Friday, June 7, 2013

Mommy's Squishy Belly

For as long as I can remember, I have been self conscious of my tummy area.  I remember once in high school wearing a shortish shirt and running back inside to grab a jacket to cover myself up because I felt too bare.  Considering I was 16, about 90 pounds, and hadn't had children yet, I'd kill for that belly back.

When I was pregnant it was awesome.  Having a belly pooch is swooned over during pregnancy.  Even when I was nursing after I had the boys I felt pretty great.  I was about 5-7 pounds less than usual, which isn't a lot, but I carry every ounce in my belly, so it really did show back up after I stopped pumping for LBZ.
I'm working on a new outlook, and there have been a few contributing factors to my new outlook on this body that I have.

Looking back at my high school self got me thinking...I sure wish I had felt better in that top when my belly actually was thin.  Fast forward to now, I want to love the body I have right now, because even with some serious exercising, it's likely that this belly ain't goin' nowhere, so I'd better just get used to it.  And as I age, my body will keep changing, and perhaps not always the way I want it to.

I found a website recently that talks about the physical changes our bodies go through and how we as women should embrace this.  In addition to having a pretty dynamic pooch, I also have really stretched out skin.  Not stretch marks, but just stretched out skin from 41 weeks with BBZ and 41 weeks and 3 days with LBZ.  Check out the Facebook page if you have a moment.  It also contributed to a new sense of physical self I am developing.

The other thing that has me embracing my tummy is BBZ's love for it.  He tells me on almost a daily basis how much he loves my "squishy belly".

Now at first this bothered me.  It made me cringe and want to suck it in or deny to myself that it even existed.  But not anymore.

The boy loves it.  When we snuggle at night he will purposefully lay on my belly and talk about how comfortable it is and how happy he is that my belly isn't flat and hard.  Oh, the irony.

I read this post yesterday, which mentions a quote by Kate Winslet:

"As a child, I never heard one woman say to me: ‘I love my body.’ Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said: ‘I am so proud of my body.’ So, I make sure I say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start from a very early age.”
Now I realize that I don't have girls, but my boys are watching me and they care about how I feel about myself.  I want to be confident in who I am.  And I want to show them if they don't like something, then they should make it a priority to change it, not just sit around and complain about it.

And if they are doing all they feel they can to change it, it is time to accept it, and move along. 

I also saw these photos of Alanis Morissette wearing a bikini over her not-so-perfect post-baby body.  The message is clear.  I need to love my body right now.

I am changing my perspective on me and my squishy belly.  I'm embracing it.  I am exercising, but the truth is, I may never live up to my own expectations of myself, so I might as well enjoy who I am and what I look like right this moment.

Honestly, even with its imperfections, I do love my body. I love the size I wear. I love the way my husband loves the way I look. I love that I can be comfortable in my own skin. 

That's a lot more fun and freeing anyway :)