Learning to Love my Post-Baby Body

After I birthed and nursed my second child my body changed dramatically. My bountiful and heavy breast became small and saggy. My body sprouted new round hips, and my stomach gained some extra skin and a slight diastasis recti. In the beginning I was just focused on getting in shape, running again and ditching my stretchy maternity pants that I wore almost everyday.

I quickly realized that no amount of running would make my breast full or erase that extra skin around my midsection. This new body was here to stay.

It was the first time in my life that I was insecure about my figure. Now that I think about it, I was lucky, it took me 29 years to join the 91% of women who are unhappy with their bodies.

That number is astounding, it’s disgusting really, but it makes me think of what that percentage looks like for mothers. Mothers like me who didn’t “bounce back”. Mothers with droopy small breast.  Mothers who didn’t have surgery. Mothers whose genetics and gym habits didn’t lend themselves to flat stomachs, sans extra skin and stretch marks.

A mom and her body standing in front of a mirror in a messy room with beautiful art along the walls.

In the morning when I’m preparing to exercise my girls question me,

“Mommy why do you always have to exercise?” (they use the word always loosely)

I respond with a LIE..

“I exercise so I can be healthy and strong!”

It’s PART truth, so that makes it a WHOLE lie. Mostly, I exercise because I always want to be 5 pounds thinner. I exercise so that maybe my arms will shrink and my stomach will lose an inch or two. I exercise in hopes of getting the toned legs that my husband has without exercise. I exercise so I can be healthy and strong.

I lie to them so that maybe they will grow up and not be counted in the 91 percent.

I lie to them so that I will remember to thank God for my legs that are walking. My lungs that are breathing and my heart that beats 100,000 times a day.

I lie so that I can hear the words come out of my mouth.

I lie because if they believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too.

Exercise and flat abs are wonderful. Toned-muscular legs and cut arms are beautiful but so are stretch marks, and extra skin. So are small breast that nursed babies, and soft arms that carried them. I’m sharing this because there isn’t just one type of beautiful body.  I’m writing because I want that 91% to disappear. That 91 can change, one woman at at time, and I want one of those women to be me.

8 thoughts on “Learning to Love my Post-Baby Body

  1. Sharonda says:

    You look beautiful. We have identifical stomachs. I have a small puge that will not go away. As we age our body will also go through changes but the breast shrinkage was the hardest for me. I already had small breast to begin with and then I was reduced to raisins after only 4 months of breast feeding my son. Its hard to have great self esteem when we are expected to look perfect. Good thing is we are educated and know that we are beautiful and that society standards are unrealistic. Plus my man thinks I’m hot! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. delliesallnatural says:

      Exactly. I shared the photo because I know there are women who look just like me and you, but most of the pictures I see of women in bikinis look very different. Representation matters. And yes thank God for awesome husbands who validate us, when the world won’t. Thanks for reading, thanks for your feedback.

      Like

  2. AWordorThree says:

    I. Love. This.

    Also, I have admired your fine body since the day I met you! I probably wasn’t ready for pre baby Janelle! 😂😂 Thank you for your honesty and transparency that will make it easier for future and current mommas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. delliesallnatural says:

      Thanks my dear! You are always so kind. Haha at pre-baby Janelle. You know I often want to read stories of women like me, so I’m trying to share my stories because I’m trying to be the change that I want to see!

      Like

  3. Ebony says:

    Thank for for this Nel! I struggle with this everyday. It helps to know that even the most fit women feel insecure. We really have to love within first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. delliesallnatural says:

      Honey 91%, that’s almost everybody! I struggle too but the more we affirm ourselves and normalize different body types the better off we will be and hopefully our daughters will have it better. Love you and you are beautiful!!!

      Like

  4. Hemen says:

    Such a great and honest post!
    Thank you for sharing your vulnerability..I feel bad as I often question what breastfeeding will do to my breasts 😖 ugh, the vanity..thank you for inspiring so many 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. delliesallnatural says:

      It’s easy to think about it, I honestly didn’t know enough to worry about it. I wanted smaller breast but I didn’t think they would look quite so deflated lol. Its a journey, I’m just trying to encourage myself and other women to seek contentment as the goal.

      Like

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