I knew there would be a mix of emotions when my third and final baby was weaned from breastfeeding. We went all through extended nursing and I put it on the record at two and a half years. I am proud of what we have achieved together. oh Ready. When the day finally came, I thought I knew what was going to happen — I thought it would be a relief to have been here for so long.
Instead, I was surprised to find that I was also feeling another emotion. disgust.
I started my family in my early 30s, and at 41 now, my body looks almost nothing like what I did back then. Not only do I look my age, but I’ve been using pregnancy and breastfeeding safe skin care products for nearly a decade now, so I’m super excited to be able to apply it to my face every night before bed. You know me more than ever.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t wake up one day and suddenly realize I’ve put on 30 pounds in the last few years. There was never any doubt about the fact that there are more people to love these days. In fact, whenever I wanted to be reminded of how much I had changed, I could look at all the clothes hanging in my closet that no longer fit me since 2019.
instead it was more like reason It seemed like a puff of smoke overnight, so I never cared how much weight I had put on.
The moment my son was weaned, my body finally became mine. Before that happened, my body was working hard to serve others, so my weight didn’t really matter to me.
Having my son at the start of the 2020 pandemic lockdown allowed me to streamline maintaining my pregnancy weight. Like many people, when the stress and anxiety of what was happening right outside my door set in, I turned to food. It weighs on me. And after all that late-night snacking and indoor time, literally It started to weigh on me.
Still, I didn’t mind — I was breastfeeding, fueling my body with everything I needed to be able to meet my baby’s needs for as long as I had a baby. What was it about making sure you were a few pounds between your friends?
After my son was weaned and my body went back to being my own, those extra pounds went from being a figurative burden to being a literal one. I couldn’t and realized I couldn’t stand the tightness of my pants when I got dressed for the day. There were times when I felt suffocated by the clothes clinging to me in places and ways that never existed, without the excuse that they existed only for someone else.
While all of these feelings have been catalysts for change (I gave up late-night snacks almost immediately), I humbly remind myself that a lot of life is about the perspective and grace we give ourselves. It was also something that made me want to.
I know I’m more than numbers on scales and pant sizes.My body is more than what I’m doing right now. It is the sum of everything my body has done and will ever do to bring me to this moment.
I may not be using it now to nourish another life, or to nourish the life that was once in me, but I still use it to raise this family. These thick thighs carry me around the field when I’m at soccer practice and try to run with my 8 year old. When she walks into my room at night after a bad dream, my once skinny arms fill with all the strength I need to hold my five year old. . And my lower back, which has been so flat in less than a decade, makes the perfect landing spot for my 2-year-old’s head when he whispers “cuddle up” on the couch.
No, this is not the body it used to be – and while I may not necessarily like the look of it, I have to admit I do. feel while doing everything my family needs.
Wouldn’t it be great to lose that pregnancy weight? Of course! Are you going to let that number pop into your head and convince yourself that you’re somehow less until the scale hits past numbers?
My body still does the hard work of providing for my family, and there’s no reason to be less kind to myself than I used to be. I might have less after-dinner chocolate chip cookies and less fast food burgers and fries in my life, but if I waste another minute beating myself up for not looking like a lifetime , I’ll be daunted… before.
After all, she is no more. It’s time to let her go and start loving her new version of myself that I have become.