I’m Done Stressing About My Post-Baby Body

Because I felt my boobs and hips made me “fat,” I started dieting when I was, oh, 11 years old. I was eating bran muffins and measuring out my food and all of that, despite my parents’ misgivings. I didn’t have an eating disorder, but I definitely was far too concerned with my weight, especially since I was a healthy little girl.
It started me down a long road of yo-yo dieting, body hatred, and low self-esteem. I was never one of those people who could eat whatever I wanted, but years of juice fasts and fad diets did a real number on my metabolism. And unfortunately or fortunately, I really love food, so whenever I tried no-carb or no-sugar or no-fat diets, it never stuck for very long.

At some point, I finally accepted that these curves weren’t going anywhere, no matter how much I dieted and exercised. I also realized that, gasp, men actually liked a girl with a little meat on her bones. Once I was able to accept my body shape, I felt liberated, but it didn’t stop the cycle of weight loss-weight gain-weight loss-weight gain that had always been a running theme in my life.

Since having my twins a few years ago, my body is far, far from my ideal. Not only have I been unable to lose those last several pounds, but I’ve got this belly pooch, all lumpy and bumpy and loose, that just gets ickier the more weight that I lose. Yes, I know that this body of mine created miracles and I really do appreciate all of its hard work. I mean, I’m one of those people who really loved being pregnant, so I get it. But it’s tough to really appreciate all that your belly has done when you’re trying to fold it into your skinny jeans.

Thing is, it’s been three and a half years since I gave birth to my babies. That’s a long time ago! And in that time, I’ve dieted, worked out religiously, and adopted a healthier lifestyle. I look fine, but I don’t look like my pooch-free, cellulite-free, flat-tummied 25-year-old self. Even with all of my exercise, I’m softer now, squishier. I can’t wear a bikini. I can’t wear short shorts. I can’t wear crop tops. No, my old body ain’t coming back. Ever. Those days are over.

So, having realized that, why should I spend one more minute pining for the body that used to be? Why waste any more time on something that cannot be changed? And even if it could be changed — with surgery or hours of daily exercise or a super-rigid diet — would I want that?

The answer is, hell no! I do eat healthy and I do exercise, but I also eat Girl Scout cookies and Indian food and big bowls of pasta. I finish my boys’ grilled cheese sandwiches and steal a few fries. And I don’t want to give those things up, even if it would ultimately earn me a size 4 body. I’d rather be fat and happy. Seriously, life is too short.

So, I’ve let go. No, I haven’t let myself go, but I’m done trying to make my body anything other than what it is. I eat right and I exercise to be at my very best, and to feel my very best, both for me and for my boys. I take care of my body because it’s the only one that I’ve been given, and I need to treat it with respect, both in words and in action. This is my body at 37, after twin babies, a couple of traumas, and a lifetime of yo-yo dieting. I’m grateful for it, with all its lumps and bumps, and accept it just how it is.

Photo: Getty 

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