when we were young…

writing with passion, living with vision and acting with intention

What skinny looks like now

14 Comments

I’m one of you, the moms with the post-pregnant bodies where perky bottoms have given way to saggy behinds and boobs that have followed suite unless filled with milk. But where many women I know are trying to lose their pregnancy weight, I am trying to gain back some.

No, I’m not actually all that lucky.

I weigh now, less than I did when I was 18. When I look at my body, I feel anything but beautiful. My legs, once slender but toned are now marred with varicose veins and resemble the limbs of a certain large bird. A line of separation indents the loosened muscles of my cushy abdomen. My once sculpted arms – all I can see now are large veins coursing down my forearms and branching off following the small bones in my hands. When I turn sideways, my once perky bottom has deflated to little more than a bump between my back and legs. The longer I stare, the the more dissatisfied I become so I cover myself up and get on with my day.

This new body image has come as a bit of a shock for me. Call me naive, but I guess I just didn’t think that age and having babies would already impact my body this much. You see, I have always been one of the lucky girls. I could eat whatever I wanted, exercise as little as I wanted and I never felt truly dissatisfied with my body.

The thing about being naturally “skinny” in our society is we aren’t allowed to complain. The media have done a bang-up job of convincing women for decades that any and all fat is bad, skinny is beautiful. It doesn’t matter that I feel less womanly because I look more like an adolescent girl than a grown woman, I don’t have those undesirable love handles, muffin top or cushy thighs so I have nothing to feel insecure about. I can’t tell you how much I would LOVE to have some extra padding around the middle to shed or even just to keep! I don’t say this to make light of the struggle many woman face as they try to lose excess weight but rather to shine light on my own struggle with feeling like I’m a few pounds away from looking emaciated. I can eat half a dozen cookies, enjoy a macchiato and munch on some chips and still, chicken little.

The good news is I have started working out with a friend and I joke with her saying that I gotta keep my eyes on the blonde chick with the soccer legs in our work out video for motivation. I’m not under an illusion that I can look just like her but I figure, she wasn’t born with those legs, she worked to get them looking like that. I aim to put in an honest effort and reap some benefits because I am not ready to throw the towel over my body. I have some of the best years of my life still ahead and I want to look and feel good.

Before you get all judgmental on me and feel inclined to remind me that I should be more concerned about what’s on the inside rather than the outside, let me share one more thing.

Before I first became pregnant, I was at my fittest, strongest and healthiest. I hiked often, I danced, I ate well. Because I was engaging in physical activity, I felt more vitality and strength and when I looked in the mirror – I felt beautiful. I could feel confident during intimacy with my husband, no need to dim the lights, no nagging worry in the back of my mind about how unattractive I must look right now. I can have all the head knowledge there is about how he thinks I’m beautiful no matter what and it’s what’s in my heart that makes me beautiful, but if I don’t believe it about myself, I can’t enjoy the fullness of making love with my husband, not completely. That’s just me.

I know babies have forever changed my body and I am okay with that. I just want to feel beautiful and I want to impress my husband with a body that I am caring for. I don’t have to be overweight to feel the urge to look better and be stronger.

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Author: whenwewereyoung...

A stay at home mom of two boys under two, love TED talks, swing dancing and of course, writing. When we were young is my sharing of motherhood, the beautiful, the ugly, the happy, the sad and the world my boys are growing up in.

14 thoughts on “What skinny looks like now

  1. Yeah, people tend to forget that insecurities work for slim people too. I’m a glutton and one of the small guys too – I workout a lot but I am still skinny – just toned – and I would like to have “extra padding” as well… To turn it to mucle.

    You do well to workout!

  2. It’s so easy to forget the other side of the struggle. I have had my share of “extra padding” for most of my life and can’t imagine anyone wishing for it! The grass is always greener….thanks for the reminder that we’re all battling things in different ways!

    • Thank you hvanmil! I really didn’t want this post to be a slap in the face to women who battle having too much weight than they’d care to have and I am so glad to hear your thoughts.

  3. I think you’re right that it’s not what other people think about your body, it’s what YOU think – and you know whether your body is healthy or not. I’ve always been skinny like you, but since my last two kids, I’m carrying extra flab around my middle. I dress to hide it and I’m not carrying that many extra pounds (flab is light, I guess), but when I complain about it, all my friends laugh at me. Like you, I was fit and toned before I got married (well, before I started university, actually) so I know what I feel like when I’m healthy and I know this isn’t me at my best. So I’d also like to start working out more and be fitter. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement! 🙂

  4. Great post! My goal is to get stronger, as I too am thinner (after having had 2 kids) than I have ever been, but I feel weak and drained of energy! I would love to put on some muscle weight!

  5. Feeling better and stronger is most important. I do agree with you that society sometimes forgets the difference between skinny and healthy and we’re just supposed to be okay with that. I can shove myself into a size 0 but right now my bodyfat is unhealthy. Hope you’re enjoying the workouts!

  6. After having a child, losing weight was easy. Gaining weight was easier, much to my horror. Gravity took over and sent everything south. It’s not always about being fat or skinny, but how “firm” we were before being mothers. Im out of shape and long to be healthy. So I hear what you are saying, being a mother physically changes you…..but I wouldn’t trade my tummy stretch marks for anything, however varicose veins are for sale, lol 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing – it is always an excellent reminder that everyone has their struggles with the skin they’re in. I found working out to be my cure-all but it had to be the right time and it took me a very long time to get there. It sounds like you’re on your way.

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