Diving into Swimwear

About a month ago I signed Isla up for swimming lessons. It’s something that I did when I was a baby, and I really think she’s going to love the water. The only thing I have to do is deal with my extreme distaste for public pools for two days a week for a month and we’ll be good. Oh, and the whole body image thing.

Ever since writing this post a few months ago, I’ve really been trying to accept my post-baby body. Really, it’s nothing to be ashamed of; I’ve lost all of my baby weight, which is amazing. I credit the entire loss to breastfeeding along, because with the calories I lose producing milk have made me a ravenous fiend. Kyle still thinks I look great, and while I appreciate his words and believe him in a way, I’m still a little disheartened and grossed out by myself – Mostly my stretch marks.

I’m really not looking forward to donning a bathing suit. I went shopping for swim wear on Sunday because my boobs got ginormous (compared to what they were, say, in high school) and because I wanted to find something to hide my stretch marks. I think these little bastards are what’s getting my down the most. Yes – I’m still trying to remind myself that they’re my “honour badge,” but it’s harrrrd. Like I said in that linky post above – I’ve dealt with body and appearance issues all my life. Chock it up to low self esteem. It’s a curse.

I pondered getting a nice one-piece bathing suit, but after looking at my choices (which are slim to none in the middle of December, I might add), I thought, “What about a tankini? I can still have the comfort of a two-piece but the cover-upage of a one piece! WIN!” Yeah – not so much. My boobs fit the cups of a medium just right but the tummy section is too loose. A small can barely contain my boobage. Ugh.

Anyway, after leaving the swimsuit store feeling rather defeated, this is how I felt:

Kyle pointed out that I shouldn’t be so worried about what I look like since Isla’s swim class is going to be full of other moms who are going to have similar body appearances as myself. Good point, my love. But – it still doesn’t help the fact that my boobs are ridiculous. Oh, and since I’ve been doing zip-all for physical activity my ass is all gross and saggy and ugh and my old bathing suit bottom doesn’t fit so hot.

But, with her swimming lessons starting just around the corner, I’m just going to suck it up (and in) and go with what I have. I’m going to TRY and accept my post-baby body as it is and done a bikini for the first time in a couple years. I’m going to keep reminding myself of what Kyle said to me, and I’m going to be grateful for the fact that I’ll be submerged in a pool so my “flaws” will be underwater anyway.

Now, just to find a top that will cover my ta-tas accordingly.

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Honour Badge

This is probably going to be the most honest and bravest post I’ve ever posted to the blog without a password on it, even more honest than my Birth Story posts (here and here).

I’m talking about my post-baby body. I’ve thought for a while about whether or not to blog about this, because it’s not something women like to talk about. In a world where appearances are everything, I just feel like I need to get the real picture out there. So here we go …

Let’s start with my general opinion of my body, pre-baby. Growing up, I had always been self-conscience about my body and overall appearance. I had bad acne during puberty and upper lip hair that made me uncomfortable being face-to-face with anyone. I was teased quite a bit, with bullies asking me if I had chicken pox (when I was around 12-years-old) and telling me that I had a thicker moustache than their uncles. Needless to say, my self esteem was lacking during the majority of high school. It wasn’t until puberty passed and I discovered the joys of hair removal cream that I started to feel better about myself.

Luckily, I did have an slim, athletic build going for me thanks to good genes and playing soccer. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I looked pretty damn good in a two-piece bathing suit. That was my only saving grace for the most part; at least I didn’t have to battle with weight issues and be teased about that on top of everything else.

Now, moving onto the present: I knew that when I got pregnant that my body was going to change big time, but I was never certain of how much of a change would happen. It was a 50/50 shot in the dark for how my body would react to being pregnant. With the women on my dad’s side of the family being slightly heavier set and with my mom being petite, I was nervous to see what would happen. As it turns out, I landed somewhere in the middle. I only grew outward belly-wise and was “all baby.” I gained a healthy amount of baby weight and only really showed in my tummy. At the end, my feet swelled to the size of basketballs, but other than that, I was thrilled with the way I looked pregnant.

My biggest worry was stretch marks. I was nervous for if I would get them (my mom didn’t) and how bad they’d be if I did get them. I was also worried about any lingering baby weight that may stick around after baby, because let’s face it, you don’t just gain 25-30lbs and expect it all to go away immediately after you give birth.

Well, I am experiencing both stretch marks and a little bit of a post-baby pooch. The pooch isn’t so bad – it’s slowly going away and I’m sure if I got my ass in gear I’ll be able to get rid of it completely. It’s a million times better than what it was when I first left the hospital, and I’m only a couple pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. The stretch marks however? Not so great. In fact, I’m pretty sure I got more AFTER I had Isla. With that, my hang-up on my body image has returned. In fact, I’m so concerned that they’ll never go away that I’ve started looking at fashionable one-piece bathing suits on Pinterest.

When Kyle seen that I was pinning one-pieces, he asked me why on earth I was doing such a thing. I told him honestly, “In case these damn stretch marks never go away.” He told me not to be so silly, that I should see them as a badge of honour for growing a human and giving birth. And, like always, he’s pretty much right. I did an awesome thing carrying a child for 9 months and bringing her into the world safe and sound, so my mentality should be all, “Yeah, I grew a human, what did you do that was so great, hmm?”

But, I’m not quite there yet. I’m finding it hard to love my body again, although I’m sure it will happen one day. It’s just going to take some time, for sure. I don’t know if the cremes and lotions I put on my skin are going to help, but at least they’re there to try and help.

And now, to be completely ballsy, here’s my post-baby body:

Stretch Marks, left

Stretch marks, tummy pooch and all.

One day I’ll be okay with all of this. Maybe one day I’ll even look like I did back when I was finishing high school. Until then, I’m just going to learn to love my body again and remind myself that all of this, and everything I went through, is a personal badge of honour. No one can tell me otherwise.

What is your personal honour badge?

Who Am I?

Okay – I know who I am, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether or not I look more like my mom or my dad. Vain, I know, but I hear both all the time.

Personally, I think I have a combination of both my parent’s noses, and my dad’s eyes. I have no idea.

My brother, on the other hand, looks SO much like my dad, it’s not even funny.

I guess when you’re half of one race and half of another, you get a mixture of everything.

Anyway, here’s a family photo from the wedding, and I’ll let you figure out who I look more like:

Which parent of yours do you think you look like?

(Sorry that this post is short and lame. That’s how I roll sometimes – Just little blips of thoughts from time to time.)