I really wish I was one of those empowering women who say they don’t care what they look like. One of those amazing women who can shrug off negative body image comments and feelings, like water off a duck’s back. Someone who could turn around and say (to themselves just as much as others) “I only had a baby eight months ago, I’m doing great”.
I am not one of those women.
I’ve tried. I’ve really, really tried. But I failed.
This morning I decided that my two pairs of comfortably fitting jeans needed a new, grey friend, so off I trotted to the shops to find a little treat for myself. After settling on a set of jeggings and a couple of cheeky dresses from the sale rail, I did what I never, ever do, and opted to actually try them on. After all, I might need a smaller size, right?
As I took off my comfortable, safe and suitably stretched blue jeans, I turned away from the mirror and the bright lights so I didn’t have to catch sight of my wobbly bits in, what I am convinced must be, magnified mirrors. On go the lovely soft, new jeans – the bigger size at first so I could happily shout to my husband for a smaller size.
Well that didn’t happen, did it?
Yes they were comfortable. Every bit as soft and stretchy as I had hoped. But, damn it, they were the bigger size and they fitted. Sort of.
As I let my oversized knitwear fall down over the waistband I thought they looked OK. I could pull this off. I turned head on to the mirror and that’s when I noticed the pull. Marvellous. The super stretchy material was, indeed, stretching (lots and lots of stretching) and pulling superbly over my thighs, creating a not-so stunning look.
Turning sideways to the mirror, pulling my top up slightly, there was The Bulge as my eight month post-baby body squished itself half over, and half under, the waistline.
It was a shit look and I knew it.
Being sure not to make eye contact with myself, I quickly got dressed back into my own clothes, and took the jeans and two dresses back to the rail.
I wouldn’t get anything new. Not today.
Fighting back the tears, I found my husband and we walked back to the car empty handed.
I’m not obese, I know that. My husband loves me the way I am, I know that too. And I know that my body did something incredible. That’s freakin’ awesome and I should cut it some slack.
I know all of that.
But it doesn’t stop me from feeling crappy about myself.
Sure, there’s more I could do.
I could join a gym! Hell, I could definitely find the time to go to the gym in-between holding down a full time job, being a mummy and a wife, right?
Maybe I could give up sugar! Who needs treats to get them through a really tough day at the office when you’ve had just three hours of sleep because your baby is teething/has a cold/is going through separation anxiety/all of the above and more?
I guess what I’m getting at is, is it even OK anymore to admit that you don’t love your post-baby body? The internet is full of the most incredible, inspirational women who have the balls to stand up and say they’re proud of their wobbly bits, and I salute you!
I wish I was you, but I am not.
Of course I am proud of what I have created. I love Felix more than anything and of course I am in awe of how my body has created and nurtured such an incredible tiny human.
But do I wish that I had the self-confidence to wear whatever I wanted and give zero f**** about what others might say, or how protruding my muffin top might be? You’re damn right, I do.
So tomorrow I will stand and stare blankly for ten minutes at my wardrobe and debate which pair of tired jeans to crack out, whilst lusting after a body that once was mine, envying the confidence and will power of others, as I tuck into my Double Choc Mocha and third slice of Nutella on toast, getting ready to load Felix into the car and off to my Mum’s, as I plan what we’re all eating for dinner for the week, make a mental note of what bills need paying before the end of the month, try to remember to have a chat with so-and-so at work about that last minute email that came in on Friday, give the cats a quick fuss so they don’t think we’ve abandoned them for a miniature human, pick up my pack up so I’m not tempted to go to the shop at lunch for yet more deliciously sugary snacks, seek out that missing shoe from the back of the cupboard so I don’t have to change my entire outfit as I am walking out the door, already uncharacteristically three minutes late.
Oh, and remember to book a consultation in at the gym.