Want to know the difference between these two photos?
It’s not weight loss.
It’s a new perspective.
And new jeans.
After giving birth, I found myself in this euphoric high of amazement at what my body had done. I would beam when looking at this saggy, sore tummy in the mirror. I was filled with pride.
But when the euphoria passed away, and my postpartum season began, I told myself I wouldn’t buy ANY new clothes. I thought the more uncomfortable I felt meant the more “motivated” I’d be to shed the baby weight.
People told me that if I decided to breastfeed, the weight would “fall” off. “Well I’ll be nursing two,” I thought. “It’ll probably MELT off.”
I’d find myself staring at this body in the mirror and crying over the reflection. I didn’t recognize this body. I didn’t recognize myself.
So, for months I stayed in leggings and baggy shirts. I continued wearing my maternity clothes. I waited for this magical drop in the number on the scale nursing session after nursing session.
But guess what?
Events came up. Friends got married and loved ones had showers and friends had birthday parties.
And I had nothing to wear.
Because I was so focused on squeezing into and zipping up old clothes that no longer honored this new body.
I expected myself to leap forward into this new season of motherhood while expecting my body to bounce back. But my body wasn’t meant to be the same. It, too, bounced forward into this new role and performed many functions long after it stopped hosting two little ones.
I chose to no longer look back at what no longer suited me.
I donated of all of the clothes that did not fit me, were out of style (why I was holding onto the crop tops I wore to 6th street, I’ll never know) and would not flatter this new figure. I disposed of all the reminders of what my body “should be” to replace them with colorful new articles that honored the “me” I am now.
And I will continue to buy pieces that will flatter this new figure as my body continues to change and fluctuate in this postpartum season.
Choosing to feel uncomfortable did not “motivate” me. It shamed me. Waiting for the weight to “melt” off did not inspire me. It disappointed me.
While I’m all for self-love, I find myself more at peace with the term “body acceptance” as I accept and love my body for what it is and what it has done. I accept the new marks and new sags as beautiful proof of my body’s capabilities.
If you find yourself in a season of shame instead of acceptance and love, I challenge you take the leap-buy what fits and forget the rest.
Bodies are ever changing proof of the life we’re living, anyway. Who cares what number is printed on the tag.