I wrote this 3 months ago, in Italy, through tears, on my iPhone. Now, still at an irrelevant 59kg, 6 months postpartum, with a pride for my body that is immeasurable, I share it with you.
Not too long ago a person close to me made a comment, or rather a ‘joke’, about my weight. To be specific, a joke about me being ‘heavy’.
It really caught me off guard, which is funny in itself, as since delivering (my precious Tilly) I have had spurts of insecurity about my body, naturally.
I reflected on this and remembered fondly, how I proudly looked at my body after delivery and thanked the universe for simply being alive and for giving me a healthy little girl. I also remembered thinking that I was proud of myself for staying true to myself and being healthy, not gaining more weight than I was ‘comfortable’ with. My body had bounced back well and I had around 8kg to lose after birth.
I was, at 8 weeks postpartum, starting to get anxious and upset with my body, not making too much more progress. The Linea Negra, which has started to fade immediately, had plateaued and was still very visible. Although I was lucky enough not to have any stretch marks, my skin was not as supple as it was pre pregnancy and my jeans were still tight around my hips, with the extra kilograms not moving easily.
By 12 weeks I had reached my pre-pregnancy weight but the aforementioned skin conditions still remained somewhat.
I drifted between struggling to look at myself in the mirror at all and looking at myself with utter pride and love.
All of these feelings were expressed to my dear ‘joker’ friend.
I then wondered, why this person looked at me, three months postpartum, and had not seen and celebrate me for what I had achieved?
I had created a healthy and happy human being!
As if this wasn’t enough, I had nursed myself back to health, healing deep wounds both physically and emotionally, after an extremely challenging delivery. Really…
I had healed wounds in places that no amount of pregnancy ‘What to expect’ reading can prepare you for.
I learned to feed a tiny little baby, with the nutrients and nourishment that my own body had created.
I learned to live on zero sleep and function better than I had in my entire life.
So I wondered, why wouldn’t this person look at me and be so proud for simply this?
This challenged me to look at my relationship with my body, an ever evolving love-hate relationship that I’ve endured since my early teens.
More than this, it made me curious about the need for people to project their own insecurities onto others.
I have noticed, through my own relationships during pregnancy and delivery, that most people just simply don’t want to see you succeed. It’s something that I had heard and knew was inherently true on some level, but here for the first time, I saw it in front of me.
People constantly asking how much weight had been gained, scrutinising every milestone through this totally irrelevant measurement.
I cannot even begin to recall how many times I was blatantly asked if I was ‘fat yet’.
So, three months on, in the wake of being called fat, I sat contemplating the measures of success that was ere important to me and it became perfectly clear that my weight and my body was going to mean as little to me as the opinion of the person that said it.
I am proud of my body and proud of the strength and humility that birthing a tiny human has afforded me.