I never hide the fact that I hate my body. I’ve never liked it. I’ve always thought it to be fat and ugly and I inherited all the wrong genes which gave me this hideous thing I have to live with for the rest of my life.
I’ve tried changing it. I went through periods of starving it as a teen. I abused it with cigarettes and too much alcohol. I’ve worked on it to make it skinnier and leaner.
I have large thighs. Wide hips. Short neck. My belly sags. My boobs droop. My bum is double the size it used to be.
I am a Size 14, not the conventional 8/10. I will never be a Size Zero. My weight has Yo-Yo’d through the years. I’ll never again be the me that was 8st when I first met my husband.
Then I think about the good things that its been through and recovered from.
It’s been pregnant 6 times. It’s carried 4 babies. It’s given birth naturally twice. It’s been through 2 Caesarean Sections. It breastfed one baby for 14.5 months and is currently still breastfeeding a 10month old.
Our bodies go through a lot to create the miracle of a new life. Yet there is always so much pressure on us, as women, to ping back in to shape. How dare we carry that baby weight around with us for a few weeks or *shock horror* months, or even years after we have our precious bundle in our arms.
I know I have a LOT of hang ups about my body image and I do blame the media for them. I blame them for shoving pictures in my face of size Zero’s and making me believe that’s normal. For showing me pictures of perfectly healthy size 12’s, but telling me they’re fat and ugly.
I also blame them for making me feel inadequate. For making me hate myself that I didn’t lose that 4st I gained in my first pregnancy. That I didn’t ping back in to shape straight away. That in fact, I’m still carrying around a lot of my first baby weight.
I want the media to show me positive role models. I want to see celebrities who have recently given birth and not a stick insect. I want to know that they have that mummy tummy. I want to know that they’re breastfeeding because its great for the baby and for them, not only to help get a shape back (because let’s face it, your shape does change permanently after children), but its good for your health too.
I DO NOT want to see or hear about their Post Baby exercise regimes before they’ve even given birth!!
I want them to enjoy their babies, not hear about how many hours a day they spend working out with their personal trainer whilst the Nanny looks after the baby. Most “normal” folk can’t afford a personal trainer and a diet chef, so it’s no real use to us!
I want to hear about REAL mums, who are too busy tending to their child’s every need that exercise is sometimes the last thing on their mind.
I want real role models for my girls. I want them to know that being thin does not always mean being healthy. That its normal to have a larger belly after giving birth. That not everything pings back right away, and sometimes, it never pings back at all.
But that’s ok. Because that body has created a miracle. It’s grown another human being and instead of ridiculing what other bodies look like, we should be embracing them and proud of what they have done!
After all, we only get one!