Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Post partum body

A strange strange thing has happened. Something I never expected to be saying.....
I actually feel more confident with my body since having a baby!

Yes you read that right! Don't get me wrong my body is far far from perfect, it always has been and probably always will be but for the first time in a really long time I actually feel happy in my own skin which is definitely not an emotion I would have predicted to be feeling when we first found out we were going to have a baby.

I'm afraid the picture above isn't me, it's just a google image from the NHS website because even though I am feeling fairly confident in myself at the moment I'm not quite that brave.
I didn't get any stretchmarks through the majority of my pregnancy. I'd say they started to appear very lightly at around 37 weeks and were still pretty mild and then almost seem to have gotten worse & way more defined since Brooke has been born. The picture above is the closest I could find to my own tummy, the stretchmarks are literally all congregated to the area below my belly button and that's it! Which I thought was strange because that's the bit of my tummy that was flabby & fat to begin with so surely it stretched the least? It was the underneath of my bump so I couldn't reeeaally see the damage until after I'd given birth but all in all its not too awful. Obviously I was hoping not to get any stretchmarks, surely every woman is? But that was unrealistic and I know compared to some people mine aren't too bad at all.

I was really really lucky and throughout my pregnancy I didn't gain too much weight. Only 18lbs in total and Brooke was nearly half of that so by the time you took out all my excess water, blood, placenta, milk and all those other lovely things I was actually 1lb lighter than before I fell pregnant when Brooke was just 2 days old. Which I know I am so so lucky to have experienced because a lot of ladies really struggle and believe me I was expecting to be one of them!! In the past I have tried every diet/healthy eating plan going and find it SO difficult to lose weight. I only need to look at a chocolate cake and put on 3lbs!
2 weeks post partum I was half a stone lighter than pre-pregnancy, probably because I didn't have time to eat if I'm honest which definitely isn't the healthiest post pregnancy diet.
Please don't take this post the wrong way or as me showing off because I honestly don't mean it like that at all, I may have lost my extra pregnancy weight but I am still hugely overweight and need to lose 3 stone + to be within a healthy BMI range, something I am just looking to approach now assuming that my 6 week (actually 8 week) checkup with the doctor goes okay tomorrow. I really thought I'd be obsessive about losing my baby weight and toning my tummy because I am so paranoid about being overweight but I honestly honestly don't care! Our baby girl is, quite rightly so, taking up all of my time and attention at the moment and that's how I expect it to stay for the foreseeable. I lost a lot of blood during delivery and had to have a huge episiotomy so was advised by the doctor not to exercise for at least 6 weeks anyway - not that I could have if is wanted to. I could barely sit down for the first 3 weeks!
I've put on a couple more pounds now and am probably back up to my pre-pregnancy weight - I'm too scared to look on the scales to confirm this!
But I can't help but feel proud of myself, even though I know I haven't even done anything!!

I was never happy with my body, in particular my tummy, before I had Brooke. It was flabby, it's where I hold most of my excess weight which is the unhealthiest place to do so, I never wore tight fitting clothing, would live in Spanx for a night out and I haven't worn a bikini for years. I've always felt pressure to look a certain way and be a certain weight and would forever compare myself to my thinner friends. I'd always feel like people would judge me for being overweight.
Now all of a sudden it's like a cloud has lifted and a huge weight has gone from my shoulders. 
Even though I'm the same weight as before and my tummy is even wobblier than before, now somehow it doesn't matter! 
People expect my belly to be like that and expect me to be overweight because I'm a mum and because I've just had a baby and I LOVE it! Everybody has been telling me how great I look and how I look exactly the same as before I had a baby, which obviously I do because I'm the same weight and it's lovely for my confidence to hear but I think I'm forgetting that being back in my pre-pregnancy jeans isn't actually that much of a positive when they were a size 16-18 to begin with and I still have a long way to go.
I know that's the strangest thing to say and the weirdest way to feel but that's the best way I can think to describe it. It's bizarre!!

I so so don't want my body insecurities to pass on to Brooke so it's really something that I'm trying to work on before she's big enough to pick up on any negativity. I'm hoping to start Weightwatchers and focus on losing weight healthily and slowly over the next couple of years. 
I going to try & document my weight loss ups and downs so keep your eyes peeled for that.

How have you felt about your post partum body? I'd love to hear your stories and any tips for weight loss/fading stretchmarks.

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