This body performs miracles, yet I have struggled with body image my entire life. As far back as I can remember, I can picture myself sitting on the toilet while I went pee, identifying each roll. Around my teenage years, I foolishly believed that I found a way to conquer my body. How? I stopped eating. In the pursuit of being thin I believed I’d found a get skinny quick scheme. I felt proud and beautiful; but in retrospect, I starved myself from the connection with my body.

Pregnancy body image

During the pregnancy, I gained 102 pounds. No, that is not a typo, 102 pounds. After my son was born, I felt far too exhausted to care about how I looked or felt. I continued to wear my maternity clothes, avoided mirrors like a ninja, and silently hide in shame. Having a healthy pregnancy body image was a battle for me.

It’s funny how much I lost myself in that time without realizing it. I went from a confident woman to someone who couldn’t even join mommy and me fitness classes because everything hurt. The praise women got for “getting their body back” so quickly after baby, only made me feel more uncomfortable in my own skin. I tried everything to lose the weight – protein shake diets, calorie restrictions, heat freezing treatments, consults for cool freezing treatments. I tired everything except loving myself.

It took me two years before I looked at myself naked in the mirror. I stood there and touched my c-section scar for the first time since baby. Tears flowed down my face. I was absolutely exhausted. Exhausted from battling my own body, telling myself how unattractive I am, and giving everything to everyone except myself. My body did not fail me, my body is beautiful and strong. To help me believe this I had to learn more about my amazing mom body.

This body, THIS BODY, performs miracles and created my baby. It may not be perfect, but I am a warrior. Years later while I am sitting on the toilet, I find myself admiring my rolls, my imperfections, and stretch marks. I feel proud of my body and the imperfections. I’ve learned that you can’t buy body confidence, it is learned.