I'm not a size 2. I don't even know what the hell that is. The smallest I have ever been is a size 7 and that was in my freshman year of high school. I have always fluctuated between a size 10-12. Even in my most fittest days, biking 60 miles a week, I never made it out of a 10. I'm just a stocky girl. Big boned and big boobs. Horrible Italian, redneck genes.
During my pregnancy I went up to a size 16 and seven months postpartum, I'm a size 14. I'm not afraid to admit it. Sure, I am a little sad about the lingering weight. I have a small image issue but it is what it is right now. I'm the master of the delete button and the "untag" option when it comes to photos. Daddy Mayhem and I have both taken steps to eat better, healthier, and make changes. Come spring, I will get back out on that bike and ride like the wind. For now, I accept myself and move on.
With this acceptance came a revelation. I was in serious denial at first. You see, I was perfectly fine purchasing a couple of pairs of size 14 jeans. Most woman will suck it up and go up a size for comfort. I can still fit into my size 12's...if I don't eat a meal. Now, who wants that non-sense? But my bras? No way was I going to even fathom getting sized. I knew my old bras didn't fit. They stopped fitting two weeks after I found out I was pregnant. However, I did what I had to do to cram the ladies into what I had. I realized a few days before my 40th birthday that a bra that doesn't fit your girls, just makes you look heavier. They weren't sitting nicely. They weren't perky (just so we are clear, only a good bra can help that issue here). There was no cleavage. They were just everywhere. So, I broke down and went to the mall.
I have been purchasing my bras at Lane Bryant stores for several years now. They know how to handle girls of mass proportion and by girls I mean boobs not actual woman. However, on this particular day, the sales women, one in particular, only wanted to deal with woman of mass proportion and not me. I felt a little like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. They wouldn't help me. As much as I tried to get someone's attention, they turned the other way. Was it the infant in the stroller?
I finally had to make myself known that I was shopping for bras and I needed to be sized. A very nice dressing room attendant helped me by sizing me and then pointing me in the right direction of the bras I would find most comfortable. I also found a few nice shirts that I thought might fit me and I purchased them. However, the entire time I was checking out, the saleswoman at the register kept making snide remarks. Things like" I hope this color looks good on you" and "If you spend$5 more, you could get some bonus bucks for your next visit but I'm sure you won't be needing that". At first I blew it off. That is until I had to return one of the shirts the next day.
Of course, with my luck, I get Miss Sassy Pants. She rolls her eyes at me as she is doing my return. When I asked her if the store carried black blazers she chuckled and said "We did, but don't anymore. We have white and periwinkle which I am sure is NOT what you are looking for." Then came, "Even if we did, we don't carry YOUR size". Excuse me? My size? Was I seriously being dissed for not being overweight enough? Was this supposed to make me feel good? The last I checked, your smallest size is a size 14. Guess what Large Marge, you DO carry my size! I actually found an entire rack of black blazers which infuriated me even more because she clearly was lying to me.
It was hard enough to have to face the fact that I actually was purchasing articles of clothing from a plus size store other than bras. It was depressing enough to know that I am considered plus sized. For someone to shame you for being too skinny to shop in their store or treat your weight like its a phase you are going through simply because you gave birth, either makes you want to binge eat or jump for joy. I couldn't decide. I just knew it made me angry. Instead of making someone feel like crap about their size regardless of what it is, your job is to make people feel confident in themselves.
For new moms facing image issues, I think self confidence is key. We spend too much time reading magazines or watching celebrity news shows that flash images and stories of the "hot mama" that just gave birth 9 weeks ago and she's rocking a tight little black dress. Well, good for her. It must be nice to have a nanny, personal chef, and a personal trainer. Cheers to you, skinny bitch! Now, where is your husband again?
During pregnancy we fret about the weight gain, the water gain, the facial gain, the boob gain, the ass gain...the gain, in general, that we forget to enjoy the pregnancy. After the birth, we look at ourselves just hours postpartum and see flab and fat. Months later we are still looking at the same image just a little less. It doesn't go away by itself. It doesn't go away without hard work. And quite honestly, your newborn is hard work. So is a full time job, taking care of a home, and the rest of your family. Unless someone has created the liposuction daily pill solution, we are kinda screwed.
For all moms battling weight issues, you are not alone. There are millions upon millions of mommies who look in the mirror the same as you everyday. Hold your head up high. Screw the saleswoman in the store that is clearly working there for the discount. Smile! Dress for success. Doll yourself up. And most importantly, hug your kids. After all, you can add weight gain to the "blame" list of reminders when they are 16 years old and claiming how hard their life is.
Read past posts from our Mayhem Mommies here!
More from parenting