Posts Tagged ‘self-acceptance’

Why I Love My Post-baby Body

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

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. 

My Pregnancy: Week 16

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

My Pregnancy Week 16We’ve reached that point where we are bursting at the seams. Not with our budget for maternity wear, making room for new baby, or too much on our to-do list. I’m referring to my jeans. They are getting snug. I think I still have a couple more weeks of wear with them, but I have pulled out maternity clothes to bridge the gap, the literal gap between button and button hole. I appreciate my investment in a previous pregnancy of the Belly Belt. Bra extenders are also helpful in the coming months until I switch into nursing gear.

Underneath all of this is a little bit of discomfort. I used to be in shape, workout-an-hour-most-days and run-long-distance shape. Then a hubby and family happened. I’m not blaming them. This is generally on me. Baby #1 brought ten more pounds and baby two matched that. I know many women by now have the obvious baby bump. I know that isn’t going to come for me for another month. Usually I’m pretty happy about myself in general. My body is capable of amazing feats, you know, like childbirth and balancing two 35-pound kids on my hips while doing three other things.

I think part of the reason involves the pregnant woman’s body becoming public. Whether I personally or we as woman like that is questionable, but still I experience more public interest now than usual. Even though I’ve experienced less attention this rodeo, I still have little pieces of shame that go along with knowing I don’t look pregnant the same way that some others do at this time…the way I did with my first pregnancy. You see, I’m not assuming they are happy with their bodies. I’m not judging their bodies; I am judging my own.

For me it is a small piece health related but mostly just that world many mamas are familiar with. It’s the world of lacking long-term perspective because in-the-moment has you overwhelmed. It’s the being worn out from a full day of work to come home to family and juggling everything. Something has got to give and fast food happens 10 percent more than it used to, exercise about 30 percent less. It’s not shocking to me that I haven’t lost the weight I gained since marriage and during pregnancies. I even, at least on the surface level, accept and love the way I have managed to balance everything we do as a family.

But clearly, in these moments when I’m disappointed at not looking clearly enough pregnant, I know I still have a little work to do on self-acceptance. I’ve recommitted myself to taking walks most evenings for both my health and the baby’s. Now that I’m not working, I’m focusing again on where I can add a veggie in and leave take-out…out.

In the mean time, I’m reminded of the awesome things my body is doing—incubating life! That still blows me away. What an incredible thing to live in the midst of. On the one hand, I’m not really doing much to make this baby thrive. On the other hand I’m reminded that every dimple, jiggle, and mark on my body tells the story of a life lived. My bump may be meager, but I’m proud of me.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. She’s less tired than the last three months but more tired than 5 years ago.