Battling Body Image Issues: Part 2

Battling Body Image Issues: Part 2

If you missed Part 1, read here to get all caught up.

What did it take for me to step up and face my history of eating and body image issues??

Everything changed the day we cut into the cake at our gender reveal party and saw the color pink.  We were going to have a girl.  A girl!!!!!  An innocent, sweet, naive, child not exposed to the stress we as women or even people put on ourselves to look a certain way or to weigh a certain amount.

I can recall the day following the gender reveal party, sitting in the shower and just crying, crying, crying, and crying some more.  Not because we would be having a girl, but because I realized I never wanted my daughter to go through the same trials I went through and forced upon myself, with my self image, my self esteem. I didn’t want to be the reason she looked at herself in the mirror with disdain about a part of her body.

Of course, I then began to worry about the baby weight.  What woman wouldn’t?

How could I get it off as soon as she was born?  How fast would it all come off?  These questions haunted me and took up chunks of my attention.  I ate as well and moved as best I was able with the occasional morning sickness and nerve pain.

The months came and went. When our daugther joined our little family and it was instant love.  My heart welled with love for her and even myself for being able to bring life into this world.   I brought a little 6 pound 11 ounce bundle of greatness into this world.

So then it became time to regain my body. I reintroduced my 30 minute workouts or some other fun movement during the day whether it be a short walk, weights, or  yoga.  I stuck with that plan and finally ceased the excessive exercise.  Who has time to work out for more than 30 min anyways with a newborn in the mix?!?!  Not me at least.

I told myself I was not weighing on a scale until I was 12 weeks post baby.

My mind raced with thoughts of what the scale would tell me.  How much would I still have to work off?  Had I been wasting my time?  Had I been doing the right things?  I knew I was eating well.  I had been doing Whole30 and been consistent with my workouts but what would the numbers say??

The day I hit 12 weeks, the problems were finally put at bay when I stepped on the scale!!!  I was actually less than pre-baby weight.  I couldn’t believe it!  I was ecstatic and it was all due to a number on a scale.  The number reinforced the work and effort I had been putting in and just made me feel better about where I was at.  I felt great, was sleeping like a baby (even with a newborn), and I felt amazing.

But then I looked in the mirror and it stopped. I saw how the pregnancy led to wider hips and lordosis which made my stomach (always my problem area) appear distended out.  I was doing the one thing I didn’t want my daughter to see, feel, or ever do!

At that very moment my husband walked in with our little one and she was as happy as can be flashing her big gummie smile.  The negative thoughts stopped.  It was no longer about the NUMBER or the faults I saw in myself.  It was about how I felt.

Yes, I had lost the weight and the inches but the best thing I rid myself of was those negative behaviors.

No longer would I tear myself apart because I had a meal.  No longer would I weigh every time I walked into the bathroom.  No longer would the number on scale dictate my day.  It was all about how I felt.

It was one of the most freeing feelings I have ever experienced.

I am a true believer that what you put into your body has the ability to influence every aspect of your health and well being.  I sleep great, feel happy and less depressed and have a better attitude toward myself and others.  I believe my relationship with food has changed in a monumental way.

I do not eat fat free or low fat and I for sure do not count my calories.  I eat meat and drink raw whole milk.  I enjoy the time it takes to cook meals and eat with the ones I love.  I just eat real food, not too much or too little.  I eat mostly plants and move. You do not need to workout for 1 hr every day and do your extra 15 min of cardio on a treadmill.  Just move and enjoy it!

Am I completely free from my addiction?  No, no addict ever truly is but I can now say that I have control of my life compared to it having a control on me.

My wish for you is to know that it is okay to love yourself.  Own your body because it is the only one you’ll ever have.  You’ll might never attain what society dictates as the “perfect” body but you can have a body that is perfect for you.

Just think if we stopped weighing ourselves every day and letting those numbers dictate how we think, eat, and feel.  We can break a cycle of negativity and teach our kids the benefits of a positive self image.  Oh what a world that would be.

It all starts in each of our homes.  Let’s be the change.  Thank you for letting me share my story.

Ben MacMillan

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