Thursday, June 19, 2008

How low can we go...

Well, I guess not really "we" so much as "me".

I'm a little worried about me because I can't remember the last time I felt so awful about myself. My self-esteem and self-worth seem to have sunken to new lows, and what makes me sad is that the only thing I can pinpoint that has had such an impact is my physical appearance, my weight specifically. That's sad because I know that isn't all I am, but it seems to be the only thing I can focus on nowadays.

I had hopes that this post-partum period would be different than the one following my twins. I gained 70 pounds with that pregnancy, lost half of it within a few weeks, and then didn't lose another damn ounce until they were 6 months old, and even then, after losing weight for a few months, I continued to carry around an extra 10-12 pounds that I hadn't had before the pregnancy. But, I eventually lost it all, and then continued to lose so that I was back at a size I was happy to be...but that was during a supremely stressful period of my life, a time when I was force-feeding myself because I knew I couldn't just not eat, and also at a time when I became unemployed and found it easy to workout every other day for an hour.

The pregnancy with Baby Angel left me with weight as well, but because it was short-term, it wasn't a lot. However, this time, I've still got 30 pounds to lose just to be where I was before I got pregnant, which was about 10 pounds more than I like to be. I wanted to cry as I continued to step on the scale, seeing little to no change those first few weeks following LMX's birth. I had expected much more drastic results; I thought I'd lose at least half the weight by then, not just 15 pounds. I somehow knew that whatever didn't come off by then wouldn't be coming off anytime soon.

And now, now my body is holding onto everything else, just as I thought it would. It sucks. I still want to cry because I came to a decision that I would not actively try to lose weight while breastfeeding, but that decision, no matter how right I feel about it, doesn't change the perception I have of the woman I see in the mirror.

I hate that I feel so awful about a body that has done so much good; it's like I'm afraid to truly accept it as it is for fear that when the time comes I won't care enough to get it back to the way it was before. It's an awful internal conflict, and I just don't know if there's a resolution for it.

I cringe when someone comments on the appearance of other women. Whether it be that they are attractive (I feel like a toad) or that they are heavy, homely, or anything less than attractive (I identify with them and then feel insulted and hurt). That doesn't seem like a healthy way handle these comments, yet I can't seem to change my reactions.

As much as I didn't want to, I had to buy new clothes. Wearing maternity clothes while not pregnant, or only wearing the select few items in a wardrobe that are made from stretchy and loungy materials really does very little for one's appearance. I had to get some things that actually fit this body so that I wouldn't fully dread having to dress myself to leave the house. It doesn't help as much as I thought it might, but having real clothes, ones without elastic waists in particular, helps lessen the frumpiness I once felt.

If I truly think about it, I'll probably end up losing more weight after I'm done nursing without doing much else since that's when I restarted losing weight after M and J. Since LMX actually nurses exclusively, I'm sure it will take a lot longer than it did back then since I simply decided to stop pumping once they started solid foods at four months. With a kid that actually feeds from the breast, I know I want him to continue for at least a year, which could mean at least a year of static weight. At least I know I'm not the only woman whose body reacts this way...thanks, Selma! I knew I loved that woman for good reason;>

9 comments:

fringes said...

The new clothes may go a long way toward helping you feel better. If you look cute, you feel cute. Writing it all out, as you know, will help a lot, too.

Churlita said...

Hang in there. You'll lose it. You're also probably still hormonal and that much harder on yourself than you'd normally be.

Heather (a.k.a. Bella) said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so bad, but know that the extra weight was a good thing for LMX when he was cookin' in there. It'll come off eventually -- but, right now, accepting your body as it is and working with it will go a long way to making you feel better. *hugs*

NoRegrets said...

Maybe it would help to be able to take some walks with the kids - get some sort of exercise. I'm not saying it would help you lose weight right now, but it would mean you are doing something for you, which might help? I'm just guessing though.
Everything will be ok...

Tera said...

Hang in there Woo! It's a tough battle. You just have to remind yourself that you've got a few awesome little human beings who are here as a result.

I remember the point at which I decided I could no longer make myself miserable about my appearance/body/weight and had to pull my esteem out of the black hole it was falling in...and I didn't even have post-partum hormones to blame it on! It is tough, but I know you can do it :) ((hugs))

Belle - A Beauty livin with her Beast said...

I have been batteling my weight since my daughter was born in 2000, so i know the emotions you are going thru. You have to stop and looks at your kids and remember what beautiful things your body has made, and that you will be able to get back to the state you were once in. Dont worry to much now becuase you are still feeding just remember you are a beautiful mother who loves her kids and they love you for who you are.

heather said...

if only there was a magic wand.
not for the weight necessarily but for our self image.
you have an advantage in that you were at a healthy weight before getting pregnant and you have had an exercise routine in the past. once things settle a bit you'll find ways to work that back into your life. give it time. it's not like lmx is 20 and you're still trying to lose 'baby weight'.

have faith woo and give the boys a kiss for me. :-)

Susan said...

I believe you are beautiful because of what you've survived through and accomplished in life. :)

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

Thank you all. I appreciate each and every word of your comments.