Monday, September 20, 2010

Body Image

This is not a post about the boys (who are still doing wonderfully; tonight Benjamin got to try prune puree mixed in his oatmeal since he is a little constipated, and Asher ate squash puree and they both loved it!), but about their mommy.

As a woman, I have struggled with my body image my entire adult life.  My weight has fluctuated since puberty, never to any extreme, but at my thinnest (the 6 months prior to my wedding in 2006) I was a size 2, and at my heaviest (post-college in 2002) I was a size 10.  Pre-pregnancy, I had pretty much settled in the size 2-4-6 range, depending on garment and store.  And this was never good enough for me.  Ever since our wedding, I have wanted to be the exact same size and shape.  If I had never gotten that thin, it wouldn't have mattered, but once I saw I could be that size, and saw how I looked, that was all I wanted.  Buying clothes in a size 4 was a failure, it meant I was fat.  I constantly wanted to lose those 5 pounds that were between me and my wedding weight, and as long as those 5 pounds were on me, I was fat.  I spent countless hours discussing how fat I was with my therapist.  And I did gain weight with fertility treatments, although I was able to lose that weight before starting IVF.

And then I got pregnant.  And I watched my waist disappear.  I looked back at those "fat" pictures of myself in my size 4 clothing and thought, "hmm, that lady doesn't look so bad!" I watched the numbers on the scale go up, and when I saw that I had gained 40 pounds, I stopped looking.

Now, almost six months later (oh my goodness, I can't believe they'll really be 6 months old on Sunday!), I can fit into all my old pants and skirts.  Shirts are obviously a different story, since I am breastfeeding, but it is great to fit into my old pants.  Even though my stomach is not as toned as it used to be, I feel better about my body than I did pre-pregnancy.  Maybe it is just knowing that I carried my boys to 36 weeks, which is pretty incredible, or maybe it is that at one point I was so much bigger that pretty much anything else feels small.

Needless to say, I went shopping today and bought myself a pair of "skinny" jeans.  I have been avoiding these since they first became popular since my legs are the least-skinny part of me, but I've seen so many pictures in magazines of people in them with bigger tops, that I decided it was worth a try.  We'll see, but the fact is that I would never have done this pre-pregnancy, because I would not have had the confidence to try something new, especially not something with the word "skinny" in the title. I may not be as skinny as I was back in 2006, but what I have now is good enough for me.

I'm enjoying these new positive feelings about my body, and I can't wait to start enjoying my new, skinny clothes!

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