Do I have to love this new body?

Truth is, I don’t like the body I have right now.  I am miserable with it 90% of the time.  Right after I had Claire, I dropped a lot of weight very quickly.  I felt amazing, not to mention there was no longer a baby putting pressure in 1000 places too.  I’ve kept most of the weight off, but my clothes have never fit since having her. I am almost at pre-pregnancy weight but my body is different now. I’ve squeezed myself into a few pairs of jeans, but the lack of oxygen was not pleasant.  I wear mostly leggings because I refuse to buy bigger pants.  Then there is the skin changes.  The stomach that was covered in pin pricks and bruises from all of the shots to get pregnant is now a target made of stretch marks.  I made it most of the pregnancy with out them.  Then towards the end my hips and stomach got covered in them.   I used the creams and everything I could have done, it does not matter.  If you’re going to get them; you’re going to get them.  Then there is the beautiful scar from where my daughter was born.  I actually love my scar, it does not make me sad.  It is proof that I went through something tough and in exchange I have the most beautiful gift, my daughter.

I analyze every picture taken of me to see just how “big” I am and how much work I still have to do.  I take forever to get ready in the morning because I try so hard to dress nice but nothing satisfies me.  I take out so many tops and my bed is scattered in them.  Then finally, something makes the cut, but I still do not feel good about it.  Sometimes, tears flow because I do not feel confident with who I am. Sometimes I just get flat out mad that I am not thinner.  It is so hard to feel confident.  I constantly feel like I did pregnancy or life in general wrong.  Some people shed the weight and get their body back quickly, others don’t even if they follow a similar lifestyle.  I honestly never knew how self-conscious I was until I got pregnant.  I worried over every single pound because my doctors brought it up every single time and made me feel that I was not taking care of myself.  I worked hard to get pregnant, there was not a chance I was not going to give the baby growing inside of me the best I could.  But, I still always felt like I was failing her.  I’ve felt like a total let down to my daughter and husband because I do not always feel pretty enough.  My husband is amazing, he has to be one of a kind.  He does everything to make me feel beautiful.  It is a battle in my own mind that has nothing to do with how he treats me.  He is so kind to me when I am struggling with myself and it makes a world of different for me.  He always talks me up and makes me feel like I am worth loving.

The point of sharing this is I read awhile back something in regards to helping your daughter build self confidence.  It said something about how your daughter watches and hears how to treat yourself.  I keep playing that in my head now.  “Claire is watching and she is listening.”  She may only be 4 months, but that does not give me much time to get my act together before she really understands what I say to myself.  My heart would break in a million pieces if I saw Claire looking in a mirror assessing herself to determine if she was worthy enough to step out into the world that day ..  I do not want that to cross her mind. It might one day, but I want her to have enough confidence to brush it off and be herself, the beautiful soul that she is.  I want to show her how to love who you are.  I know if I want her to understand that love, I have to model it.  I cannot tell her one thing and then do another.  I have to figure out how to love this body and to feel confident in it.  I am working out again to hopefully help me make it to the goal of getting into my pre-pregnancy jeans and will hopefully teach her how to keep her body healthy.  I am trying to watch what I vocalize while trying to change what is said in my head too, which I think is probably the most powerful thing I can do.

The changes to my body brought me my daughter, I could never express how thankful I am for that.  Every single thing that has happened is completely worth it all.  I’d stay like this forever if I had to, but I do not have to.  I can exercise, I can eat right and I can figure out how to love who I am so that my daughter never second guesses herself.  Okay…she is going to second guess herself because who doesn’t, but hopefully she will remember how I treat myself and adjust her thoughts about herself. I may never be “skinny” or lose these stretch marks, but I think if I can change how I feel about myself I win either way.  So the answer to my question is “yes, I do have to love this new body.”  It is mine, it is flawed (in some eyes) but it has carried life and nothing is more beautiful than that.  So the battle starts, to change my thinking and to push myself to be a healthier person inside and out.