Body Issues

This is a health and wellness type of post but it also delves a bit into some "girly" type stuff so if you're one of my few male readers (which are probably only *maybe* my husband and my Dad) you can feel free to skip over this one if you want. I try to keep this blog pretty family friendly but I guess this delves into a little bit more than I normally share. Nothing bad, just a disclosure before I start! :)

Awhile back, I went shopping and decided to buy some new underwear. I buy clothes for myself as needed - something breaks or gets worn out, I try to replace it sometime relatively soon...but I don't generally just go on a shopping spree for myself. However, new undies were needed. The last few times I've bought some I've actually went to a specific store and picked out the different pairs I wanted. This time I decided to just pick up a pack at our local "get everything here" type of store. I picked up a pack that had four pair in it of the size I always get and they weren't a bad deal. Fast forward to much later on at home when I actually tried them on. Despite the fact that they were the size I normally buy, there was no way I could wear them. They were incredibly tight, cut into my skin, and barely covered my butt! I was shocked. Yes, I was pregnant just a few months ago but I've actually lost a good deal of weight since then. The last time I checked my butt was not the size of a truck. And the other pairs of underwear I have still fit. So what gives?!

I suppose it could be any number of things:

- Although it was my normal size, this was a brand I've never worn before. Unfortunately it seems like women's sizes in clothing can really vary from brand to brand.
- Buying a multi-pack is probably different than buying individual pairs - which is what I normally do.
- Although I've lost weight, I wonder if some of my body weight has moved and shifted to other spots.
 - The "sizing chart" they had listed on the back of the package went into great detail about how someone with my proportions should be wearing a size gazillion and a half...despite the single digit number I've been wearing for several years now.

Anyway, the whole experience made me feel like crap and put me in a foul, body hating mood. Ever since I had my first child and got the Depo-Provera birth control shot, I have struggled with weight loss. (I can't blame it solely on DP but it played a major role. That's another story for another time though.) I participated in Mamavation for awhile but then kind of fell away from it when life got busy. When life slowed down a bit, I attempted to tackle it on my own. It's been a very frustrating journey at times, to say the least. I went to the doctor because of all the weight related health issues that run in my family. I did really well for awhile too...and then I hit a plateau. I couldn't shake it. But I tried to keep in mind that at least I lost something. After that, I slowly started to gain weight back and then I got pregnant. I had morning sickness like craaaaazy again and lost what I had started to gain back and then some. That pregnancy was my healthiest by far and thanks to that & the breastfeeding I'm still doing, I've been able to successfully reach two of my weight goals! Woohoo! The most I've ever weighed was 250 (yikes!) at the very tail end of my pregnancy with my daughter - I'm now very happily down to 205. (You can see some of the differences in the pictures below - the ones on the left are pictures of me and my daughter when she was a baby, the ones on the right are recent with my youngest son.) I'm healthier than I was before and I'm much more conscious of what I eat now and how much activity I'm doing. I'm not exactly where I'd like to be but I'm further along than I was and am very happy with that. 

I read a tear-jerking blog post awhile back at the website Birth Without Fear. In it, a young mother shared a poem and picture she'd taken after she had her baby(Seriously, open it another window & read it. I'll wait here for you to come back.) It was so sweet that it brought me to tears and really made me think about the way I view my body. During my third pregnancy, I think I learned not to hate my body. I found the website The Shape of a Mother and realized that I'm not alone. This body may not always make me happy but all hating myself does is bring me down and make me feel bad. When you get down to the nitty gritty, this ol' body has done a lot for me.

This body has...
been made fun of.

examined throughly in the mirror with a critical and critiquing eye.
gotten told it looks pregnant when it was in fact MANY months postpartum.
stretch marks, bumps, and flabbiness.
at one point been clinically defined as "obese." Shudder.
been cried and agonized over.

But, this body also... 

successfully grew and carried three children to full term, without complications.
birthed one of those babies succesfully at HOME!
nutures and feeds that baby with breast milk that is perfectly made for him.
has held and cared for those children through many difficulties - and will continue to.

is not hindered by disease or disability.
walks, talks, dances, dreams, laughs, and loves.
carries me through life every single day.

So therefore, this body might not be perfect, but it's perfect for me.

So I'm going to keep on keeping on NOT hating my body and practicing healthy habits. I've also just recently started getting back into Mamavation, which was a very good source of support for me in the past. Any of my readers on a weight loss or fitness journey? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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