Having body image issues is normal. I don’t think anyone is ever 100% happy with their figure.
Something we don’t often address are the experiences of those women who have these feelings and self-perceptions – and then become pregnant. Understandably, this can make for a very difficult situation. Your body changes so much while pregnant – and again after the birth – that it’s a constant battle to stay positive about your body throughout such a period of dramatic transition. As someone nearing the end of a pregnancy, my body has changed so much – but while I feel huge, I’m pretty confident about my new shape. I love my bump. My tummy has an excuse to be big – I’m currently 7 months pregnant while writing this, and trying not to stress about the weight gain. It’s normal in pregnancy, and I was mentally prepared for it – which has helped.
What I’m not prepared for, however, is the body I am going to be left with, once I have given birth. At 38 years-old, my body isn’t going to adjust easily; its going to take quite a bit of effort to get back into a physical form that I am familiar with –
and the postpartum journey ahead makes me feel quite anxious. I’m know I’m going to have to learn to love my body all over again – and the thought of that is a little daunting.
I’ve been on my body acceptance journey for nearly two years now. While it’s a constant battle to be positive about my lumps and bumps, pregnancy, while a wonderful thing, is still a source of anxiety, even for someone who puts a good deal of focus on self-love and self care. It’s disheartening to think of the experiences of women who have not been taught these values – as they are not prevalent in media, and are not things we tend to actively discuss.
I’m not going to have time to go to the gym with a newborn and a three year old, so I’m going to have to be careful about what I eat. The thought of dieting instantly makes me want to eat more – so I’m telling myself that it’s not about dieting, it’s about looking after myself with sensible eating – and being positive and appreciative of what my body has done for me.
It may be bigger, and it may have more stretch marks, and it may take some time for me to come to terms with all of this – but it’s produced life. And life is something so precious in this world, that I plan to put my image hangups on the back burner – and focus on some serious baby and self-love. – GJ
Ginny lives in the UK and started her body positive journey in 2016. She credits much of her journey to self-acceptance to the love and support of her boyfriend. Ginny enjoys costume and nude modeling, and is an ambassador for the organization, Non Airbrushed Me (NAM).