Post # 1
I saw this link on my facebook feed (http://wtkr.com/2013/12/18/mom-hopes-her-photos-will-help-women-love-their-bodies/) and shared it, which resulted in some chat with some other friends.
Here’s what I’ve come up with…
I think women put SO much pressure on themselves. I know I won’t have the body I once had, because that body had never grown and birthed a human being. This body has, and I should respect that. I won’t engage in negative self-talk about my body because if my daughter grew up to have the exact same body shape and weight I have, I would NEVER say any of those negative things out loud to her… so why would I say them silently to myself?
I don’t mean that I want to be unhealthy, but that I want to focus on overall health more, and the number on the scale less. I want to demonstrate to my daughter that a woman can have great value and self-worth in something other than her appearance. I can be healthy and set an example of healthy living in such a way that I am not telling my daughter “in order to be considered beautiful you have to be skinny”. Weight alone is not indicative of health or of beauty.
Post # 4
Interesting topic! While I was on maternity leave, I watched Good Morning America every morning, so I was totally on top of the whole “fit mom” debate — first that Maria Kang fit mom, and then the Finnish or Swedish or whatever fitness model that posted a picture of herself two days after giving birth where she had washboard abs, and then the photos you just linked to as well.
I’m kind of on the other side of the issue. I mean, not EMOTIONALLY on the other side, but physically. Within days after giving birth, I was back into all my prepregnancy clothes and at this point, I am back at prepregnancy weight and my body looks exactly as it did before I was pregnant in every way except that my linea negra lingers on. I took Audrey to a moms club meeting when she was 3 weeks old and someone asked me if she was adopted — that’s how much I looked like I had never been pregnant. My stomach was flat as a board.
While I eat healthy and am active and worked out throughout my pregnancy, I’m not so smug as to claim for a single minute that I look this way because of hard work and nothing else. Clearly, I won some kind of body lottery. I am LUCKY that I didn’t get stretch marks and LUCKY that I didn’t put on any extra weight.
So … since it looks like I’ll probably be slender and athletic for life, I also have issues to think about in raising my daughter. She already looks exactly like my mom, and she’s measuring small on the height percentiles chart, so it’s possible she inherited my mother’s body type instead of mine or DH’s. And if that’s the case, then she’ll probably struggle with her weight for life. So how do I set my daughter up to be healthy and to love herself unconditionally when she’s always going to be looking at me, who is thin almost effortlessly? I know I need to set a good example for her by continuing to exercise and eat healthy, but what if exercising moderately and eating healthy isn’t enough to keep her thin, while for me it is? Is she going to end up feeling frustrated and resentful from a young age?
Gosh, raising girls is such a minefield
Post # 5
@iarebridezilla: First of all, I’m jealous and I hate you.
Moving on… I’m 8 months pp and still 20lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. I still have saggy belly skin and stretch marks (they are at least lighter, but definitely still there). I also ate well and exercised throughout most of pregnancy, and even did a half marathon when DD was 7 months old.
How cruel are genetics man? I have to WORK for it now 🙁 I guess that’s ok though…
And yes, I’m a little terrified of raising a daughter, but those having sons also need to treat themselves the same way they would want their grown son to treat a woman. This whole thing is challenging, but I feel like if we all embrace our natural bodies and take care of them with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle we can teach our children to respect other body types and to respect themselves, however they happen to be shaped.
Post # 6
As a newly pregnant woman I appreciate this post so much. I am watching my body expand and it is alarming to say the least.
I lost 140 pounds a few years ago and I am terrified of any weight gain. I’m not thin, never have been, but I work out like a crazy lady and I eat very healthy. Even my trainer tells me to ease up every once in a while. I will never meet the ideals of what beauty is these days, never. I would think my insane efforts and energy expended would prove that to myself and I would let it go, but I cannot.
By all accounts I am healthy. I am active. I eat healthy. I am hoping that with this pregnancy and the focus on bringing another little person in this world (fingers crossed for a girl) that I can finally see the positives with my overall health and body rather than focusing on where and what doesn’t meet the standards. This is going to be a challege, it already is, but I am determined to love myself as I am.
Post # 7
@DaneLady: I really appreciate the sentiment of the post. A lot of women think that their bodies should be the same after birth. However, most of the time it is humanly impossible to be the same as before. It is just another phase of growing. Example: Some girls get stretch marks as a result of puberty. It does not mean they are fat or unhealthy. It’s just a part of life.
I may not like my new look after birth, but overall healthy & balanced living is the most important thing.
Post # 8
@megz06: Thanks <3
@Treejewel19: All you can do is be healthy, eat right, stay active. It clicked for me one day when I was looking in the mirror and I saw nothing but imperfection and fat. I had some pretty awful self-talk and I happened to look over at my beautiful, perfect, gorgeous baby girl just playing with a toy on my bed. She stopped and looked at me, and it literally hit me like a ton of fricking bricks… if she looked exactly like I do, would I even think about saying those things to her? The obvious answer is HELL NO I would never say anything like what was in my head to another human being. Why is it ok to think those things about myself? The answer is, it ISN’T ok and I need to stop.
Post # 9
@DaneLady: well, as I always say to anyone who gripes about how fast my body bounced back … LET ME SHOW YOU MY SCAR!! (I haven’t even looked at it yet but I can feel it clearly every time I wash my undercarriage in the shower and dayammmmmmm my butthole has NOT bounced back to its prepregnancy shape).
The main thing I’m working on at present is getting DH to stop making comments about fat women on TV, etc. I’m like, our daughter is always listening and it won’t be long before she starts to really understand what you’re saying. What if she DOES end up being naturally chubby, and she grows up with a skinny mom and a dad who refers to Mindy Kaling as “that fat chick”? Not good, DH. Not good.
Post # 10
@iarebridezilla: OH YEAH! I almost forgot about the vaganus! Oh, and I love Mandy Kaling, DON’T BE CALLING HER PLUMP YO.
Post # 11
@Treejewel19: I just wanted to say kudos to you for losing 140 pounds! That’s amazing! Claps, cheers, snaps, hand wave, and whatever else you want!
@iarebridezilla: I am very short. I’ve ALWAYS struggled with weight. So I can relate to the possible struggles your daughter might have! I think teaching her to love her body no matter what, living a healthy lifestyle no matter what weight, and not comparing her body to others is all you can do! My mom is 5’8″ while I’m 4’10. So I never really compared my body to hers to begin with!
@DaneLady: As a pregnant lady, I am really appreciative of this! You’re awesome!
Post # 12
@iarebridezilla: you got a vaganus so you’ve paid your dues. you’re allowed to have your pre pregnancy bod otherwise 😉
@DaneLady: we aren’t TTC yet (or even married for that matter) but before we do I am desperately trying to change my mind set. My biggest fear is passing along my insecurities and worries and hang ups to a daughter. I am vowing to never discuss my weight in front of my children… it will be hard because I have been obsessed my whole life. so i need to fix this… and soon… so i can raise children with positive body images.
Post # 13
I do not have any children, nor am I planning on having any within the next 1-2 years, I wanted to weigh in with some thoughts.
In my late teens, I developed an eating disorder because to my boyfriend at the time, I wasn’t skinny enough. I was 5’4″ and I weighed about 115 pounds, which is perfectly normal body weight for my height. Things weren’t bad at first. He wanted me to go to the gym with him or go running or whatever–and I would. Because I thought he watned me to be healthy. Except it was so much more than that. Eventually, I was eating 1 very very very small meal a day–if I was eating anything at all. I got down to 98 pounds. My ribs stuck out. My hip bones stuck out. And I still wasn’t good enough.
Needless to say, I left him four years ago. But, I struggled to feel good about myself and I still struggle even though I am engaged to a man who tells me I’m beautiful everyday, who held me as I cried over how much I hated my body, who has literally been through everything with me trying to get that stupid voice out of my head.
Having said all of that, I will be damned if I let my daughter have the same problems I did. I really hope by the time I am raising daughters (hopefully) that there are more celebrity role models like Jennifer Lawrence. It is sooo refreshing to me to hear her say things like “I won’t starve myself for a part. This is who I am.”
If I have sons, they will be raised to be respectful- as in, to never judge someone based on what their outside appearance is.
Post # 14
I hope I have this epiphany sometime soon. I’m still in the phase where my many many stretch marks are purple and my stomach is jiggly. I’ve always been self conscious, so I hope I can learn to be more accepting of my new body.
Post # 15
@DaneLady: That is very beautiful! Thank you for posting and I agree wholeheartedly.
Post # 16
@lolita39: I’m glad you found it insightful 🙂
@mu_t: My trick is (and it’s new, I’m still working on it) is every time I start to have a negative thought about my body or about myself in general, I stop and think “What if BabyDane thought this about herself?” and if the thought of that makes me want to cry, then I know I’m being too harsh on myself.