Ever since I could remember I have had issues with my body. After having babies these issues remained, how do I enjoy my children and teach them to love the bodies they are in when I have my own issues?
It’s Your Fault!
Maybe it was a result of parenting mistakes? Maybe it was the mean girls in school who would gossip behind my back or isolate me completely. Maybe I can blame it on my Daddy issues? Maybe it is the media all the over-edited, photo-shopped depictions of beauty they impose on us. Maybe it is just me and my psychological issues. I am not sure where it stems from. It is probably a combination of the above. But either way, it is my issue that I have to deal with each day of my life.
As the warmer weather approaches, that nagging internal voice gets louder and louder.
“It is currently 90 degrees outside but you better not take off that jacket, everyone will see your mommy pouch and how disgusting you are.”
“How dare you think to wear shorts with those thunder thighs and cottage cheese.”
“Tank tops! Tank tops! Do you see how gross your arms are?”
Bathing suits? Forget it! One piece suits show off too much of my fat ass and bikinis are never to be worn again!
I remember hating my body at a really young age, actually, this whole issue goes way beyond my body, but that is another story. As a child, I was always trying to work on myself to make myself better. It didn’t matter though, nothing was ever good enough for me. I remember as a teenager around 15, 16 years old I was so obsessed with my weight and how disgusting I was when in reality I wasn’t even overweight, but I wasn’t perfect either. I can see now I had an issue.
I remember fasting months before my senior prom, exercising like crazy and taking diet pills like they were candy. I lost weight, enough that it was noticeable to close friends. Not noticeable enough for anyone to realize I had a problem, I actually got complimented on the changes. Which only fueled me to go on more. Did I know that this was a dangerous cycle? Yes! Did I care? Not so much. When you are young you think you are invincible and if you have issues like I did/do you may not care if you are not. The above photo is of me and my boyfriend (who is currently my boyfriend and father of my children) at my senior prom. I wasn’t underweight, therefore I wasn’t sick.
My unhealthy cycle continues
My unhealthy cycle of fasting, and so on extended through college. Until I became pregnant. Then, I morphed, I hid under big T-Shirts. sweatshirts and yoga pants. Having to be pregnant during the summer was tough, I did my best to embrace my pregnancy. I indulged in everything I had restricted earlier. Which caused some major weight gain. I chose to breastfeed my daughter, it was the healthy option for her and myself it was also supposed to naturally help me lose the pregnancy weight. But it didn’t. The stress of being a new mom and all the changes that came with that, not just the physical helped my weight stay put.
I lost some of the weight, but I was so preoccupied trying to be a decent mom, deal with my emotional issues and finish my degree that I didn’t have time to go back into my unhealthy obsession with my body. Now eight years and another baby later. I am more aware of the voices that lurk in my head. Upon waking up and feeling pangs of hunger, I hear that voice; “Skip breakfast, don’t be weak and eat that.” Every meal, snack, thought of food is accompanied by a wave of guilt strong enough to cause a tsunami.
Now with two kids, I am forced to be conscious of my choices and self-talk. After this past year and all the stress and sadness, I have gained enough weight to be considered overweight not just by my standards. The feelings of being unattractive, disgusting and so on really take control over every aspect of my life. As I work on being more aware and mindful, trying to change these negative thoughts into positive ones, I become more aware of how I think about myself and how it holds me back as a mother, businesswoman, lover, and friend.
So many people, particularly women deal with this every day of our lives. It is exhausting and difficult to conquer. I struggle every day to look into the mirror and find good things to say to myself. I don’t have an answer on how I can finally conquer these demons but I know motherhood has made me more aware. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts and struggles.
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