I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to say about the first day of Neghar Fonooni’s Bikini Rebellion challenge in a post on Instagram (where the photo referenced can be found). So it’s become a blog post.
I have never posted my bare stomach to the world before. It’s not because I was self-conscious of it. It’s just that it never happened (and I’ll admit, it felt weird). This is what pregnancy has done to my body. To the left, the day after I found out I was pregnant. Taken first thing in the morning. I was roughly 15-16% BF at that point. I never really weigh myself, so I couldn’t be accurate with my stats at that point. I just know that I’ve never focused on my stomach. If it was flat, it was flat. Most times, it had that “athletic figure” small bulge. Which was fine. This is also the same day I told my husband to remember what I looked like in a 2-piece, because after the baby, it’d probably never happen again. I didn’t know how I’d handle stretch marks. I have them from growth spurts on the insides of my thighs and the sides of my butt, but how would I be about them on my stomach.
I’d never put my thought into my body, until I became pregnant. I’d throw on a swimsuit without a second thought and go out and mow my lawn, do my gardening, wash my car. Never caring what people said or thought. After I found out I was pregnant, I realized I was throwing on a tank top over my swimsuit, and just dealing with sweating to death as I mowed or gardened. I’d sit out to read in my suit, just around the corner so traffic couldn’t see. Partly because I wanted to keep my pregnancy secret until we hit the end of the first trimester. And partly because, I just wanted to hide.
The only place I grew was my stomach. And to the point of extreme discomfort. I didn’t think my stomach could stretch anymore.
The photo on the right, is just me a few days ago. I judge my body based on how my clothes fit, and after I’d gotten dressed that morning, the pants I’d bought just a few weeks before were super baggy. I stripped down and put my “slacker” clothes back on. At this point, I’d worn my suit a few times. Just sitting outside and reading. Around the corner. Away from traffic on my busy road.
That little bit of belly that is still hugging me feels weird. For the most part, the fact that this belly was home to my little baby, seems foreign to me. I look down at my body, and the only marks that I bear is the one from my cesarean and my fading linea nigra. I’m free of varicose veins that some have during and after. Those two little marks that I had thought were stretch marks have disappeared. I do not bear the stereotypical “mom bod”. I’m just a body.
I’ve always had a little bit of a tummy, but until now, it’s never caused me a sense of discomfort. When I run, it runs too now. When I do jump squats, it does jump squats along with me. It’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable. But yesterday I did something different. Something I only did once last year while pregnant (the photo on IG standing by my car with my kayak paddle in hand). I put on my suit, parked my car on the lawn, and washed it. No tank top and shorts on over it. No occasionally having to squirt myself with the hose because I was hot and sweating (I love summer, but I do get REALLY hot when I’m outside doing things, hence why I wear my suit for EVERYTHING). Traffic went by, and I never hid.
I dug deep to push aside whatever demon had put me around the corner. Put me in that tank top. I found myself again. Little baby pooch and all.
Whatever it is that had me running for the corner, I need to stop. I had a baby. I’m only 16-weeks postpartum (I’ll be four months on the 14th of this month). I’m not a supermodel. Or a fitness model, who, just two weeks postpartum was posting video of walking lunges, training for a 50-miler at just four weeks postpartum. I’m not that actress that graced the cover of Women’s Health just six weeks after giving birth, having admittedly nearly killed myself to get that “bikini bod”.
I’m a real life person who just had a baby. A real life person that is taking her time, letting my body heal.
I’ve never compared myself to them before, so it’s foolish of me to do so now. Even if it is subconsciously.