late night me. Look at me. Trying to be sexy with my saggy boobs. God. I remember when my boobs used to be “Up Where They Belong.” Now, they don’t even START until about “mid waist”. Awesome.
My relationship with my body is a complicated one. It’s one that few people understand.
Learning to love and accept my “after 3 kids and a huge weight loss” body isn’t easy. There’s not very much to love about it. Infact? I can’t think of ONE reason to love it. Sad.
But I can think of so many reasons that I hate it. I could go on for hours.
Sagging boobs.
Loose skin.
Stretch marks. (Everywhere)
Jacked up belly button.
Veiny legs.
Hanging belly.
I have spent a great deal of time crying about the state of my body. I’ve spent a great deal of time wishing I had taken better care of it.
It’s affected me in many areas of my life and the hatred and shame I associate with it has prevented me from doing many things in my life.
Things like taking a shower with my husband (who begs me on a regular basis to do so), get massages (I have to get naked? Pass.), going to the beach with friends (Shorts? Tank tops? SWIMSUITS? Pass.). The list goes on and on.
I’ve gotten much better about not letting my body hatred keep me from enjoying life, but there are still times where I feel completely uncomfortable and unable to enjoy life because of how I feel about my body.
Even in Aerobic dance class! (ha! ha! HA! You thought, “Finally, a post where she doesn’t bring up Aerobic Dancing!”) There are certain moves that I hold back on because I know if I shake TOO hard, thighs will start slapping together and ass cheeks will shake furiously, building into a tidal wave effect that could quite possibly knock the Old Hag behind me out cold. So, I hold back (and wear a sweat shirt around my waist, to minimize the Tidal Wave Effect.)
I’ve been having long, deep conversations with my body recently. I don’t want to hate it anymore. I want to appreciate it, I want to accept it. It is what it is, you know? I can’t go back in time and change it. (Well, technically, I can, you know, through a little thing called “plastic surgery” but a) I can’t afford it b) I’m too chicken shit of needles and of things like BLEEDING TO DEATH FROM A BOTCHED TUMMY TUCK, Bonus: Have you SEEN Carol Burnett’s face? :shudders:)
I feel as though I’m on the road to making peace with my body. I know I’ll never like the way that it looks. I know I’ll always feel insecure and ugly when I see a woman with a beautiful body, but I refuse to spend the rest of my life hating myself because of the body I live in.
While I don’t think I could ever say things like “Goodmorning, oh very large, sagging breasts! How do I love you? Let me count the ways!” or “Hello, oh gapping hole of a belly button, it’s SO GOOD to see you!”
However, I do feel like I can make peace with my body. Like I can come to terms with the way it looks, the way it feels and be “ok” with it. I may never love it, but maybe, just maybe, I can learn to appreciate it.
Remember how I told you that I couldn’t think of ONE reason to love my body? As I wrote this post, I was able to come up with three reasons.
Andrew, Ethan and Gabriella.
How can I hate the very thing that gave me those beautiful children?

46 thoughts on “body

  1. Itchy

    Hey…I think you look really good. You have done a lot of hard work and you are continuing that work. That tells me that you love yourself more than you even know…exercise is a commitment and you are doing it. Plus you know…being the Aerobic Dance Queen is hard work, too! 😀

  2. Me

    The things that help me love my body:
    Vitamin E oil with aloevera (cheap) drops- rub then on scars (including stretch marks) within a month or so, they’re nearly invisible/gone. You might notice them when you tan, but that’s it. It doesn’t take much to work.
    Oil of Olay. It’s the bomb. It makes wrinkles less wrinkley.
    Blindfold him in the shower- ’nuff said. He’ll agree, trust me. You can even give him a blindfolded lap dance on the toilet first. Hands are fine, eyes are not.
    Candlelight- makes everything look so reverant and the shadows make you look soooo much thinner.
    And this is so wrong for me to even be telling you this, but hey, what are invisible internet acquaintances for:
    Use some baby oil & those new, post-baby, extended, super limber bobs to give him a wrap around, touch-all-sides-at-once “pearl necklace” job.
    He will love you. He will praise you. You will love you. You will praise you.
    and I know NOTHING about how you heard of it. (Like I’m sure you’re probably already very aware of it, but it was something new we figured out after I got fatter)
    The funny thing is, he doesn’t seem to care how I look, as long as he’s allowed to look. It’s like he has amnesia to what I looked like when we got married. Which means hitting him in the head with the iron cornbread skillet all those years FINALLY paid off.

  3. Jennifer

    Once you love yourself more, your body won’t be such an issue. This is a brand new thought for me, and I’m talking to myself mostly, so bare (bear?) with me. You know how you love your husband and your kids? When you look at their faces do you see an odd freckle or maybe notice that they have really big ears or something? And don’t those little quirky features just endear them to you all the more? Maybe you will get to a place where you look at your belly button and it just makes you love yourself more because nobody else has a belly button like that, and yeah, it’s funny, but also cute, and all yours.

  4. Hed

    I can name at least five women who would kill to look like you. Isn’t it weird how we can’t see that in ourselves?

  5. dana michelle

    While I totally relate to the way you feel:
    a) I’m so glad you figured out those 3 little reasons to love your bod, because if you didn’t, I was going to have to tell you.
    b) I have most of those same body issues, and I ‘ve never HAD children. I just gained and lost weight several times over the last 2 decades. Currently in the trying to lose stage again, and also wishing I’d taken better care of myself. You have come so far. Don’t lose sight of what you’ve accomplished already, you amazing woman.
    c) Plastic surgery? And end up looking like one of those waxen clones with rock-hard boobs and hair extensions from “The Swan?”. No thanks. *shudder*
    d) Men just love their women’s bodies. Period. Unless they are Weight Nazis, who have a stroke if you gain a few ounces, that is. Tony apparently isn’t one of those, so count yourself lucky to have a man who loves you however you are. I am blessed to have one of those too 🙂

  6. Jennifer

    Hey, you look great! Your a real woman, no fake bobs, no fake chins, nothing sucked out. You should be proud you have come a great way with your weight loss. I can totally relate to you tho, I am the same way when it comes to going places like the beach, out with hubby to a wedding for instance etc. I am glad I have your blog to read everyday because you always bring everything in perspective. Your doing and lookin great gurl!

  7. Jennifer

    Hey, you look great! Your a real woman, no fake bobs, no fake chins, nothing sucked out. You should be proud you have come a great way with your weight loss. I can totally relate to you tho, I am the same way when it comes to going places like the beach, out with hubby to a wedding for instance etc. I am glad I have your blog to read everyday! Your doing and lookin great gurl!

  8. Jerri ann

    You go girl….you can do anything you want and a positive self-image is one of them….believe in your yourself…afterall, you are the aerobic dance Queen, right?

  9. Betty

    I think you look hot. I wish I had the willpower to lose enough weight to even THINK about going to an Aerobics class. *sigh*

  10. Maria

    I think you look fab, Y.
    P.S. TypeKey is hating me today. I’ve been trying to leave a comment since this morning.

  11. reese

    mmm. peace with your body. You are getting there! Isn’t a nice feeling to not hate it anymore? You look just beautiful. I love the black and whites you recently posted–your transformation is amazing. I’m so glad you share it with people.

  12. Amy

    Why don’t you ever remember my identity, oh asshole Typekey? WHY?
    And you, Y: you have beeyootiful hair! And flawless skin! And gorgeous eyes. Plus, you can dance!
    Glad you’re trying to see what we see, girl.

  13. Mamacita

    Oh hon, if you ever saw mine, you’d feel a lot better about yours. And speaking of yours, I think you look wonderful. I’ve always thought you looked wonderful. I’m serious, you are one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. My husband and son both think you’re gorgeous, too.
    You are kind, and loving, and sweet, and nurturing, and gorgeous. Accept it. I’m not saying these things just because I’m your internet mommy and I love you. I’m saying them as one woman to another, and they are true.
    You’re beautiful. Inside AND out.

  14. Julianna

    I never learned to like my body, or appreciate it. I just learned to accept it. And I can feel that acceptance slipping as I age.. because I am gaining bacl weight and my legs are getting veiny. WTF?! I realized, after almost going anorexic for a year (after spending years binging! and binging after it!) that I would never have the same body as those model sticks. I have an hourglass figure, and it’s just how it is.
    And God am I white. Like a nasty green-purple-white kind of like gollum. MMMMMM.
    You kinda have to learn to just accept it before you can appreciate it. And yep! your have 3 beautiful reasons to accept, and ONE reason to let go, and ONE reason to appreciate. (the last two being your husband and then you).

  15. Tammy

    I am telling you you’re not done breastfeeding long enough for your body to totally recover. When you are all done for a few months maybe even a year you’ll be amazed at how things look.

  16. LotionBarBunny

    I think its funny how we all see things differently. I look at you and think you look amazing…I wish I looked like you! Then to hear you say that you are sad about how you look, makes me sad. 🙁 I wish you had huge self esteem about you look. You look gorgeous.
    I can relate about the showering with the husband issue. I too avoid it at all costs! (and not because of the mass power of fertilization either).

  17. Brighton

    I felt exactly the same way after my fourth child, only it was my breasts that were the issue. So much so, that I didn’t want my husband to EVER see them. I opted for plastic surgery, not for everyone- but it worked well for me and I’m happy with the results. I know that my body will never be what it was four children ago, but at least now it’s one I can live my life fully with.

  18. NinaKaye

    If you think you’re sexy, then you ARE sexy.
    I? Am totally not. But I’m hot. haha
    I also think “hey, I’m already married and he obviously doesn’t mind the rolls of fat and stuff” so I get over it pretty fast every time I think I’m too fat or something.

  19. nancy

    Hi Y
    Y,all females had Destorted Boby Images. We ALL do. You have had 3 beautiful children, the parts do not stay perky, and will not be where they were suppose to be. We should be grateful that our kids are healthy and are going strong. Your kids look so well adjusted, and the little one is too cute.
    Take a step back and wonder who or why we have this image of our “self, the perfect self”. I know I am a pleaser and I will do anything to make my “friends” happy, but when the shit is hitting the fan with a family issue I lose it. So you are not alone. We have to lean to take care of ourselves first, kids second and husband 3rd, the rest of our baggage can wait in line. We must learn to say NO, Its not going to work for me this time. I know its hard but try to be true to your first priority , the kids and the husband( if he has been good).
    Feel better about your self, you are not alone, I know I have walked in your shoes (minus one kid) and I finally learned WE the FAMILY come first.
    You can learn to say “NO it is not going to work for me this week”
    Good Luck, been ther and now at 48 feel much better about my life, Please do not wait like I did.
    You are a great person and do not beat yourself up.

  20. Missie

    You are so pretty. I wish you could see what we all see about you, but I know it’s a whole different ball game when you are looking at your own body. I feel the same way about my body, but have made up my heart that this is the year the old bod changes and firms up. I don’t want my daughter to grow up feeling about her body the way I do about mine, so it’s time for me to put up or shut up. 😉
    And after years of marriage and three kids, and your husband still wants to shower with you? Girl! Go get in there! If he is thinking you are all that and a bag of chips, then you are! He will think it’s Christmas and his birthday all rolled into one if you hop on in there with him. You are his sexy WOMAN! And then you will totally think that you invented showers….(sorry, been reading you on Amalah’s blog for too long…)

  21. Fiona

    ok…i see green prostitutes and free sex vaginas in bruno’s post …..
    hahahhahahhahahaha dang i’m gonna go sort out that URL and take a look!!!

  22. Jen

    This is one of my favorite posts, ever. I wish I would come to the realization you have, learn to accept my body simply for the fact it brought two beautiful children in the world. Instead, I contemplate putting contact paper over the full length mirror in the bathroom (I’d take it down, but since we just rent this shit-hole, I can’t make ANY changes). I’ve lost 57.6 pounds on WW since January, and when I look in the mirror, I still me 57.6 pounds ago. So now I wish my mind would catch up with my body!

  23. Jen

    Also, thanks to you motivating me, for the first time EVER, I’ve posted about my weight loss and even pictures on my blog. Thanks, Y.

  24. jenfromboston

    I comment on your flickr pages – I think you’re gorge’. But hey, that’s just me (and apparently a bunch of other ladies).
    the only advice I can give you is this: there is no such thing as too many posts about aerobic dancing class. If I end up going to BlogHer, will you show me a few moves? I wish BlogHer had a dancing seminar – that would totally lock it up for me.
    Jen aka “oncemore” in Flickah

  25. Kristie

    Hey, in your picture, you TOTALLY have an Alanis Morrissette (sp?) thing going on — and she’s a world-famous rock star!! So, maybe she doesn’t know how to aerobic dance, I’m not really sure … but my point is, you look great!
    I check your site daily and always appreciate the laughs you provide. I rarely leave a comment (picture me with a big ole’ “L” on my forehead) but just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your writing. 🙂

  26. Randi

    I catch myself sometimes saying to my boyfriend that I will be skinny soon and blah blah blah. Guess what? It all boils down to “He likes me for me.” It’s not like we got together and in the back of his mind he was saying “I’d like her better if she’s skinny so let’s just hold on.” People like you because of who you are, Y. Hilarious. A great dancer. A good wife. And a great mom. Looks aren’t everything.

  27. Amanda

    As someone who has lost over 100 pounds, I know how you feel. Well, sort of. I actually LOVE my new body – stretch marks, that weird thing the skin on my thighs does that makes it look like a soggy ant hill, even the stinky belly-button. Sure, I’d love to spend a fortune on plastic surgery and have it all fixed. But that’s not the point. I love my body now because I can finally USE it. At 300 lbs, it was a jail cell, now it’s a party. Ugly as it may be, it’s beautiful to me. I stopped comparing myself to other women AGES ago (I could never compete) – the only thing that matters is that I feel better about ME.
    And I promise to go sleeveless at Blogher. My “lunch ladies” (arm-skin wings) will make you feel better, I promise.

  28. Ms.Q

    Y, the only reason you feel this way is because of the time and place you live. If we didn’t have TV, magazines, billboards, etc., etc., depicting tall, skinny, young, childless, white women, you wouldn’t feel the need to compare yourself to others. And if we weren’t surrounded by people who buy into the notion that we ARE supposed to look like that, we wouldn’t feel the need to compare ourselves. I am skinny, people hate me, but I still feel like something is wrong with me because my legs are too short or my nose is crooked. We are bombarded with images of what the so-called perfect woman looks like and she doesn’t look like any of us. It’s a fantasy. But it’s damaging because we feel rotten for not living up to it. Or we spend a fortune on makeup, clothes, shoes, surgery, gyms just to LOOK good. Feeling good is secondary but it should be the other way around.
    So, it’s not your fault. But you have to realize that what looks good and what feels good are different things (in our culture). When I am super thin, I’m bony, and that is not hot. When I have a softer belly and softer butt, it turns me on, and it turns my man on. Also, I’m skinny but I’m not healthy. The point is, imagine that you were blind and didn’t know what you were expected to look like. Would you still want to be active and be loved and hugged and touched and treated like you were a beautiful woman and beautiful life giver. You would wouldn’t you? Why deny those things now? You are a beautiful woman and a beautiful life giver.

  29. exile

    i have to say something regarding your hubby and the show thing…
    stop being so damn selfish
    loving someone means you find them beautiful, flaws and all. if you have self pity issues that’s fine (i’d like to find a woman that doesn’t), but he doesn’t see that. all he sees is the woman he loves, and when you say no he sees the woman he loves rejecting him.
    you may think your boobs are saggy, hell, everyone in the world may think they are too. but not him, and really, your lover’s opinion should be the only one that matters.
    i’ve been on his side of things before, and it hurts.

  30. Me

    Hey Exile- watch your tone, or we’re gonna get you!
    None of that nasty bullying kind of junk is welcome here. Somehow I doubt fussy at her is going to help her feel more loved and accepted.
    It’s not Y’s fault you’re bitter cause you couldn’t get any from your wife- hey news flash: It might be your stinkin selfish attitude.
    But this opens a new door for me to crawl through- maybe Y’s hubby needs to spend a little more time building her up and showing her how much he enjoys her. Or maybe Y needs to get a part time job out of the house where she can get affirmation and help build her self-esteem.
    Cuz we’ve all been there. And I guess, from Y’s description of her hubby, he’s confident enough to understand her sadness comes from the loss of her elastic bobs, and he doesn’t take it as a personal rejection. It’s not like she’s giving it away to the mailman instead!
    So, ggggrrrr on you Exile for bring negativity in. And ggggrrr on me for sinking to your level.
    Sorry Y, it just bugged.

  31. exile

    me- i’m not trying to bully, nor would i want to.
    the fact is, is that i’ve been on that other side of the fence. i’ve seen how this unravels, not just in my relationship, but in others.
    the bottom line is that when you love someone who is too busy hating themself it’s hard to feel it come back.
    the worst part of it, is that when someone is tearing down their self esteem you cant’ build it up until they stop. for themselves.
    now, personally i think she’s done a fantastic job on herself. and i know that her husband must feel the same way. but if she continues to not belive it, then there will never be a resolution.
    my comment wasn’t intended to be negative, just straight forward. hopefully she’ll see it sooner rather than later.

  32. Jen

    I think I understand what exile is saying. I know my self-hatred over the years has caused some problems between my husband and I. No matter how many times I told him it wasn’t him, it was me, he would still get upset. Mostly because I hated my body so much, I didn’t even want to make love to him. I asked him one time, what did he see when we were making love and he said all he saw was me, his wife, the woman he loves. What I saw? I saw that I was wider then him, and saggy, and everything moved. I never could enjoy it. Which was hard for him to accept because when we started dating in high school, we were like rabbits, LOL. Even more then that, he hated how I always talked down about myself. Instead of focusing on how I make everyone laugh and feel at ease, or how I hold the family together whenever he is deployed, or any of the million other accomplishments, I always focused on how I looked. Now, I’m going back to the old me, the “real” me. The one that was happy being who she was. I was never thin, I am not meant to be thin. The only people that look like models are models. Granted, I’ve come to this realization because I’m losing weight, but no matter how it happened, I am finally learning to be happy being me. Which means when my husband comes home from this deployment, gone is the negative attitude, the one that prevents me from enjoying our intimate life. He’ll have his rabbit back 🙂

  33. Mieke

    You look terrific Y. I love your hair. Look at the pictures of us at the beach a year ago! It’s been a year. You look so different.

  34. GT

    Hi -Y- you have received many complimentary comments regarding this blog and yourself, so I won’t repeat what has already been said. I’ll just add a couple of comments- you have a smile that would light up a room and you hang your emotions on your sleeve; your are open with your feelings and extremely kind & loving . Take care of yourself and your family.They are what’s important.
    Best regards,

  35. Loni

    Oh my! Have you made me laugh! Girl, you don’t know what saggy boobs and a saggy tummy are! LOL! I’ve had 11 full-term babies – yes – that is
    ELEVEN! I’ve had 4 c-sections! And you know what – I have one scar on my belly that goes up and down from a c-section that was from an emergency c-section – a baby I got to hold for a few hours, and then give back to God, as she was stillborn. I’ve nursed 10 babies – and though I have not nursed for 2 years now, I can’t find the right bra for these big boobs! I know you treasure your three blessings – hold them a little tighter and be thankful for each buldge and bump. Don’t let your husband get snipped. Children are such gifts. You’ve got a GREAT START! 🙂

  36. demondoll

    I don’t mind so much my ever-so-low boobages, but when I wave, sometimes the backs of my arms keep going after the hands have stopped…
    oh, and the grey,grey hair. ooof.

  37. exile

    jen- thanks, i’m glad you could understand what i was saying. my ex used to always say “it’s not that i dont’ want to have sex with you, it’s that i dont’ want to have sex with anyone.”
    the only thing i could say was “yeah, but it’s not that you’re not having sex with everyone, it’s that you’re not having sex with me.”

  38. LotionBarBunny

    Hey, I just totally left a “fan comment” on Amalah’s blog about YOU on her post “Life version 3.0.” Hopefully it is near the bottom, cause dang, she gets so many comments! lol. (I heart her though).

  39. danelle

    I have accepted my body the way it is. I lost a bunch of weight last year but stopped before I got too gorgeous. ha!
    Mark and I take baths and showers together all the time. We have some of our best conversations in the tub. His body isn’t perfect so we both just kinda go with it.

  40. Motherhood Uncensored

    I’m learning to feel comfy in my own skin – a much larger, rounder, and robust skin. But, the ONE I have is worth it. And hell, who cares about size #s anyway? And thank god for bras.

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