Fuller bodies need to be embraced with love. Picture: iStock.
Fuller bodies need to be embraced with love. Picture: iStock.

I hate my body since having children

I MISS my old body.

I feel sad writing that, given I'm not Serena Williams or anyone else whose body did more than just the usual.

But it's true; I miss it.

After giving birth to two children who are still not in school, and then contracting a metabolic nightmare called Hashimoto's disease, I no longer have the body I once did.

That old body, with its lumps and bumps, and poor muscle tone, was still a size 8.

That old body had small breasts that fit neatly into dresses, and snugly into bikinis.

That body looked nice in clothes.

That body told the world, "I deserve your respect" and that body got it.

But this body - though it is only two sizes larger - fills me with a low-level grief.

And, just like grief over proper, substantial things, this grief has stages and dimensions to it. At first there was denial: "Oh I can just eat well and exercise for a month and it will come right off!" But Hashimoto's isn't like that.

Too little carbs, and your body will rebel, and just get bigger.

Too many carbs and you're right back where you started.

Picture: iStock.
Picture: iStock.

Then, there was bargaining.

I'd try so hard to squeeze into my size 8 jeans, cutting off all circulation under my doughy belly, before going up to size 10, and now, a size 12.

There's anger in there too.

Anger at a society that makes people, and women, in particular, feel shame for carrying extra kilos; anger at myself for not being able to properly Quit Sugar.

Anger at the stage of life I'm in where the demands of work and children leave practically nothing left over for me.

But right this moment, I'm depressed. I eat moderately well - all the vegetables, none of the processed foods, alcohol once a month.

Lots of walking. But yeah, I do eat chocolate. And Oporto.

On the odd occasion, when I catch my new body in the mirror, I see myself as a contestant in that part of The Biggest Loser that's filmed in black and white.

You know the part I mean - the sorrowful, slobby backstory. There I am, staring at myself in the mirror in my underwear, pulling on rolls of fat around my hips, and sighing, before emptying a packet of Kettle Chips into my mouth.

Only, there's no triumphant weigh-in to offset it. Or, the new, politically-correct alternative: aggressive body love.


I used to try and squeeze myself into my old size 8 jeans. Picture: iStock.
I used to try and squeeze myself into my old size 8 jeans. Picture: iStock.

Like Beyonce, I have had a caesarean; unlike Beyonce I'm not OK with my FUPA. Although, apron is more the word.

In fact, it is the semi-official term for the layer of fat that hangs down over your pubic area after a caesarean.

I am grateful that my body grew two humans, but should that gratitude outweigh the frustration I feel that it no longer does what I want or looks how it once did?

Why must I trade one for another, anyway?

Although, I know that if my body has changed, and I'm unwilling to enter into an 11-week training system or eating plan, I should just get on with life.

Or, at the very least, I should try to embrace my new self. Instead of writing this, I should be writing about how my new body is proof I can do hard things, like pregnancy, and labour. I should be posting photos of my stretchmarks and spider veins, baiting commenters and followers on social media to hail me a warrior.

I should conclude by saying that my husband loves me no matter my size, (which is a pretty low bar, if you ask me).

And then add that I wouldn't change a thing, for now my world is so rich and full of real love and things that matter, and my silly, superficial perspective has been forever changed.

I mean, it has changed.

And my life really is full, and there is definitely more love.

But not enough love, I'm afraid, to penetrate that part of myself that wishes there was a way back to size 8.