Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Self Image

Welcome to what I'm hoping to be a regular installment on my goal for really focusing on my blog. Just a few ideas I am thinking about for a daily theme include:

  • Make it Monday - A new recipe or pattern I have tried and enjoyed.
  • Try it Tuesday - Showcase something I would like to try in the future - pattern/recipe/etc.
  • Write it Wednesday - Something I've discovered/learned about bullet journaling.
  • Throwback Thursday - Story or craft from the past.
  • Fun Friday - Photos or silly stories. A joke or meme that made me laugh.

KISS - KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Simplicity is key. Short excerpts and stories that have meaning to me. That's the only way I will be able to dedicate time to this blog! Just a few minutes a day to make it habit.

So onward to today's installment of "Throwback Thursday". Now not all topics will be deep and meaningful, but this one I have thought about a lot lately.

Through my "TimeHop" app on my smartphone, a lot of happy memories of me being pregnant have come through my feed. My daughter was born in May and my son in June two years later. So the last few months (Feb, Mar, Apr...) I was obviously touting that big old belly! And look I'm even wearing the same shirt.

Days before Emily was born

Day before David was born

I look at these pictures now and think boy - my face was fat. haha. And yes, of course I gained lots of weight while pregnant, I was growing a baby for goodness sake!!  But you know what - some of that weight was completely unnecessary. I used being pregnant as an excuse to down a whole large bag of sour patch kids, or keep a box of zebra cakes in my car that I could snack on whenever the moment arose...which was every time I got in the car.

As far as exercise went? Nil. I was tired. But I didn't even try. With Emily I just stopped doing anything. However, after she was born I worked on getting things back together. I was in a very good place with my body right before I got pregnant with David. I had just ran my first half-marathon. I was at a pretty happy weight. But then I found out I was pregnant and just took that as a good excuse to stop doing anything!!

But at the end of the day I had two happy and healthy children. Besides David being breech and requiring a c-section a bit too early which kept him in the NICU for about two weeks, everything went smooth.

Ever since then I have struggled with my weight a bit. I am by no means fat and most people look at me and think I'm crazy for even saying that I have a problem. But it's true. I just carry my weight differently, and I'm the one looking in the mirror every day and seeing those extra pockets of flab on the butt and thighs, the now loose and stretch mark covered skin on my stomach and abdomen. And you know what, it bothers me. Not all the time, but a lot of the time.

And there is nothing that anyone can say to make that go away. And the worst part of it is - it will NEVER go away. No matter how in shape I get - stretch marks won't go away, loose skin won't firm up to its natural state again. Sure it may become less noticeable as my muscles underneath get stronger and some of the extra fat starts to dissipate. But it will always be there.

"But it's a reminder of what your body went through to have your beautiful children" they say. "Oh you look great" they say. "Your a tiger who's earned her stripes" (I hate that saying). And even though these things are true, it doesn't help the crazy little self confidence voice that we all have lurking in the depths.  I don't care who you are, I'm not convinced that as much as you say "Oh it doesn't bother me" or "I am woman here me roar" that it doesn't ever bother you. Perhaps not every day, perhaps only once a year, but still, it's there and it doesn't go away.

Now I don't say these things to be a Debbie Downer because it's not that. It's just a part of life. It's a part of who we are. It's not even just society, I think it's part of our DNA to have these feelings towards ourselves. And it's just how we handle them and deal with them that make all the difference.

Yes it bothers me, but does it stop me from doing things? Not really. The only thing I won't do right now is wear a bikini. And that's just me. I'm not comfortable with it. But if you are? DO IT! Will I be one day? That's my personal goal.  Weird goal I know, but two piece swim suits are cute and I like them. Modest ones that is....not "butt floss, nipple cover" ones. A nice sturdy full coverage two piece that's not a "tankini".

Here am I now however, close to four years after David has been born (oh my gosh are you kidding me!!), back at it again. Starting a healthier way of eating, exercising on a close to daily basis. And now that no more kiddos are going to be in the picture (zip, zilch, zero), I can just keep plugging along. It's been a two year roller coaster so far and I'm hoping to get off the coaster and on to a more steady train ride. I've lost about 25 pounds total since I first really started to take things seriously - so see I told you I was definitely carrying some extra weight. And there is still a good 5-10 pesky more pounds to go. But it's not all about the numbers. It's about feeling good too. And I do, I feel much better than I had. More energy, less moody and just all around happier. But what happens if I start back up that hill again? I will get to the top eventually and come right back down. Because I am determined to make this healthy lifestyle stick not only for myself, but for my family that I love so dearly. 

So there you have it. Just a snippit of my personal history and troubles. Can you relate? Am I just spewing nonsense? Have any stories of your own to share? Feel free to comment below.


Andrea The CATT Lady

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