I was completely obsessed with maintaining a certain weight, exercising and eating right. Even though I was a size 5, at almost 5 feet 8 inches tall – I never was satisfied with my body. Fact is, I have been plagued with a poor body image since I was a teenager.
Looking back at the pictures from then, it amazes me that I never wore a bikini or refused to allow my husband to see me naked. Not only was I in shape and healthy, but I looked great.
Then, I got pregnant with twins. One of the most frightening things for me was gaining too much weight. Which I did. But a funny thing happened after I gave birth.
I felt more love and respect for my body than ever before. Eventually, I lost the baby weight – had two more pregnancies and passed the 40 year mark (where the metabolism supposedly gears down), and as expected weigh now around 30 pounds more than I did prior to having children. Now, I wear a size 10.
And I am perfectly happy. I am okay! And so are you!
I have a belly roll from my C-sections that no sit-ups will ever cure. There are small dimples of cellulite on my thighs and butt. I have some stretch marks. The difference is that I am comfortable in my skin. I have realized that I am much more than a certain weight on a scale, and that my body image isn't about how I look, but how I feel.
For me, the transformation of my body image went hand in hand with pregnancy and childbirth.
After all, how can you NOT be totally in love and in awe of your body when you have made a human being inside it? How can you still limit your self-worth and self-image, and attach your appearance to what size jeans you wear or how much you weigh?
I know that many women do not feel this way. I never believed that I would. But I have to say, it feels liberating to give up on all those preconceived notions of beauty and actually see things the way they are. You are perfectly YOU!
There is so much pressure from the outside world to lose baby weight, to be thin, to match the weight on your driver’s license. I say, let it go.
The most important part of your body is how you feel about your body. And this comes from your mind, rather than your thighs. Sure, there are things that each and every one of us would love to change. We all have what we see as imperfections or room for improvement. However, as women – we are much, much more than the size of our bodies!
If you struggle with your weight, or have problems with your body image – take a moment to realize what a spectacular perfect creature you are. Take time to feel gratitude for your ability to make another human inside of yourself, and realize that your jeans are nothing but fabric! Be proud of how you are just as you are, and if you want to make changes then choose to do them in a positive way without putting yourself down or feeling ashamed of your body.
Also, realize that nobody is perfect! Just like we remind our daughters that the images on television are not ‘real,' we have to be realistic about the media version of beautiful versus the real meaning of beauty.
Did pregnancy and childbirth make you feel better or worse about your body?