One morning a hug healed me .....
, All my life my body image have ruled my Life, as a teenager I was very in control of my weight and body image, If you know what i mean!
I sent days browsing magazines and being "inspired" by all of the skinny models, The nice clothes, And the fun free life they portrayed in the photos, Yes I was naive and stupid.
There were many health problems and feelings of being unwell constantly that came as a consequence with the life style, And I feel that the real damage wasn't actually evident until many years later.
I went through my early adulthood telling myself I was confident in my own skin, At times I felt very sexual, Womanly, And quite frankly, I was at times very comfortable getting naked in front of anyone for a prank, A drunken laugh or some modeling shoots which I also took part in during the ages of 18 to 25.
I had oodles of body confidence! ~Some of the time.
Then, My Husband and I had our first daughter, She was everything that I dreampt in a pregnancy and the whole experience, And I felt like I bounced back pretty well, I mean, Of course I wasn't comfortable for the first few months while I was getting back to the "norm", I did get some comments that set me back mentally with my eating disorder, I am sure that they were unintentional, But, The damage is immediate and damaging at the time regardless.
I remember my new baby was only days old and my Step Father pointed at my stomach and said, "Oh what are you having another one? (baby) "......Yes.... He really did !
But the damage was minimal and I was pretty happy, I didn't even have a stretch mark to boast about, I felt very blessed, and a few strict dieting rules and exclusively breastfeeding helped melt the extra weight pretty fast.
(above photo 12 months after birth of first daughter )
Then came Baby number two....
Then came Baby number two.
Again, Another empowering pregnancy, But this time it was so much bigger, More uncomfortable, My hips felt wider and I didn't have the energy that I had with the first pregnancy, But I loved it none the less.
I was sitting on the floor boasting to friend that I didn't have one stretchmarks again!, Then she informed me with a giggle that in fact I did, They were just down so low I couldn't see them, I grabbed a mirror and was shocked, Horrified and amazed at the same time that I had earned some tiger stripes, I was half proud and half horrified at the same time.
After the Birth of my second baby, I was so much harder to move the weight, I was under the impression that it would just melt away like last time, But this time it was almost like my body had finally been changed and set differently biologically and physically.
I was stuck at 70 kg !, I know that this isn't overly huge but for me who normally sat at 55kg, I felt like a whale and was becoming so depressed and unsexy, I avoided my Husband while I was naked, I purchased clothes of a bigger size to hid the tummy, I opted out of joining the family in the water at the beach for favor of hiding in the sun tent with a good book.
I really took a knock!
All of the quick weight loss tips that I had learnt over the years just stopped working!, The methods that never failed me before were now mocking me and being resilient in their results.
I was hungry ALL THE TIME!, The more that I fed my baby the more I felt I also needed to be fed, And my choices were not always fantastic ones, I fell into one of my early eating disorder habits, Binging.
I knew where this would lead me, So I had to stop, I was too "recovered" to fall back into a eating disorder, And I knew how much I would have to give up if I did, For one, My energy ( I didn't have much as it was), Two, Breastfeeding ( I knew that no calories would say good bye to my milk), And three, I was a role model now.
(above photo weeks after the birth of my first daughter)
The change was so gradual I didn't notice .....
Eventually, The weight did lift, And during the time that I was just way too busy to even give a shit, It started to melt away, I felt lighter and old clothes were fitting me where they hadn't since before the last pregnancy, And then I stood on the dreaded scales ( an item that should be banned in a house of a recovering bulimic) And I was down to 60 kg!, It almost came out of the blue, And I was so happy, For a second, Then I remembered I still wasn't where I USE to be, But I wasn't going to let myself mentally agonize and freak out over it as again, I knew where that would lead.
Then one day I woke up confident....
(above pic of the day a hug healed me )
'The other morning I had had a really shit week, Sick kids, Tired from still co sleeping and breastfeeding a three and a half year old, Just a really exhausting ...state.
I waked out to the kitchen in my undies and made a coffee, My little one came and hugged my tummy, I looked down at her and smiled that the little ones always seem to grab areas that are so precious to them and so insecure to us, Such as our flabby tummies and saggy boobs.
Then, I suddenly felt ....Healed!.
That one baby hug changed my prospective of my body in a split second, A result that I had paid therapist hundreds of dollars to do for me over the years and failed.
It occurred to me that this little person that was looking up at me from my tummy, Literally looked up to me!, She too would one day struggle with self image, No matter how much you love them, Tell them how perfect they are, Encourage them and uplift them, They too will struggle with being good enough in the eyes of the world, Some times this can be displayed in just being a little introvert and other times It can result in, Well, Eating disorders.
Eating disorders are not really about eating, They are about self love, I like to call them "The worlds perception of you disorder"", Because at the end of the day, Your really not trying to please yourself are you?, Your trying to fit in, Be accepted, Loved, Desired and be what ever everyone else think that you should be.
So, What should you be?
Your body has served so many different purposes, It has been a channel to out pour love to your partner, To please him and yourself, It has carried the weight of doubt, The physical signs of stress, The amazing ability to grow a child, Birth a child, And feed a child, It has been a pillow of comfort for your children, A food source, A soft place to fall, A strong frame to carry them, A physical barrier between your child and harm, A familiar place for your children to fall asleep on, And it has got you where you are today, With a beautiful family.
Don't be so hard on yourself Mumma, During my eating disorder, Right in the depth of it, Even when I had reached my "goal"weight", I was never happy, Although I told myself I was.
I was just trying to fit in, Be loved and accepted, It was never really about me, It was about pleasing everyone else.
Now the only people I have to worry about pleasing is my Husband, And my Children, And they don't judge me, So I can be happy knowing that all the changes this body has made, Has been so our family can grown.
Remind a friend today how amazing their body is.
Not only could you change their life but you will change the influence on their children also.
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