being a mom

Anonymous Mom: I’m Finally Done Hating My Post-Baby Body

By  | 

170410646I can distinctly remember the first time that I felt fat. Up until that point, I was a confident middle schooler and didn’t think too much about how I looked. That all changed with a simple trip to the grocery store with my mother. As I twisted to fasten my seat belt, she smiled and reached over to pinch a fold of skin that had doubled over the belt and said the words I’ll never forget. “Getting a bit of stomach on you, are you?” She then laughed and backed out of the driveway like nothing had happened, but I spent the rest of the car ride wondering if I was fat and if I should go on a diet. I was thirteen, 5’2”, and 110 pounds.

From that point on, I was bombarded with images and comments that told me I wasn’t good enough, just like every other teenaged girl in the last few decades. These came from both my peers and the media. It certainly didn’t help that I didn’t have a date to any of my high school dances (though I wonder now if that’s because I had the good Christian girl image, so there was no hope of getting me to a hotel after). But by far, the most damaging messages came from my mom, who was constantly berating her own appearance. Pairing that with the fact that she’d told me all my life how much I resembled her, I figured that if she thought she wasn’t pretty, I obviously wasn’t either.

My husband has tried for the last seven years to undo what the first eighteen did to me. He is one of the most supportive, encouraging, patient people I know, but no matter how many times he tells me I’m beautiful, I just can’t believe it. Becoming pregnant didn’t help. Even though I didn’t show until my fifth month and barely looked like I was in the third trimester when I was due, I felt like a whale. I gained about 35 pounds, and absolutely hated every single one of them. I managed to fend off stretch marks until week 36, but then cried for a half hour when I discovered the first ones spreading across my abdomen. I knew deep down that my body was doing an amazing thing and that these side effects would be worth the little person I’d soon get to meet, but I just hated the way I looked.

Pages: 1 2 3