I think my dislike for my stomach started back around age 12 or 13 when puberty set in. I’ve always carried my weight in my middle and have never worn a bikini, unless you count the cute little numbers my grandma gave me when I was 2. Most people would call me average. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I have had a lot of issues with poor body image. I remember one week wearing 3 belts around my middle at night to try to make my waist smaller. How horrible! I was always comparing myself to other girls constantly. I never liked changing in the locker room in junior high or high school. My prom dress was a little tight and I took diuretics a few days before the dance to make sure I fit in it.
I suck my stomach in whenever I have my picture taken.
The biggest I have ever been was 175 when I was pregnant with my first child. I only gained 10 lbs that pregnancy, so my set weight was 165. My BMI was 27.5 which is overweight for my 5’5 frame. Before I got pregnant with my second child I did a weight loss challenge and lost some weight, but towards the end of the challenge I found out I was pregnant. Here are the frumpy, ugly pictures of me the day the challenge started. I am wearing a stretched out cotton shirt and maternity jean shorts.
These horrible pictures were taken in May of 2009, right before my daughter’s first birthday. This girl was not a happy girl. I was struggling with many changes in my life. After eight years of teaching elementary school, I was now a stay at home mom. I loved being a mommy and I was so thankful my husband could support us on one income. Abigail brought me so much joy, but I found myself missing the thrill of teaching little minds and working with other amazing teachers. I learned that most of my self-worth was found in my job. I loved what I did and I was pretty good at it. When you’re a mom, you don’t get the accolades you get in the work field. I found myself in a messy house with a child that was so dependent on me. After I left teaching, I also struggled to find a friend base. Many of my good friends had moved away; some out of my state, and one out of the country.
For the first year of Abby’s life, she was slow to gain weight. I was breastfeeding her and worked hard to pump extra milk to increase my supply. Once she started eating solids I was feeding her as many highly caloric foods as I could. Every month I took her to get weighed at a mother’s wellness clinic. I was obsessed with her weight gain and I let myself go. I was stuck. I was depressed.
Are you in this place? I was for quite awhile. I feel like I am only now getting out of this pit. I had to take an honest look at myself. It is hard to look in the mirror and see what you really look like. It’s even harder to look deep inside and see who you really are. I was tired of feeling the way I felt. I didn’t like myself.
I am slowly looking at the changes I need to make and doing something about them. This life is short and I don’t want to waste any more time. God is helping me. I get overwhelmed with all I need to change and what I need to do to get there. Exercising is helping. I feel like I am making new tracks in so many areas. Like any change, it is taking time and I am committed to the journey.
My BMI (Body Mass Index) is now 24 which is at the high end of normal weight. I am not running out to buy a two piece bathing suit and I am still not totally comfortable in my own skin, but I am making changes one step at a time.