After complaining to my lil sis for weeks about how much I detest the state of my body these days, she sent me the nicest link yesterday. This cool mama posted about her body image after giving birth to her son just 7 months prior and her words sum up so many of my feelings. Except for one part... she has gotten past the hate, and moved right on to love! She even included pics of her cute self - those boobs!! She is gorgeous!!
Society in general (especially the media and Hollywood) tends to skew the image of pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Pregnancy is when thin, beautiful women grow basketball shaped bumps on their fronts, and nine-ten months later produce chubby little angels with golden curls (who never cry, and sleep through the night). 2-3 months later, mum appears, glowing and gushing about her sweet cherub, right back into her pre-preggo skinny jeans.
Except that isn`t what happens at all! And after having NO preggy friends or family around me in my teens and 20s, I was as shocked as can be when I gained almost 20kg during my pregnancy, and although the weight has gone now, my body is now a saggy, celulitey(?) remnant of what it was before.
Veggie mama wrote it perfectly... `Nobody told me that all the muscles in my thighs and butt would lose all tone... I know that my thighs are wobbly and I'm conscious of them squishing and squelching and looking lumpy when I sit down in shorts. And how just above my knee is a little loose halo of flab.`
Oh how I wish I had loved my body more before. In my 20s I was on a constant diet and never cared to show off my skinny-ish legs and waist in form-fitting clothes and swimwear. Isn`t hindsight a wonderful thing?
Living in Japan only intensifies my negative feelings as normal girls here aim for body weight in the 40`s (kilos), doctors place 8-10kg weight gain limits on pregnant ladies, and shops here usually only carry size S and M. Celebs and models here boast about their diets, diet pills and beauty regimes (in comparison to Hollywood celebs who say `Oh I never diet/work out`).
Anyway, back to me. ha.
Thanks to my lovely sis (and also to the words of Veggie mama) I have decided that the only thing left to do is change things myself. Yes it will be hard. I am the sole caregiver of Aiden from morning til late at night 6 days a week. I work (albeit part time), don`t have much money to spend on luxuries like daycare or a gym membership... and worst of all, I really hate running/exercise (especially in the 30degree heat that has enveloped Osaka this summer).
A week ago, Yoshi came home with a gift catalogue he had received; a very Japanese thing probably; instead of giving a thoughtful, handpicked gift, people often give others (during summer/at weddings etc) a catalogue where they can pick their own gift and have it delivered to their door!
Each gift inside this particular catalogue (everything from handbags to jewelry, kids toys to gardening supplies) was worth around 10,000yen (about $120) and flicking through I contemplated some shelving for Aiden`s shoes, a label maker... And then I saw it. A simple, fold-up room-walker (treadmill?).
I ordered it and am waiting for it to arrive. No more excuses. Aiden naps for around an hour (sometimes), and if he doesn`t nap, he is usually asleep by 10pm, so there is time for me to walk for 30-40 minutes every day. I have also upped my water intake to 2L a day and have stopped eating ice-cream (the probable culprit of my 2-3kg weight gain this summer!)
When the room-walker arrives, I will take `before` measurements (and maybe pics) but don`t plan to post them here unless I really notice some changes in my body (or the way I feel about it).
Here`s to feeling much better about myself in summer clothes (and even in no clothes!!) NEXT summer!!
p.s. I also came across this nice website dedicate to women who feel as blah as me about their post-pregnant selves. There are loads of pics of real mum`s bodies (probably not Japanese mums!) with their stretch marks and sagginess in full glory!
And here is a great article on the LLL website about post-pregnancy body image.
Pics found here and here.