“Why you may still look pregnant”

I opened my e-mail account a few days ago to find that gem of a subject line staring back at me. Surprisingly, it made me feel good – I’m finally passed the stage of looking post-delivery pregnant, but I do have a long way to go to get back into fighting shape.

Like most women, I put on a little more weight than I would have liked while pregnant. Docs usually recommend gaining 25-35 pounds, but since I was already a curvy gal, my goal was 20-25 pounds. I ended up gaining 30 which really wasn’t too bad. After I finally got past the “green and sickly” stage of the few 16 weeks of my pregnancy, my weight gain was slow and steady. It was – surprise, surprise – the holidays that got me! I definitely overindulged during Thanksgiving, and it was all downhill from there.

I had been bracing myself for stepping on the scale after Vivian was born, but I was really happy to find that within a week or so of delivery, I had dropped 20 pounds. Mind you, I didn’t look like I’d lost 20 pounds. For the first month, I had a major case of the post-baby pooch. I’m not saying it’s gone now, but I don’t look 6 months preggo anymore, thank goodness.

So, for the last (almost) 6 months, I’ve been contending with those last 10 pounds. And when I say contending, I mean I’ve been thinking them over while eating cookies and ice cream.

If I lost weight just by thinking about losing weight, I’d be the skinniest gal you know.

The first few months after delivery I gave myself a pass. I just had a baby, after all! Plus, since I was breastfeeding, dieting wasn’t an option (if you eat too few calories while nursing, your milk supply can decrease), and it was hard to find time to exercise. However, as the months have gone on, I’ve been harder and harder on myself. It’s tough to reconcile this new body, especially when I can’t fit into anything in my closet and I’ve got a mean case of the “fat face”.

Seemingly out of nowhere I realized I was feeling better about myself this week. Have I lost weight? No. But I’ve gained some self-confidence. I owe a lot of it to my yoga classes. I see other women of all ages and sizes with incredible strength, and it reminds me to be proud of what I am. I’m strong – strong enough to bring a new life into this world!

One of my yoga instructors posted this article recently, and I couldn’t help but think how true it is. How much of my life have I spent wishing I could look better? Postponing that trip to the beach for some mythical day when I would look like a supermodel in a bikini?

And we all know that hindsight is 20-20. There was a time when I could have rocked a bikini! But did I? No! Too self-conscious, too self-critical. What wouldn’t we give now to look like we did in high school or college when we were convinced we were fat? What I’d give to be that “fat” again!

So my new outlook on my body is this: I look better than I think I do. And even if I don’t, who cares? A dimply thigh never hurt anyone. I’m going to live my life and stop postponing! I’m going to wear shorts and sleeveless tops. I’m going to put on a bathing suit. I’m going to remember that someday, I’ll look back at pictures of me today and sigh, wishing I could look this good again.

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2 thoughts on ““Why you may still look pregnant”

  1. You look great! Oh, how I can relate to the concept that years from now one will look back and wish one had enjoyed how they looked ( or whatever ones concerned about?). And your ‘balanced’ approach is really practical, wise, etc. Life is short, eat a donut now and then, right?! ha! but only ONE, ha!

  2. Such an inspiring post…I can totally relate, even without a baby. Honestly I think every girl regardless of her size has thought she was too fat at one point or another. There’s just too much pressure on women! So happy to hear about your new outlook on living life:)

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