This Body

Whenever I leave the house, especially for a date or occasion, I stand in front of the mirror agonising over an outfit. This fact annoys me. 8 months post baby it could be easy to fall into the pitfalls of self loathing. A voice inside my head could easily take over but I monitor it closely so it doesn’t get too loud. Yet sometimes it lets slip whispers of hard words riddled with brutal judgement about the way I look. That’s the way this media obsessed society has built me.

I don’t have a body that “bounced back” post baby. Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad. Not too bad at all but it looks a bit more pudgy than it once did. By the scales I weigh 10 kg’s more than what I did 5 years ago. My skin is a bit softer and it curves more than it may have once. When I wear something fitted there are bulges which aren’t airbrushed images of beauty and I could no longer be called “Miss Perfect” as I once was in high school by the boys who thought I had THE BEST set. My breasts are a little more worn in and like anything that is used excessively, they’re a little stretched and dangle on the droopier side rather than that of their perky youth.

My stomach is no longer flat, this is why my toddler questions if there is another baby inside my tummy. It does some dangly apron like thing that I don’t particularly like and it wobbles in a fashion that a Victoria Secret model would find mortifying and which would ultimately end her career in a nanosecond. It also has grey marks across it that look like I have been scratched in a battle with a cat. These are my war wounds. This is my body.

I am not Miranda. I am not Gisele. I am not Kim.

I am a woman who has carried two healthy humans inside of me for nine months and my body thrived. I housed a human with a backpack strapped onto my back whilst I climbed Scottish mountains and my body didn’t question it. I have laboured two babies naturally and my body didn’t resist. My body healed second degree vaginal tears post birth without complication. My breasts have never failed me with an endless supply of enriching breast milk for two hungry boys nor has it given up within these constant, testing years of sleep deprivation. 10 months post partum I ran a 10km fun run in a personal best time (56 minutes) at 7am after waking 3 times to a teething baby. It has, with a 3 week old baby, endured the gawwwwd awful effects of food poisoning and had no food for 4 days and yet my body still got me up at night to feed and produced the milk so very needed. It has carried me, albeit in auto pilot mode, when emotionally I have been vacant and unable to take the controls.

Unknowingly people may judge and think I have ‘let myself go’ but quite the contrary. My body has never let go. The raw strength and determination of my body has carried me through unthinkable emotional and exhausting circumstances. Whilst it may have been weak, it has never faulted or given in. It’s endlessly giving.

This is a strength that not even my old mentally tough nut yogi self could grasp or imagine understanding.

Let’s be real about it. 5 years ago I did 2 hours a day of yoga. An unbelievable luxury to my existence now. So 5 years ago I had a body that could wear anything. My vanity was much more cosy but I knew nothing about resilience or strength or love.

So the voices in the mirror can keep trying to undo me but they can never trumps how thankful I am for this body nor overshadow the utter respect I have for it. What this shabby body has achieved and given me, that’s perfection.

body heartImage Source:  devinlynnx via Creative Commons

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32 Responses to This Body

  1. Amen sister! You’re gorgeous and all the more for what your body has done :-)

  2. WOW! So well written.. I could never write about my body that has carried 7 beautiful souls in it.

    Thank you for sharing this with us all here in the www!

  3. ann says:

    Love this. If more people accepted and admired what their bodies achieve the world would be a much better place.

  4. I find my body love comes in ebbs and flows… but the fact of the matter remains; this body of mine, like you, made and then carried perfection. Twice. And even in the worst of times that us something pretty special, and worth celebrating. A beautiful price, Vicki. X

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Bec. It’s an ongoing relationship with our bodies isn’t it? Good and bad days but definitely after 2nd bubba I have come to a more understanding place. I am much more comfortable than after baby 1.
      Thanks for the encouraging words lady xx

  5. ^^ What Kylie said. Our bodies are made to be awesome!

  6. Brilliantly written, perfectly told. Love the body you are in for it has provided you with priceless gifts. Lovely post. #Thankful Thursday

  7. Kathy says:

    This is lovely – you have let your body do the amazing thing of being a mother and your body and soul are stronger for it, that is the most important thing.

  8. Trish says:

    This resonates with me too – and I love that image.
    I am in awe of you – 10 months post partum you ran a 10km fun run in a personal best time (56 minutes) at 7am after waking 3 times to a teething baby. I cannot run under 59mins and I’ve been running for over a year no baby excuses.

    • Vicki says:

      Well…. I was trying desperately to keep up with my best friend (not a mother and quite fit). I am quite competitive and I didn’t want to lag behind too much. Something about my ego needing to feel like I could do that.
      I was wrecked. Completely. Had to have a burger straight afterwards 😉

  9. Ai Sakura says:

    such a beautiful post, and so is your body. My girl just turned 5 years and sometimes she’ll ask me if there’s another baby inside my soft tummy too haha

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  10. Maxabella says:

    Amen, dear Vicki. Mind you, I “let myself go” well before children (not that I let on about that – I always blame the kids). I guess I just got over worrying so much about my appearance and wanted to spend my time worrying about more productive things. I never looked back. The minute I loosened the reins and accepted my body as the outcome of joyful living, I’ve been happy ever since. x

  11. Zanni Louise says:

    Sounds like you have a very healthy, balanced relationship with your post baby body. I think I have too. It’s definitely rounder and floppier, but as far as I can tell it’s healthy. My husband helps validate me all the time by saying things like how motherhood suits me. x

  12. Gorgeous words from a gorgeous mumma. I too have made peace with my post baby body, most of the time. How I look no longer defines who I am, and this is what I want my children to know, especially my daughter. My body is bloody amazing, 3 kids in 3.5 years, it deserve an honorary Dame hood I reckon! xx

  13. Grace says:

    Great post, Vicki! Society places way too much importance on how a post-baby body “should” look. We need to embrace those soft bits and dangling aprons more. And posts like this one helps with that!

  14. T'lia says:

    Beautiful post Vicki. :-) I too am in awe of my body and what it can do. Pregnancy and birth is such a great reminder of that!!

  15. Rhianna says:

    Beautiful post Vicki and our motherly body are most certainly something to be thankful for. Thanks for coming and joining in with #thankfulthursday with wonderful thanks

  16. 7 years post baby and my body is still nothing like it was – and Im okay with that. I do want to improve but if I dont, I will still proudly wear my skin as a shrine to my beautiful family. Love this post xx

  17. […] new. It might seem contradictory to what I wrote recently about being totally accepting of my body and image, but my jeans are getting tight and I had ANOTHER person ask me if I was […]

  18. Francesca says:

    Out of the mouths of babes – isn’t it “funny” when little ones ask if there’s a baby in your belly?

    Sometimes my girls like to jiggle my jelly belly and I tell them, it’s happy because it had them inside it.

  19. Mummalove says:

    Beautiful truth, Vicki xx

  20. Wow this was an amazing read. I’m pretty sure you look better after two kids than I do now. It’s great to read a post from someone who actually appreciates their body!

  21. […] yet there is a depth of strength that never lets me down. I’ve written about it once before here. I wish those words were in my core and conquering my thoughts […]

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