I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I have never been “skinny” and I can’t think a time when I wasn’t on a diet.
When I was 23, I got a handle on it and was finally at a place where I was happy with myself. I wasn’t skinny or even thin, but I was finally at a healthy weight and comfortable in my own skin.
Then I got pregnant.
It wasn’t until later in my pregnancy when I started having thyroid issues, that I put on weight fairly quickly. I wasn’t discouraged as I was so sure I’d “get my body back” once I had the baby.
I hung on to 40 pounds until I got pregnant again before my daughter was even one. This pregnancy was very different, but I still put on another 40 pounds and found myself at my highest weight ever. I had lost 60 pounds in my early twenties, so I just thought I’d do it again and it would come right off. Easy right?
Between failed breastfeeding, some PPD and virtually no time for myself, I gained more weight. I lost my confidence, stopped wanting to be social and basically didn’t recognize the person I saw in the mirror. Every day was a struggle as I looked at the clothes hanging in my closet with single-digit sizes and knew I weighed more than my husband. I was so angry with myself.
Over the last 6 months my family has made some significant changes, the biggest one being a relocation back to the Phoenix area where we are from. That change allowed for me to have a fresh start and gave me a chance to put the darkness behind me.
Since moving back I have started going to the gym on a regular basis and despite a surprise major health issue, the number on the scale is (slowly) going down. One of the biggest changes I have made is not stressing about every meal or snack. If I eat something that’s “bad” I do my best to make better choices. (Life is too short to not eat the chocolate!) I am making a conscious effort to cook healthy meals for my family and limit my portions.
And while I am no where near my desired weight (yes I know it is not the measure of all things, but I can’t ignore it completely), I am beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin again and I’m going to count that as a win. Motherhood is not an easy journey and I don’t think women give their bodies enough credit for the hard work it’s done. My children and husband love me unconditionally despite the extra pounds and I should do the same for myself.
I do think all mothers should embrace their bodies and love hem for what they’ve done, but I also think it’s perfectly okay to want to make improvements and be healthier. If not for ourselves, for our children who are watching and learning from everything we do.