This is a hard post to write, and a hard photo to put out there. As I put these photos together I kept trying different filters to make the picture seem more appealing and less raw. I was doing this for a post about "body image". Ironic? Yes, but also in-my-face proof of what I deal with every day.
When I was young I was a beanpole. I took after my father's long and lean physique, which most would say was a great thing to inherit! Sure, it is, but when others saw my body type a lot of them didn't think of inherited genes, but that I didn't eat enough. That was very hard for me. I didn't like people asking if I ate that day, or telling me "you really should eat more" when I stuffed my face daily because I had a wonderful, healthy appetite for good food. Even some of my family members would comment on my size and I had one ask my mom if I had an eating disorder when I was 13. I remember overhearing that on my way back from the bathroom at a restaurant and being crushed.
After I got married I gained 35 pounds over the course of two years. For my body type that wasn't very obvious to others, but I knew it, and I knew it wasn't natural. It was because my husband and I worked a lot and crazy hours so we didn't cook much and ordered a lot of pizza and drove through a lot of fast food establishments. I also was really enjoying living on my own and being able to buy and eat whatever I wanted to because there was no one to tell me no.
When I got pregnant in 2011 I had just lost 10 pounds and was feeling good because I was eating well and trying to start dancing again as my workout. I gained 40 pounds with my daughter, and I was feeling frustrated and like my progress had been for nothing. After she was born I wasn't that great at working out and I was very tired so I didn't lose much right away. Lucky for me, my daughter had "tummy troubles" as an infant that required me to stop eating dairy, soy, and egg while breastfeeding her. That made some of the weight fall off. Then in August of 2012 my husband and I made the decision to go Vegan. This has helped me lose the rest of the fast food weight from 4 years ago, and I am finally within my BMI and my body looks pretty proportionate.
Even though this sounds like a story that I am telling for claps and cheers, it's not. Through these years of being "too skinny", "flabby", and "muffin-topping", I had a hard time dealing with how I looked to other people. When I was young I was always making sure I ate full meals in front of friends and family so that they would see I actually ate. I made a point to stop going to the restroom at meals so no one would think I was doing something else. And after I gained the 35 pounds I started dressing pretty dumpy to hide the lumps and bumps that seemed so un-natural to me. Billowy shirts and loose pants, never even dreaming of putting on a form-fitting top.
Even though someone doesn't look large or obese, that doesn't mean they aren't battling weight issues (for themselves) or insecurities about how they look.
The reason I posted the first photo of me now is because that is the area of my body that I am very insecure about. And yes, it is due to having a baby, but I can't shake that last pooch in the front, which is mainly skin that lost its elasticity from being stretched out so far. Regardless of that it still bothers me and it is making me second guess what I wear every day.
If you have any insecurities about your body, just know that people don't look at you and see every little bump or roll. My husband doesn't and he sees more of me than anyone else! If you're having trouble with how you look please contact me. I would love to encourage you and talk to you about how you feel. If any of you are interested in getting help in diet, exercise, or even veganism/vegetarianism, please let me know as well! I'd love to share what I've learned.
1. If you were stuck on an island what are the two material items you would want to have? A REALLY good book and a vegetable plant so that I could eat forever. :)
2. What are two TV shows you’d watch over and over: Felicity and Glee.
3. If your house was on fire what two things aside from family, pets, etc would you grab? File of important documents and photo album.
4. What are your two most favorite articles of clothing? My skinny jeans and my plaid button-up shirt.
5. What two movies that you saw in the past year would you recommend to us? Les Miserables and The Dark Knight Rises.
6. What are your two biggest guilty pleasures? Britney Spears and Target-brand chocolate chip cookies.