It’s a Wednesday.
I am getting ready for work-brushing my teeth, my hair-you know-the normal working “hot mess” mom, running late as usual.
I try to avoid looking in the bathroom mirror. I find myself doing this a lot these days.
I even avoid looking at the car windows, for fear that I will see my reflection.
It’s not that I don’t think I am pretty.
I actually used to be very confident in my looks.
I even modeled for a while and made some decent money.
Those days seem so far off in the distance now.
Now my days are filled with work, caring for my toddler, my home, my hubby, and avoiding any mirror I encounter.
I go downstairs to get my day bag ready. Pack a water, which I likely wont drink. Pack a healthy lunch, which in a weird way makes me feel a tad better-but I will still hate my body regardless.
My drive to work is uneventful. I sometimes, in traffic, find myself looking at my face in the rearview. How did my body get this way? I look away from my rearview in disgust over my fat face. I pledge to start exercising more. A promise I have made myself a thousand times over.
But it isn’t that easy. I make excuses in my head. I am too tired from work, too busy, to focused on other areas of my life right now.
But today is different, I tell myself. I am going to make more of an effort, even if that means sacrificing the little sleep I get.
Work is uneventful. I go about my day, answering emails and calls. Watching my water bottle, still full, telling myself I will drink it soon. Water is important, after all. And I am terrible with drinking enough of it.
I leave work, as I normally do, and sit in about 2 hours of traffic. My daily travel affords me PLENTY of time to think. About my ugly body and how I WILL get back in shape. About how I am tired and will just go for a walk tomorrow. About how it doesn’t even matter if I walk because even though I have lost weight, my diastasis will prevent me from ever becoming confident again until it is gone (as I loose weight it is more noticeable). It’s a lose-lose situation.
I get home, and complete my normal nightly routine; baby fed, dishes and laundry done, dinner, etc etc. It seems like I have no moments to spare, so how can I possibly get rid of what has become a constant reminder of how I failed my post partum body.
My body was and will always be my temple. But I cannot even stand to look at it.
I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband who is still attracted to me when I cannot even look at myself.
But he doesn’t even know how ugly I feel.
How when I do accidentally look in the mirror, all I see is a body that disgusts me.
How I sometimes sit on the bathroom floor, and let the tears flow as I grieve what my body used to be.
Some say its just a body-what really matters is inside. That is 100% true.
But self confidence – or lack thereof – can break a person.
Whether it is Wednesday, or Friday, or Saturday – I hate my ugly post-partum body.
I hate that the diastasis is worse the more weight I loose, and makes me look pregnant – especially after I am no longer carrying baby #2.
I wear baggy cloths to hide my body. I no longer feel beautiful – which is a shame because of how confident I used to be.
I am motivated to exercise, but it isn’t easy for me like it is for others. I literally am so busy I sometimes feel like I am suffocating.
It makes things harder that I see post=partum mom bods in tip top shape. Like, did you even have a baby? How come I cant bounce back like that?
I know some will say “well you need to make time for your health”. Yes, I know this. But it is not that easy. I cant even take the time lately to pluck my eyebrows. I am pretty sure soon I will have a unibrow!
Self care is important to me, and I have written a ton about it – but sometimes I cant take my own advice. Sometimes I just need someone to relate – to listen – to understand my struggles and tell me what I am feeling is ok.
I do have a plan to loose weight. I also have a plan to fix the diastasis. But sometimes, I just want to “let it out” and say what I am feeling, and what I have been feeling for so long.
I hate my ugly post-partum body, and I know that feeling wont last and I can get through this – but right now all I can see is a fat blob in the mirror.
I want to love my body so bad – it grew my tiny little miracle, with ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. But I just cant right now. And I am ok with that.
It’s ok to not feel ok.
Its ok to not be confident about your body.
Its ok to sit on the bathroom floor, tears in your eyes, and wish you looked different.
Its ok to avoid mirrors.
Its ok to have these feelings.
Not enough women express these feelings. Many hide behind closed doors for fear of judgment and ridicule.
I can hear the naysayers now “You can always make time to work on getting healthy”, or “You wouldn’t feel this way if you sacrificed a little and focused on your health”.
Yea, like it is that easy. I literally catch myself dozing almost every week driving home from work. It isn’t THAT easy for someone like me to make time. But I will. I just want to be able to feel how I want to in the meantime.
One day, I – and those that can relate to this – will look back on these struggles and breath a sigh of relief that that time in our lives is over. We will feel pretty again. We will feel good looking in the mirror. We will no longer be embarrassed at family functions or weddings when we have to dress up and we look huge in our dresses and try to hide in the back for pictures so we don’t look so bad.
But until then, I will continue to avoid mirrors. I will let myself feel however I want to in the moment. I will move forward with my plans to loose weight, and however long it takes – it takes.
Don’t stand in the shadows embarrassed by your feelings. Let them out, feel how you feel, and let yourself move on. You cant avoid mirrors forever, but sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to build ourselves back up.
We are all a work in progress – emotionally and physically – after a baby. I will hate my ugly post-partum body for as long as I want, until one day, I love it again.