I just read a great post from one of my favorite blogs, FITori. She inspired me to reflect on my body image post pregnancy.
If you've been a follower of this blog at all you know I've struggled with my weight, body image, eating disorder, etc. I'm not someone who has ever thought about food as JUST nutrition. Food has been my friend when I'm upset, my comfort when I'm happy/sad, my enemy when I watched my weight rise and rise and rise. I've had very poor body image for as long as I can remember. About 2 years ago I got myself on track for the first time in my life. I came to terms with my issues and worked through them. It was the hardest thing I'd ever been through, but worth every tear that was shed.
My husband and I were married 5.5 years before we got pregnant. I'd used the excuse "When I get to this weight we can have a baby, but I don't want to get pregnant weighing ___". I said that to him for years... years. He was ready far sooner than I was and I kept buying time by blaming it on my weight. I was terrified of getting pregnant because I knew my body would never be the same.
God had a different plan though and last February I got pregnant by total surprise. I remember looking at the number on the scale and knowing that it was only going to go up. I was at least 40 pounds heavier than I wanted to be before getting pregnant, but I knew that God had given us this blessing and I was going to embrace it and not focus on the number on the scale. So, I didn't for 9 months. I gained 38 pounds during my pregnancy and though I was tired from carrying the extra weight I wasn't about to sabotage the life that was growing inside of me for a stupid number on the scale. I ate when I was hungry, slept when I was tired and relaxed when I wanted to. I wasn't going to be a total basketcase about my weight, I was letting my baby tell me what he needed.
In November I had our little boy. Being a Mother is the greatest blessing God has ever given me. I had no idea how much this sweet precious baby would fulfill a desire in my heart I never really knew I had. For the first time in my life my body image is postive...without even trying. I have lost about 20 lbs since having my son, and my goal is to lose 60 more. I want to get to the weight I know my body is "comfortable" at. A weight where I can still enjoy life without having to starve myself or workout for hours a day.
My body does not look the way it used to. I'll never wear a bikini again and I'm sure I'll have some loose skin after the weight is off. But, when I look at my son he is worth every stretch mark. He is worth the c-section scar that I'll forever have marking my belly. Those are my battle scars. They are proof to myself that I am STRONG.
When I look at myself in the mirror there are lots of flaws that I could point out but all that really matters to me is that I have a loving husband who loved me before, and loves me even more after having our child and I have a son who is the light of my life. I'll get this weight off, and I'll be a healthy role model for my son, not because of what our society believes or because I think I have to... but because I want to.