I am almost 3 months postpartum with my second child, S. I compare this postpartum experience with my first, O. And let me tell you, my body isn’t bouncing back as it did with my first one. I have always had an issue with my body, and in turn my self-esteem, but this time it is a little different.
I want to look like everyone else, in the general sense. I want to be more like how they look and a little less of how I look. And while I know deep down that it is unrealistic of me to have high expectations of what my body should look like (especially after two c-section births), I am hard on myself.
I have certain expectations of how I should look, and I’m not meeting them. I am usually comfortable in my own skin, but lately it hasn’t been that way. Constant thoughts of I need to be those measurements or I need to wear this dress size. And while we can make arguments that it is the media portraying an ugly and unrealistic image, it isn’t usually them that I get ideas from. It’s me.
I don’t know if anyone else experiences this, but when I look and see the reflection in the mirror, I feel great. I say to myself that I look fabulous. Everything that I’m wearing? Perfect. But when I see pictures of myself? Ugh. Let me just insert all the different sound bites for groaning. I always wonder where is the disconnect? Why do I feel one way at first and react differently the next?
Diets? Sure, I’ve been on them, but they aren’t that effective for me. Exercise? Yes, I do, but it’s not enough. Eat healthier? Why you may think I don’t, because of the different food pictures on Instagram, I do.
I am a grown woman, in my 30s, and I have high expectations of my own image. I do not want to have muffin tops and I want to have proportionate measurements. I don’t want to wear these clothing sizes, and would rather wear something that reflects a healthier looking self image.
But I have to be real with myself. I have to give myself and my body the benefit of the doubt and give myself time to let all the elements work, even give my body time to heal from postpartum elements.
But like I said earlier, I am my own enemy. Stupid high expectations. Really stupid.