Why I Love My Post-baby Body

why i love my post baby bodyBefore having babies, I had a terrible attitude toward my body. No matter the size or shape, I was never proud of the body I had and I went to great lengths to shame myself into hiding or masking what I had. After dieting and obsessing over every bite that entered my mouth, I ran and tried the fads out there and never found a cure for my own displeasure.

Then, I got pregnant with my first baby boy. I was suddenly aware of my body, aware of how it functioned and behaved and wanted to fuel it with real good food to help that tiny bean grow. Suddenly, it became less about my looks and more about my health–and for that I am eternally grateful. Now, six years and three babies later, I find the love and respect for my body has increased. I adore my body today in a way that I never would have six years ago.

My weaned breasts are floppy and deflated from their rich, milk filled glory. They no longer look great as they did before children, yet they managed to sustain my children’s life for years on end. They’ve done their job, they put in hours and hours of good hard labor nourishing my little guys and helping them grow. I’m proud of my breasts and their work, and even proud of what they look like now.

My stretched out belly, let’s be honest, was never flat or close to it. It’s always been chubby and full but today it is more marked and stretched than before. I’m very much proud of my love handles, my strong abs that bounced back after babies. These abs are a work in progress, yet they have made a wonderful resting place for my babes, allowing them to bounce and climb all over my cushy tummy.

I remember seeing my swollen ankles the days right before my third baby came. Preeclampsia had made them swell to epic proportions, looking more like swollen pufferfish than ankles (the lack of shaving sure didn’t help!). My toes were sausages, my feet, tamales. Yet today, those same wonderful ankles, feet and toes chase and kick and play with my boys. The keep me going all day and allow me to keep going strong.

Let’s be real about it all–I wobble, I jiggle, I am squishy and roly-poly. I have a thousand flaws and stretch marks, but every one of those are marks of what makes my body unique to me and what I do. I may not look like a supermodel, but I bet you they don’t garden, run or roughhouse my boys like I do.

I may not be a size 6 or 10, or even a 14, but I am very proud of the strength, beauty and health aspect that my post-babies body has given me. I pay attention to health, to balance, to setting a good example for my boys to know what healthy is. And I try to show gratitude for what I’ve been given on a daily basis.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom to three crazy boys ages 6, 3 & 1. She enjoys knitting, cooking and trying to wrangle her crazy kids. She lives in Portland, OR. 

Tags: body acceptance, crash dieting, dieting, health, post-baby body, postpartum, preeclampsia, self love, self-acceptance

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