Body After Baby: How I (am trying to) Stay Sane About Food and Weight

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!

3 Responses to Body After Baby: How I (am trying to) Stay Sane About Food and Weight

  1. Heather says:

    Congratulations! Your little one is beautiful and it sounds like you’re having a lovely experience of being a mother thus far. One of the major things that had always put me off having children is, selfishly, the body changes and whether or not I would be able to cope. Now, I know I will just do it, as with everything else. We always think we can’t cope, and then we just do.

    Before having children, I am working on getting as recover-ed as possible so that I stand the best chance of being in the best mental and physical health possible for me and my family. I think perhaps that’s as much as anyone can do, and remember to be kind to ourselves because we’re more likely to be perfectionists if we’ve been afflicted by an ED.

  2. Shannon says:

    Thank you for this post! My little one is almost 10 months old now and I am still struggling with it. I have a long ED history (primarily ED NOS). I thought I was in pretty good mental shape and had a good mindset after I gave birth. Until I actually gained some weight (from stress eating) several months later. My hormones are also still all over the place, weee. I am finally getting back to a place of gentleness with my body instead of trying to punish it for not looking like it did pre-baby. I really need to remember, hey, I made a person with this body! It deserves some respect, appreciation, and care.

  3. Jen in MN says:

    Thanks for posting this, I’ve been hoping you will starting blogging again, in particular about life post-baby. I am currently pregnant with my second daughter (my first is almost 3 yrs old) and I’m due in a month. I lost a lot of excess weight between pregnancies and really got into some healthier patterns with regular exercise and better eating. But I regret to say a lot of that has gone out the window now during pregnancy again. I am really missing my workouts and look forward to getting back to active again this summer…..even walks with the stroller will be so nice!
    Anyway, thanks for writing, please share more, and congrats!!

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.