Yes, yes I know - it is NOT considered "cool" of me to publicly state this....
I am supposed to be immensely proud of my "Mum Tum"....I am supposed to be thrilled with my body for producing a lovely healthy little baby boy and be proud to have the "Lived In" look ....
I am supposed to embrace my stretch marks by referring to them as my "Tiger Stripes" and saying that I earned them....
Well.....no. I'm not going to do that.
Why not? Because it's just not true.
That is NOT how I feel - whether people think that I should or not.
If other people feel that way then I am genuinely very happy for them and I applaud them - I wish I felt that way, but I simply don't. And I won't pretend that I do.
I love my little baby, I love being his Mummy but that does NOT mean that I have to love all of the changes to my body that go along with it.
It's MY body and I will hate it if I want to!!
Here is what I hate the most and why:
- I HATE the fact that I went right the way to the end of my pregnancy without a SINGLE stretchmark appearing - so smug that I didn't have any - only to notice after the birth that my tummy, sides and inner thighs were suddenly COVERED in them. I have NEVER seen anybody with as many stretch marks on their tummy as I have - seriously, I look like a Frisp.
- I HATE the fact that my boobs....instead of either....:
A)Getting bigger and giving me a shot at being in the Guiness Book Of Records for something other than "Most time ever spent day dreaming about being Johnny Depp's future wife...."
B)Getting smaller and allowing me to sleep on my front occasionally without the rest of my body being three feet away from the mattress...
instead, decided to stay pretty much the same size but just droop down like spaniels ears all of a sudden....I swear I'm now almost kicking them when I walk...
- While on the subject of my boobs (You don't mind, do you?!) - I hate the fact that my....what shall we call it?!...."Nippular area"?!...has grown somewhat. I noticed during pregnancy that they had grown and commented to my sister that they looked like saucers - she asked me the other day if they still looked like saucers. I informed her that they now look more like dinner plates.
- My hair has gone....crap. Just crap. I can't put my finger on how exactly. I haven't lost any of it or anything like that. It just always looks rubbish! Maybe its because I don't have as much time now to spend lovingly washing, drying, straightening it etc - but whatever reason, it seems to get greasy much quicker than it used to and generally always looks crap.
So there you have it, those are my main concerns.
But actually - if I'm telling the truth, this isn't a problem that has come purely from having Tyne.
I have been really unhappy with my body - my weight in particular - for most of my life.
As I mentioned in my previous post - "A Letter To My 15 Year Old Self" - I was always made to believe I was fat by idiot girls at my school with nothing better to do with their time.
This always stuck with me and I have pretty much always felt like I was overweight....Looking back on old photos though, this isn't true.
This is me at 16:
I was a size 8, and I weighed 8 stone 8 lbs -I don't know how I remember that but for some reason the figure always sticks in my head!
I have always been tall, since I was 16 I've been around 5 ft 8 inches tall - so for my height, I didn't weigh very much at all and was rather skinny!
In fact, looking at photos its quite clear to see that I look TOO thin - my face is drawn and I look unwell - that's because, it turned out, I was.
When I was 18, I was diagnosed with a condition called Graves Disease - basically it's an auto-immune disorder whereby my thyroid gland produces either too much or too little of the hormone thyroxine. The condition has many many symptoms including palpitations, anxiety, bulging eyes and distorted vision, problems conceiving, increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, hand tremors, hair loss, muscle weakness and many many more.
One of the symptoms is weight loss or weight gain - it can fluctuate either way.
The medication used to treat the condition is largely steroid-based - meaning that it tends to make you bulk up.
So when you combine the two factors - weight fluctuation caused by the condition itself and weight gain caused by the medication - it becomes extremely difficult, in fact almost impossible, to manage your weight.
Ever since being diagnosed with this condition at 18, I have felt completely out of control of my own weight - as no matter how many diets I try and how hard I work at it, it is almost impossible for me to lose more than a few pounds here or there.
At my heaviest, I have weighed around 16 stone and been a size 18/20. I feel extremely uncomfortable and self conscious around this weight - I was always so worried about what people thought of me, and on so many occasions I have had people assume I was pregnant when I was not.
I felt most at my most comfortable between July 2011 - February 2012
Here I weighed in at around 13 stone, and I was a comfortable size 14.
This is my ideal weight - I felt just right. I didn't feel too skinny as I didn't think my face looked drawn as it does when I'm a size 12 or below, and I didn't think that I looked overweight and I felt healthy.
This for me is where I'd love to be able to get to and stay.
Unfortunately, the reason I was at this weight wasn't because of dieting - It was because my thyroid had become overactive again and so my metabolism was through the roof.
This meant upping my dosage of medication - which meant that, inevitably, the weight came back on....or it would have done. As it turned around, I fell pregnant around the same time anyway!!!
Since having Tyne, I am back up to the very uncomfortable end of my weight range - I am in the snug end of a size 16, and I feel unhealthy and out of shape.
And on top of the weight issue, there's now the added loveliness of my "mum tum" - infact my tummy has remained quite rounded so I still look rather pregnant!!
I hate this and I hate feeling so out of control with being able to do anything at all about it.
I try diets and see little results if any. I'm restricted with exercise as cardio is not recommended for me, I go swimming but I don't see any results from it.
And so I'm pretty much left to hope that my thyroid goes into overdrive again soon so that I can lose a little weight....but of course, that comes with its own set of problems.
In short, there wasn't much of a point to this post other than to offload and try to make myself feel a little better - but maybe it can at least teach people that not every person who struggles with their weight does so purely because of their eating habits. Sometimes there is a lot more to it than that....
Did you struggle with your body image after having a baby? How did you manage to lose baby weight? As always, I'd love to hear from you!