My daughter (that’s her on the left, experiencing grass for the second time in her whole little life!) just turned 7 months a few days ago, and I have a confession: I never, ever, for one minute thought that I would still look a little bit pregnant this long after having given birth.
This whole post-baby body thing has been tough to handle at times, I won’t lie. I had definitely wondered what effect pregnancy and mommyhood might have on me, having had a history of obesity and binge eating disorder. I’m grateful that BED has stayed at bay, and that I was able to handle the weight gain without body hate. But I feel pretty out of sorts in my own skin. Like someone has replaced my body with one I don’t recognize! While recovering from eating and body image issues, I had learned to trust my body…even love it. I had connected to it in a very real way, had learned how to read its signals—when I needed food, when I needed exercise, when I needed rest. And my body rewarded me by being predictable, healthy, and fairly stable with some normal fluctuations.
It has been very uncomfortable living in a body for the last seven months that looks and feels so unfamiliar. It’s partly weight, sure, but it’s also about my shape, how I must dress now (with the major still-breastfeeding knockers and jiggly mommy tummy), how my shoes fit, it’s all just so…different. I’m hoping that as the months go on, I will begin to feel more like myself—even if that means simply get more used to some of the features of this new version of my body. I’m also slowly but surely doing more self-care, things that I used to do on a regular basis for my mental and physical health, and that I know always make me feel stronger and happier, like some cardiovascular exercise (long walks in our big neighborhood park) and Pilates once a week.
I’m also reminding myself that I’m so lucky to be recovered from binge eating and body hate—and that no matter what emotional and physical challenges crop up, I have the tools and support necessary to help me get through it healthfully.
P.S. I love being a mommy!