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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The State of My Body

My name is Yin, and I don't like my body. If you travel back in time, you will find that I never liked my body even when I was super skinny. Stupid self-esteem and body issues. Well now I've aged, had a baby, and my body doesn't even resemble what it used to look like. My stomach is flabby. My muscles have long disappeared. The last time I tried to work out was ages ago, and I'm too lazy to exercise regularly. I don't check the number on the scale because some days it doesn't matter to me. I have a visual image of what I want my body to look like, and while that may not be realistic, I at least want to fit back into some of my old clothes.

Yin Plays Dress Up
skinny Yin -- April 2009

Here's the problem. I started out skinny at 109 lbs. I didn't gain much during my pregnancy due to gestational diabetes and topped the scale at 126 lbs before delivering Little E. At 6 weeks postpartum, I weighed 108 lbs. Great... except I have gained a few pounds since then, and I still can't fit into most of my clothes. I was too busy in the first year of being a mom to find the time to feed myself a proper meal. I was still bitter about having gestational diabetes and wanted to eat all the foods that I missed out on for three months. Little E had really bad eczema, and I started to limit my own diet to help his skin clear up a bit. I didn't eat wheat and dairy for 6 months. Now that I no longer have any restrictions, I eat as I please. My leftover sweet tooth from pregnancy doesn't seem to want to go away.

Strolling Around the Neighborhood
a week after giving birth and hiding in sweatpants and an over sized shirt

I'm Asian. I see people judging me constantly. Heck I just popped a baby out, and everyone wanted to point to my stomach and say, "Why is she still fat?" My parents pestered me about it. My MIL even made a few comments. It wasn't acceptable for me to still look pregnant right after giving birth, and it wasn't acceptable that it took me a few months to get rid of the extra weight. That didn't help with my body image issues and just made it worse. I feared having human contact because I didn't want to feel constantly judged.

Garage Sale with Elliot
hiding my extra tummy weight with an Ergo

I exclusively pumped for a year, and I always had an excuse for packing on a few extra pounds. I needed it to keep up my milk production. I ate an extra 500 calories a day to meet my body's needs. It was a huge change but one that I fully accepted. This was what my body needed in order to provide nutrients for my baby. I had no problem with keeping on the weight, knowing that it will eventually melt away once I stopped pumping. Well a year went by, I stopped pumping, and the weight remained the same. Sigh. I pretty much set myself for failure with the assumption that my extra flab would disappear as soon as I stopped breastfeeding.

Cherry Picking at Milburn Orchards
unflattering picture of me but there's a cute baby and hubby next to me :)

That brings me to my current state. I checked the scale recently, and it wasn't too scary. Like I mentioned before, the number doesn't bother me as much as my actual body. My goal for this year is to eat healthy. That means eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits with proteins. That means eating three meals a day. My skinny years were not healthy years by any means, and I want to change that. I want to maintain my weight and eat better. I want to try to be more active (besides chasing a toddler around and running up and down the stairs throughout the day). Maybe I'll try yoga at home a few times a week. Maybe I'll try running around the neighborhood again. Part of the problem is recognizing it, right? I no longer want to live in sweatpants and sweatshirts. I want to like my body again. One step at a time.

Pool Adventure
so thankful for stylish one piece bathing suits

P.S. I also understand that lots of people would love to be in my body. I'll be honest and tell you that I wear a size small now (going from an extra small pre-pregnancy). Pant size... 2-4. Astonishing, huh? They are relatively small numbers, but it makes the biggest difference on my petite body. I'm afraid of feeling too comfortable in my new skin and not being able to find motivation to get back in shape.

P.P.S. I still wear maternity clothes because it's so comfortable. Maybe I should stop...

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