Who’s Body image?
Remember when it was fun to get dressed up? I have a collection of dresses that I’ve been holding onto for over 10 years. They were only used for special occasions and are in excellent condition. I wore them to formal parties, holiday gatherings, the theater, and of course to weddings. These dresses are all the same size, and vary from stretchy lace, to formfitting linen, to my personal favorite flowing chiffon. Before having children, shopping was not only fun but easy. I had no problem ordering online because I could always depend on my trusted brands that stayed true to my beloved body size. I knew my body and I knew what flattered. I could see a bad fit a mile away.
When will my clothes fit?
So, next month I have a wedding to go to. Very exciting, lots of family and photo ops for the kids in their “dresses” ridiculously cheesy, glittery, satiny, lacey balls of poof (they look SO CUTE!!!!).
Ok, so what to wear? Hmmm, how can I explain this, I literally have nothing to wear. I tried on each lovely dress, and one after another the zipper stopped either at my tummy or made it to the top ribs but definitely had no intentions of closing. How can this be? I lost all my baby weight. Not a single dress? But my pre-pregnancy jeans fit! (totally out of style boot cut 2009ers) … but they fit. My dresses however are on their way to the consignment shop hopefully to make some other mom as happy as they once made me. At this point I know some of you are wondering, why I don’t just keep them? (Since I love them so…).
How to measure success.
Well it’s not exactly a 12 step program but there is an eventual acceptance of the “post-pregnancy body”. Some things we can influence; baby weight, posture, even Diastasis. Often in an effort to lose the baby weight moms end up healthier than their pre-pregnancy weight, but we can’t control everything. Over the course of pregnancy a woman’s body goes through an enormous structural transition. The joints and ligament’s all become looser (with the help of the hormone relaxin) to assist the body in supporting the additional body weight and growth of the uterus. We all assume that after you have the baby, this transformation reverses but this is not always the case. The same way you may have gone up a shoe size because the ligaments in your feet stretched and flattened the arch a bit, your hips and ribs may also have stretched and not quite returned to their previous size or shape. This is not the case with all postpartum women but for some of us, sadly it’s a realization that eventually sinks in. My Diastasis is healed but my excess tummy skin still increases my waist size up to 2”. Most popular dress designers now include for a small bit of tummy but the zipper is not forgiving. I’ve gone up and entire dress size because of the increased width of my ribcage, get ready, 3.5” wider almost 3 years Postpartum. That’s nuts!!! How come no one ever tells us this?
Size isn’t everything.
So I bought a new dress, and it’s fabulous! I didn’t realize how motherhood influences fashion choices but I refuse to buy a $300 mini dress I don’t care how trendy it is. I’m all about the modest knee length flattering neck line. So I guess I’ve evolved both physically and mentally.
Body image isn’t about looking like someone else entirely; it’s about being the best image of yourself; Making healthy choices with your diet, getting plenty of water, and being active. Working out is fantastic, building core strength and muscle endurance are some of the best ways to keep your body strong and fit, but being active means making some major lifestyle changes; Biking instead of driving, walking instead of taking the bus, or just walking in general. Including the whole house for family walks or hikes, bike rides through the park, or good old fashioned running with the kids; playing tag, throwing a ball, or my personal favorite catch and tickle.
I’m very much looking forward to the wedding and to match my new dress I bought a new pair of sexy, gorgeous, sparkly 4”heels (one size larger).