So in this post I want to get REAL. Let’s talk body image. I mean, it’s something that effects us all, right?? I’m thirty-three and in the last few years I have really struggled with my changing body. There have been lots of tears, baggy clothes, and hiding out. First, I would like to state that I do know that I am not fat nor over-weight. But that doesn’t change the fact that for years I have held a certain body type and shape. I’ve grown accustomed to being that size. With that being said, it’s tough to hit your thirties and see your body morph into something you don’t even recognize.
It started about three months after my husband and I began dating. I was thirty. Slowly I started gaining weight and getting bigger. We moved in together at this time and TJ had to go to work on the weekend in which we moved so my mom came over to help me with some unpacking and such. I was wearing some athletic leggings and my mom said to me, “those DO NOT fit you”. My mother is honest to a fault. Something I happen to love (most of the time anyway). I will always know if I really look good in something or if I shouldn’t go out in public in it thanks to her. Only this time, her comment brought me to tears. I started sobbing about how this was the only thing that fit me! So we left the house and went shopping. Now normally, I would be ecstatic! Yet, this was the beginning of my hate of shopping. We bought me a couple pairs of jeans and a few flowy tops and made our way back home. It temporarily helped me to feel better, having some clothes that fit but it didn’t last long till I felt uncomfortable again since I was still a growing girl, er, woman. My mom and others kept ensuring me that this weight gain was just because I was so happy in my new relationship and we were going out to eat a lot. This was the norm they all said.
Six months later my dad died. I have written many other blog posts on the subject so I won’t go into the details here but just know, it shook up my world and I fell into a deep depression for a long time which just led to more weight gain. It was the most difficult time of my life. And it just didn’t seem fair that my body had to go along with my mental health.
When I met my husband I weighed in at about one hundred fifteen pounds soaking wet. I’m 5’7. So as you can imagine, I wasn’t very shapely. In fact, my husband made jokes about the flatness of my ass and where were my hips?! Back then I swore my hips were big. But boy, was I clueless about how much bigger they could get. And not just my hips. ALL OF ME. My waist is has become wider, my thighs touch, and my face looks swollen. Again, I know this is the norm for many girls, but not at all for me. When I see pictures of myself now I don’t even recognize that girl. I look uncomfortable in my own skin. I used to know exactly how to pose for pics to feel great. Something that seemed so second nature. Now, there’s no pose that makes me feel good about myself in a picture. Which isn’t a drastically important thing in life, to take great pictures, unless of course you live in the social media age… I realized, I have to change my mindset. I’m not in my twenties anymore. I must accept that my body is going to continue to change as I age. Especially when I don’t make the biggest effort to eat the best (hello! Taco Bell is my favorite food).
But see, here’s the thing. Despite not feeling comfortable in what I see in pictures and in the mirror, I am happy. I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I have a husband who loves me dearly. A husband who chases me around the house and finds me irresistible. There’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t make me feel as if I’m the prettiest thing he’s ever seen. Which let me tell you, is quite impressive considering he mostly sees me in scrubs our pajamas (and not the sexy kind). Why is it that we can’t see ourselves the way other people see us? The way the ones who know us best and love us see us. Why are we so damn hard on ourselves?!
So my mindset now is to just continue on with my new love for pilates and hope that the strength it brings me combined with my husbands affection for my ever growing back-side will bring me some peace in my new shape. Because isn’t confidence and happiness the sexiest thing anyway?!
If you’re over thirty and struggling with your new body changes, I hope that you have someone to tell you how beautiful you look every day, even when you don’t feel it. And if you don’t, let me be the one to remind you… You are beautiful. And you’re much more than just a shape.