I’m Giving Up on Postpartum Body Positivity
I thought I could do it. I thought I could accept, even love, my body after baby. I thought I could celebrate the new form my body took after growing and giving life to my new favorite human. I thought I could join the movement. But I can’t. I wish I could, but I just can’t.
I’ve always struggled with my body. I was always hyper aware of what my body looked like in comparison to other girls. While I was never extremely overweight, I was just overweight enough to feel bigger and uglier than the girls and women against whom I pitted myself. (This was also a learned behavior and a practice that was ingrained in me from childhood, but that’s a trauma story for another time.) I’m fairly certain I have a case of undiagnosed body dysmorphia because, if I’m being honest, I’ve never even been ‘fat,’ by whoever’s definition to which I suppose I subscribe.
I’m not fatphobic. I see beauty and value in all bodies of all sizes. I am body positive- I’m positive that other bodies regardless of size or shape are beautiful and worthy. Not mine.
About four years ago, I decided I was going to be positive about my body. To do that, however, I had to do whatever it took to make it a body about which I could be positive. I was working out and eating well, making sustainable lifestyle changes, but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I enlisted the help of a good friend of mine who is a certified fitness instructor. I asked her to be my personal trainer. It was the best thing I ever did.
She whipped my ass into shape. She taught me about strength and boundaries. She gave me the tools to transform my body into one of which I could be proud. And I did.
I was strength training, running, spinning, doing yoga, Pilates- all of it. I was eating well, but I wasn’t being super restrictive or counting calories. I was thriving. I looked and felt better than I ever had. By all metric standards I was technically still slightly overweight, but I was strong and fit and toned, and I felt good about that.
I maintained that lifestyle through my pregnancy, with modifications of course. I didn’t have a problem with my pregnant body. I took care of it. I embraced it. I knew I would…