Friday, August 1, 2008

Trying to Love Again

Three years ago today, I found out I was pregnant. Although I ate well, I also ate for two. I ended up gaining about 35 pounds and my post pregnancy body is very different from the one I had before I got knocked up. I lost most of the baby weight with in the first few months after The Little Miss was snuggled tightly in my arms, and I remember thinking, oh, this isn't so bad, I only have another 5 pounds to go before I'm the same weight pre-pregnancy.

The months turned into years and I never did lose those last 5 pounds, in fact I proceeded to put on about 15 pound over the next 2 years. It's those pounds and a more that I have been recently shedding. I'm now down to below where I was at 3 years ago but my body is different. Much different

I have stretch marks racing across my belly, thighs and breasts. I have a very loose and squishy belly from the weigh gain and as much as I work out I will never have the toned flat belly again. My stomach looks a lot like the picture on the left (the right is post tummy tuck and no, that's not me)

I have lost muscle tone and elasticity, and it will never come back. And I hate it. It's hard for me to look at my stomach in the mirror and hard for me to have my husband look at it let alone touch it.

Buying clothes can be tricky. I look for baby doll style tops but I have to be careful they don't make me look pregnant. I wear lots of long tops to cover the belly and regardless of what I do, it is impossible to disguise the extra weight in my belly.

Having to hide and be embarrassed about my belly is awful. It's so ugly to me and I am totally ashamed by it. I turn around so The Husband won't see. I avoid bathing suit situations like the plague and it's exhausting. But mainly I just want to come to terms with it. This is how my body is shaped and I'm having a hard time finding a way to love it again.

I don't know what to do. I want to be okay with it but I'm not. Recently, I've thought about plastic surgery, (I mean, come on... if I can look like that after picture, I'd be OK with that) but that seems so dramatic. It seems like the last ditch effort, that I've failed in some way or that I'm vain.

This is my daily struggle. Trying to love this new body of mine. Adjusting to the scars. I know I have a lot to show for it, but it's really really hard to love these marks which are the road map of my life that has been left on body.


Sagan Morrow said...

The Husband loves you. The Little Miss loves you. These marks give us character and show what we've been through. I distinctly remember my friend once showing off his stretch marks to me, and being so proud of them because they showed that he had been working hard to build his muscles stronger.

Hugs galore- even though its a struggle, you're strong!

jenijen said...

if you haven't ever seen this site, you really should go and read

i have four kids, and my belly certainly shows it. i'm sure you wouldn't judge me for that, so try and cut yourself a break, too. it's a huge relief to just love yourself. exactly as you are.


Deb said...

You have not failed in anyway. When our skin stretches to a certain point it's just not going to snap back again no matter how perfectly we eat, apply lotion, drink water, or exercise.

I do not think stretch marks or extra skin are anything to be ashamed but if you are uncomfortable with them I don't see anything wrong with a little nip/tuck. If I ever lose all my weight I fully intend on nipping and tucking anything that needs it.

Christine said...

I agree that it is probably better to learn to love ourselves the way we are.

However. I am not morally opposed to surgery either - if you can afford it without making your family want for anything, and you have a healthy attitude towards your body but would simply want to look better, go for it.

I'm pretty sure that I won't have a flat stomach without surgery. I've been overweight or obese for the vast majority of my life. I have more stretch marks than most women who've had kids. And I would like the chance to have a flat stomach. Obviously I can't really get a tummy tuck until after I have kids, but I think I'd like to. And hey, if breastfeeding destroys my tits, I'd like a lift in that department as well while we're at it.

Heather said...

while I havent had a child, my stomach is my worst area too, especially after losing almost 50 pounds. I have lost skin jiggling everywhere and if it were gone, I bet I could actually fit in a smaller size for pants.

what kind of exercise do you do? I know pilates has really helped me to tone that part of my body. sure its a work in progress, but I definitely can see changes and I know its a result of that type of exercise. yoga is also a good type of exercise for that area. I would also check how much fat you eat. I eat a very low fat diet, and the only fats I really do eat are good fats like almonds, etc. I think that really helps too to flatten that area.

Thinking Thin said...

I know we have to be realistic about our bodies but I have seen people lose over 100 pounds that look phenomenal. They lost the weight slowly and exercised and didn't have extra skin and their bodies were taut. So don't let what you think might happen discourage you because you don't know.

Who cares about stretch marks anyway :P