a nagging insecurity

I laced up my running shoes for my first post-labor run a few weeks ago. It was a cold and bleak day but my insides were bursting with sunshine just knowing my muscles were going to get a little workout. I ran longer than I had hoped to run, which motivated me more than I thought it would. I thought I'd kick this extra baby weight packed on my sides quick, but alas, the weather turned awful and rainy for nearly a week straight and I soon lost my motivation and my desire to run in this cold Milwaukee weather. 

It probably doesn't help that Elle doesn't sleep longer than three hours a night so I am literally getting no sleep. My body feels exhausted by 9am each day and I have to force myself to keep moving with the kids even though I just want to crash on the couch. 

Since I doubt Milwaukee will see any higher than 45 degree days until spring, I've already started exercising indoors with the little energy I can muster once we've put the kids to bed. Tim and I started p90x again. We were very consistent with the program until the morning sickness from my pregnancy with Elle took over my entire world. The workout plan quickly fizzled once I couldn't move from the couch without running to the bathroom. But while we were faithful to the program--we saw results. I am hoping we see results this time around because the extra baby weight I am packing around on my side is making me very uncomfortable. 

I was very blessed to leave the hospital with my first two girls with only a few pounds left to lose. I was not so lucky this time. I tried to prepare myself mentally for the fact that I was getting older and Elle was my third baby, but in the end...my body has gotten the better of me. I avoid mirrors unless I absolutely need to check my face or hair, and I wear dresses or loose clothing that allows me to hide the unwanted areas. 

I realize Elle is six weeks old and I'm not naive to the fact that it took me nine months to grow her inside my belly, but it doesn't make the intermediate waiting-for-my-normal-body-to-come-back period any easier. I've made a realistic goal for myself and pray that I can stick to it during the extremely fattening holiday season. 

I am usually very honest with people about what to expect about labor, delivery and postpartum. I have given several friends advice and pearls of wisdom when they've asked, but I rarely tell them about the postpartum insecurities that nearly kill my self-esteem for handful of months until I can look at myself in the mirror again. I guess I silently hope they won't have to go through this small personal hell.

Growing a baby is a beautiful thing. Losing the extra weight needed to sustain that baby is completely awful. Some people never have to experience what I am talking about. Others have it much worse than me. But I'd venture to guess that each woman struggles with body image after delivery. 

I often wish a small tummy tuck was included in the price of the delivery. Would that be too hard to ask for? I think not. But until it is...here's to watching how many sugar cookies I eat during Christmastime and sweating to p90x every night when the peanuts are in bed.

1 comment :

  1. This is so hard. So hard. I remember crying to my mom about it and she told me that even after having 8 kids, she never was mentally prepared for the post-partum body. Knowing that you will lose it and you will get back down to your ideal size and shape, this next time I have a baby, I want to just try to embrace it. How many times in life will you actually be in this position? I want to try to see the post-baby bod as beautiful rather than repulsive. Wazy easier said than done. I looked HUGE after Reese. My lady lumps are enormously disgusting and all of the extra stomach and even back flab didnt go away for more than a year...and that was with eating healthy and training for a half marathon. My body holds onto it until I stop nursing. Anyways, I know its hard but you will get there. You are your only critic. Nobody else is holding you to any type of standard at this point.


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