Dropping the towel

I have been overweight, scratch that, fat, I’ve been fat my whole life. I don’t have an excuse, there is no excuse. I have always struggled with my weight. I love food and I am a compulsive eater. I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m bored… see a pattern yet? Anyway, it sucks.

In 2010, after getting out of an abusive relationship, I finally got my crap together. My whole life I had hidden behind my asthma, and used it as an excuse to not do much physical activity. It is no wonder that relationship was messed up. I was messed up. I did not love myself at that time as much as I should have. I was unhappy. When things ended I felt… relieved. I woke up the next day (why do breakups always happen at night?), washed my hair, carefully selected my outfit and even put on make-up (which I had not been allowed to do for several years). I felt pretty. I smiled at myself in the mirror, and even shed a tear. I was still in there, somewhere and I was finding myself again.

When I got pregnant, I was scared to balloon-up and ruin all the hard work I had achieved. So I watched what I ate very carefully, indulging here and there but always being very conscious of what was going in my body. I really felt that my pregnancy was no time to be selfish, my decisions affected my baby. Everything went great, I was really proud of the fact that I gained “only” 20lbs and that my OB always assured me that my weight gain was on track.

And then I gave birth… In the hospital, I was so busy and overwhelmed with my amazing newborn, that I did not even think about what I looked like. Visitors kept telling me I looked really good and that they couldn’t believe I had just given birth. It’s true: I felt amazing. I was glowing. I had no pain, no complications, nothing… so then, what happened? Well we went home, and I finally saw myself in the mirror. I cried.

Blame it on the hormones, maybe, but I cried. I came out of the shower and I cried. The skin of my belly was saggy, my boobs were heavy with milk and drooping. Where had all my workouts go? I raised my hands to my face to wipe the tears and noticed that even the skin on my arms was saggy. What was happening? I cried some more.

It took me weeks to look at myself in the mirror after I came out of the shower. At first I would only look if a towel was covering my body. And even then, I would only look at my face for a few seconds and then look away. I would change outfits 5-6 times before going to work, because I thought I could see my skin jiggle under my clothes. My self-esteem was at its lowest. It even affected my relationship with my husband. I kept thinking “How could he ever be attracted to THIS?!” It was terrible.

How did it get better?

Well, I am still having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror. My clothes fit me fine and my stomach skin is back to normal, but now it’s in my head. I loved my pregnant body, my huge belly and full breasts. Now I’m just chunky and my boobs have shrunk. BUT, I do feel better. Every day that goes by makes it a little bit easier to look at myself. Now I can actually look at myself in my underwear… not very long, but I can. My confidence is slowly coming back, and I have to say that it has a lot to do with my husband. He tells me I’m beautiful, even when I don’t feel like it.

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6 thoughts on “Dropping the towel

  1. I had a very similar moment. With this pregnancy I didn’t obsess about losing the weight because I knew if I ate healthy and exercised it would come off. However about two months postpartum I was going to a concert and I went to look for a new shirt to fit my ginormous boobs and when I looked at my reflection in the mirror it was sooo sad. My boobs sagged low and one was way larger than the other (one twin ate more and they nursed better when I didn’t alternate boobs) and by belly was a literally frowning pouch of loose skin. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything. I guess I was okay with myself as long as I didn’t have to look at it! LOL You can see all my pp pics if you want they are on my blog, it might make you feel better 😉 I have struggled with my weight my whole life (I have a low metabolism and am only thin because I barely eat), and like you I think I never look better than when I am pregnant. Cheers!

  2. I think this is something that most women go through but don’t want to talk about. Kudos to you for sharing your experience and helping other realize they are not alone in feeling this way. I suffer from the same feelings on a day to day basis. I am happy to see that you are feeling better and that you have a husband that supports you and loves you just the way you are.

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