Six weeks ago today, I was hooked up to an IV and watching a nurse check on the progress of a horizontal incision that arched across my lower abdomen.
Sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it?
So much drama (and dollars … oy, the bills have started flying in) just to bring this little guy into the world:
And now, six weeks after my c-section, I find myself battling a mind game with my old insecurities and body issues.
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re dealing with stretched out, saggy skin … body fat that has been redistributed leaving all of your clothing not quite fitting just right . . . and monstrous nursing boobies that give you the appearance of being “matronly” instead of curvy.
Yep, I’m officially in the stage I dreaded the entire time I was pregnant. The awkward, depressing stage of getting your body back.
The good news, I suppose, is that I have lost the weight I gained creating Barney Kneeknuckles. The bad news is that I don’t look any better … not in my eyes, anyway.
I have always, always had a negative self-image — even back in my skinny days when I had NO need to hate my looks and figure. Goodness, I look back at pictures from high school and my early twenties and I want to KICK myself for thinking I was big and unnattracive. Good GRIEF! I should have been enjoying my “youth” and figure instead of trying to hide my 125 pound (which I thought was heavy) frame under baggy clothes. I should have been enjoying the chance to wear cute clothes instead of buying conservative, grandma-attire … why didn’t I realize that I looked good? Why was I so caught up in only seeing negative crap?
Of course, I could ask myself the same question now.
Why not just focus on enjoying my role as a new mommy? Why am I focusing on an imperfect, “heavier than I’d like it” body?
I don’t know.
I wish I could shut off the part of my brain that nit-picks my looks. The part of my brain that causes me to cry when I look in a dressing room mirror and sees that the “cute outfit on the mannequin” no longer looks cute on my “real” body. The part of my brain that fixates on imperfections and leaves me always, always, always wondering if everyone else is seeing how horrible I look.
I never relax. I never feel “good” about myself.
But, I’m trying to change. This past week, I dressed up every day — even attempting make-up — instead of just wearing my “Mommy Clothes” (i.e. oversized yoga pants and tank tops). I hoped that by putting on dressier stuff and jewelry I could trick my mind out of this stupid (’cause there’s no better word for it than stupid) funk.
It kind of worked.
I would start the day feeling pleased with myself. I was dressed. Hair coiffed. Powder and lip gloss on.
But, by the end of the day, I found myself cringing as I walked past mirrors. Cringing.
Really? Yes, really.
It seems retraining how your brain works isn’t as simple as just putting on a little bling and powder.
Maybe getting back on the old treadmill will do it. ‘Cause that’s the next plan of attack.
That and a whole lotta prayers.
I’m tired of being negative.