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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Body Confidence During and After Pregnancy [ Guest Post ]

Today I wanted to take the time to write on an issue that plagued me from my pre-teen years, until now almost 7 years later.

That issue is body confidence, or rather the lack thereof.  It's not an isolated issue. I know I'm not the only one who's bombarded by a barrage of edited, unrealistic images from every media outlet.

I was a confident child who was extremely active. I excelled at practically every sport, and had no issues with my body. Then I started going through some problems at home - right around the time I hit puberty. I gained a lot of weight  rapidly ( 50lbs in about a year ). Which is a lot for anyone, let alone a young person. Comfort eating got me to an unhealthy weight in no time.


first day of school
By the time I was ready to start high school my confidence was at rock bottom.  I had my widening hips and new breasts to contend with, and now my thighs were so large that they were rubbing. I also no longer had the flat stomach or  muscle tone that I used to.
at my heaviest weight

P.E was an embarrassing ordeal that involved communal changing rooms. Each P.E class left me hating my curvy body more and craving that of one of the many skinny girls that were changing alongside me. I wondered if those skinny girls were staring at me and judging me while I changed. I didn't know the loudest voices judging me were the ones in my head.
Fast forward to the year 2011, when I finally decided to make a change and committed to working tirelessly in the gym for 2 hours every day. I lost 40lbs of the 50 that I had gained and my body looked the best that it had in years.
after going in the gym for a few months.. I started to get my body back!!

I committed to making a lifestyle change. I stopped comfort eating and maintained the weight loss steadily only fluctuating by 5lbs either side of the scale.

I still had problems with the naturally 'thick' or big thighs that the Lord blessed me with. No matter how hard I'd try, they were still large.

Up until this year I didn't appreciate how beautiful the female body could be. In January I found out I was pregnant and since then there's been an amazing range of changes that my body has gone through. I never thought I would love my body more, the bigger that it gotten.


For those of you out there that are pregnant right now, or have had children I just want to say that you're doing an amazing job. Pregnancy stretches your skin and body in unbelievable ways, and you gain weight without even trying. A lot of times it leaves your body 'worse for wear' and doesn't live up to your expectations, even after you lose the weight.

It can be hard to not get upset when you see another stretch mark appearing on your skin - especially when you're hormonal, but in the grand scheme of things - stretch marks are irrelevant.

They don't make you any less sexy. Neither does stretched skin. I know girls that are completely insecure in their bodies and they have AMAZING bodies. It's less sexy than someone who has 'sexy stripes' (aka stretch marks) and still loves their body.

Bringing a child into this world changes you in ways that you wouldn't believe, but it's worth every bit of it.

I love my body now, because it's stronger. It's done something that half of the population can't do, and that's bring a child into the world. I've been it's sole provider and it's grown within me. It's taken from my body and given me weight, stretch marks, wider hips and confidence.

It's not about having a perfect body, it's about loving the one you have for what it can do.

Body confidence is an ongoing process. It doesn't matter what size your body is. What matters is your attitude.

The way I became body confident was I finally stopped criticizing myself. I appreciated my body for what it can do, and the fact that it's healthy and alive and strong. It's curvy and feminine. It doesn't matter that my legs might jiggle a bit.. I love them anyways because they are mine.




4 comments:

  1. Such an important post! I realize now the years I wasted hating my body when it was offing beautiful. So this year, I don't care what it looks like, it's all love baby.
    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama
    http://theaccidentalmama.com

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  2. This is such an inspiring post that every lady out there needs to see! Our bodies are great and we should love them more than we do. <3

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  3. Bringing a child into the world is such an empowering thing to do! I think everyone can understand the importance of body confidence and feeling good about yourself, regardless of whether they've had children or not. I don't have any children but I loved reading this post!

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  4. I, too, suffer from those extra large thighs--but even though they aren't supermodel skinny, they still carry me on my travels and let me run after my toddler. And for that, I will always be grateful. I had a huge perspective shift after I had my daughter: how could MY body with all of its flaws create something so perfect?! And that made me realize that my body was wonderful, too--even with all of the stretch marks! Great post, Jenny!

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