Last week I purchased my first set of Spanx. It was time to make the leap. I hold no delusions that by putting on a pair of Spanx I will suddenly become svelte or convince people that I am a size two. I just needed something to help me feel less jiggly. My body is just different now…
It’s not bouncing back in the same fashion that those bitches Gisele and Miranda so publicly claim is natural and wonderful and oh so easy. I won’t be walking any cat walks in my undies with a pair of angel wings attached to my back anytime soon.
I could blame popular culture on convincing me that I, too, would look EXACTLY the same after having a baby, but I’m not naive. I knew things would be different. I just didn’t know they would be this different.
The day we got home from the hospital I remember standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror and thinking, “I have a mom body now.” I was so shocked by how pregnant I still looked when I was so very, very sure that I had just given birth. I mean, the baby was in a bouncy seat next to me at the time.
In so many ways, I feel completely ravaged after being pregnant and giving birth. My thighs touch in places they’ve never touched before. The circumference of my stomach is so much larger than before. Clothes don’t fit. Some shoes don’t fit. I can’t wear heels because my pelvis is still giving me problems, causing back aches and that same pesky sciatica I battled with during pregnancy.
I wasn’t a super model before I got pregnant, but I had worked really hard to lose 20 pounds and was in the best shape I had been in since high school. I went into pregnancy stronger and leaner and confident. I look at our wedding photos and I’m happy with the way I look. To some people that might not mean much, but to a person like me who has a hard time turning off the “I’m never good enough” monologue, that was a huge step.
Now, I feel like I’m in a body that isn’t mine. I dread getting up in the morning and putting on clothes that don’t fit. A few of my girlfriends recommended making dresses a staple of my summer wardrobe so I’ve given myself the liberty of a few shopping sprees. New clothes help, but I wonder if the old ones will ever fit again. I know they say to give yourself a year to lose the baby weight, but I’m impatient. I want results now. I want my body back.
I’m guilty of giving myself some extreme eating liberties in the weeks after Henry was born. Despite that, a month after he was born I only had 13 pounds to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. With that little piece of motivation, I kept eating whatever the hell I wanted. This resulted in gaining 8 pounds. I essentially gained my baby back. I tried to start exercising, but found that the pelvis issues get worse when I’m too active. My chiropractor recommended that I take it easy for a year. A whole freaking year!
I’m left with only one option. Eating healthy. Really, really healthy. All the time.
I guess, more than anything, what I miss the most is the confidence that I felt when I was working out and losing weight. I have a hard time resigning myself to the idea that sacrificing my body for motherhood is something that I should just accept.