Being a new mum is hard enough as it is (amazing but hard), but having to deal with your body changing through pregnancy, and then changing again after birth makes it a little tougher. Well it did for me anyway! I decided to tell you all a little about my self-confidence and my lack of it at the minute and how i am slowly getting used to my body image as it is now.
I have always struggled with self-confidence. Especially when it comes to my body and my image. Now i have said briefly in my pregnancy post about how i struggled with pregnancy and adapting to my new (constantly changing) body.
Rewind roughly 6 years. Id say this is when my self-confidence was knocked massively (due various different reasons that i won’t go into) and i really struggled to find any comfort in myself. I was constantly trying to lose weight even though back then i was tiny. I was constantly changing my hair colour/style, always trying to ‘pull off’ the latest fashion and just generally unhappy with how i looked. I now realise that this was all because of how insecure and unsettled i was with my life at the time. And because of this, i was insecure with myself.
It took me a good few years to realise i needed to do something about this to make ME happy and not everyone else around me. So i moved on found myself a lovely guy (Jonny) who really did love me for who i was and didn’t try make me somebody i wasnt.
I started to really get myself fit and healthy and began to really love my body!
Yep, that’s right… i LOVED the way i looked and felt super good! I would go to the gym 5/6 days a week, did home workouts and got my body to wear i felt comfortably happy.
THEN… yep you guessed it. I fell pregnant!! Don’t get me wrong i was super happy to finally have a little human growing inside me and it really was our dream come true. But i had only just got myself happy and comfortable with my body.
I knew it was going to be tough and my body was going to change drastically, pretty quick so i told myself i just needed to embrace it and see where it took me. But i soon found that this was really tough, and my body changing so drastically really did take its toll on me. I wanted to show off my growing bump as i was so proud, but instead i wore baggy jumpers and tried to hide my new lumps and bumps as much as i possibly could.
I would say i started showing from around 8 weeks! I think this was because i was a slim build at the time so my bump looked huge when i was really early on so it was quite tough to keep it a secret before the 12 week scan. At first i really enjoyed watching this bump growing but the enjoyment started to wear off when i suddenly became huge! My bump was very much all front but i was MASSIVE.
This began to really dwell on me and i started to really struggle to enjoy pregnancy because it was turning me into this huge heffalump look-alike. I Loved feeling my little one wriggle around but as soon as i looked in a mirror or saw my reflection i just felt hate towards the way i looked.
Not only that but people can be so cruel and judgemental! This really didn’t help me either. I used to get ‘oh my, you are really showing aren’t you, are you sure you havent got your dates wrong?’ and ‘are you sure you’re not having twins?’ and my ultimate fave ‘my god, your baby is going to be at least 10lb!’
This really used to f**k me off! I get that some people may just say the first thing that comes to mind but pregnancy really messes with your hormones and it really didn’t help with my confidence at all!
Anyway! Moving onto me now. Today. After birth. 20 weeks post partum. I don’t LOVE my body. BUT i am learning to. But i dont HATE my body. I think i cried everyday after i had Charlie for around 3 weeks. It really got to me that even though my baby wasnt inside my tummy anymore i still looked pregnant. And to add to this i now had a little ‘kangaroo pouch’ above my new scar from the Emergency Section.
I saw so many people who literally pinged back into their size 8 shape after giving birth and there was me who used to be a size 8 now a size 12/14. Dont get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with that size, but for me to suddenly be a size i have never been really got to me.
Because of this, i began to not want to go out. Constantly wearing leggings and a large hoodie and really conscious about who came round.
In the end i decided if i wanted to shift any of this weight i needed to go and do something about it but having a newborn makes it pretty impossible to go to the gym.
So now, i make sure i go for a walk at least 5 times a week. And for doing this i am now down to a size 10. And yes, it’s not my usual size 8 but… it’s a massive improvement! I still have a saggy tummy, and i still have wobbly thighs. But i actually don’t mind them now. After all, i have these ‘wobbly parts’ because my body grew my gorgeous little 4 month old son! And yes, i am now beginning to love my body again! I will be joining the gym again in the new year as Charlie will be a little older and i will have a little more time. This is obviously going to help and i truly believe that ever since i kicked myself up the bum and forced myself out with the pram for a walk for that first time, it has really helped me with my self-confidence. I dont worry too much about what i wear anymore. I throw on what i like and what makes me feel comfy. I even get undressed in front of Jonny now, without worrying about him seeing my saggy tummy and my tiger stripes (stretch marks). I dont look in the mirror and break down in tears. I look and think, ‘yeah you look okay’.
I really believe that if you make yourself step out of your comfort zone just slightly, you will eventually overcome that fear. Just like i have with my self-confidence and body image. I aren’t exactly where i would like to be yet, but i am definitely on my way there. Patience and motivation is key!
Don’t give up! And remember…. YOU are Beautiful! Don’t let anyone tell you different.
Lots of Love