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I am seriously struggling....


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  #1  
June 19th, 2013, 07:58 AM
AmbzAsh's Avatar Little Miss Sunshine
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 704
With body image during pregnancy.

Seriously.

I know you ladies have seen me complain about this over and over and over. So I apologize in advance for repeating myself for the umpteenth time about this.

I guess I could give you all a little history about my issues with my body....maybe it will make it all make sense more.

I was very overweight as a teenager....well, overweight for what was considered "normal". I weighed about 200 lbs at 13 years old. At 14, I began starving myself and dropped down to 105lbs in a matter of 6 months. I was considered anorexic for my height. Over time, and after going to countless doctors appts, nutritionists, weigh-ins, and psychologists, I got back to a "healthy" weight of 150. I have always struggled with body image. If I lose 5lbs, everyone around me says that I'm becoming "too skinny" and if I gain 5lbs, I'm "putting on a little weight." It seems to be this vicious cycle of judgement that I can never escape. I feel comfortable with my body around 145-150 but I can't help but listen to all of the little voices around me. It's a serious fault of mine.

So now, being pregnant, unable to really work-out like I want to (because of horrible leg pains and crippling sciatica), and steadily gaining weight and seeing my body change, I find myself being severely upset about this. I find myself comparing myself to my co-workers who come to work in their teeny tiny little dresses and high heels while I sit over here in my large frumpy scrubs. I find myself cringing when I look in the mirror. I find myself constantly questioning my boyfriend and wondering if he is going to cheat on me because of how I look now. (To make a long story short, he has made it very well known to me that he does not find pregnancy/weight-gain/larger sized women attractive. Blah)

I just feel blah all of the time. Nothing fits right. And if it does, I have to pay a flipping fortune to buy it. My legs are blowing up like balloons and I'm super pale.

Now, do I love being pregnant? YES! More than anything. Feeling my little man kick and knowing that I am nurturing him and having him grow inside of me....it is the best feeling in the entire world.

When I get down and feeling sad about the way I look, I try to remind myself of that. But it doesn't take away from how difficult this is for me. I even feel very selfish at times. I mean, who the hell am I to be taking such an amazing thing as pregnancy for granted and complaining about something as simple as my body image for a short 9 months?! I have friends/family who cannot ever be pregnant or have been trying for years with no success.

Blah.

Sorry, just had to get all of this out....

Last edited by AmbzAsh; June 19th, 2013 at 08:14 AM.
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  #2  
June 19th, 2013, 08:13 AM
TayAnd2Angels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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You are not selfish. I remember being so upset about my stretch marks with my first. Everyone would tell me things like, "it's so worth it!" Of course she was worth it and I'd do it again to have her. But why can't I have both? I mean, my husband got our daughter too and he didn't have any permanent changes to HIS body. Know what I mean? I really grieved the fact that my stomach would never look the same again.

This time around I feel chubby and I hate that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I get it. I think it's perfectly normal to feel a little down about the changes in your body during pregnancy. It doesn't make you selfish; it makes you normal.
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  #3  
June 19th, 2013, 08:22 AM
Alpha_allie1010's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hang in there girl! You are not alone! I have dealt with a lot of the same issues as you. I once weighted 225lbs. My thyroid crapped out and I gained a ton of weight really fast. I was able to lose it with a LOT of hard work and even got off of my meds. I worried a lot the first time but to be honest. Just try to remember that it is worth it. I got stretch marks with Karlee and it was really hard for me because my mom nor my sister got them . But they faded and I dropped all my baby weight plus some after Karlee. It took work for sure but I will be your work out buddy if you want . I struggled with what my post baby body looked liked too but since I have BTDT I know it is possible to look and fell good about myself again.
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  #4  
June 19th, 2013, 08:31 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Oh, sweetie, I just want to give you a huge hug right now.

First of all, you're not selfish for struggling with body image throughout this. Body image issues are *really* hard to begin with - couple in the massive changes that come along with being pregnant and you're bound to have some struggles, even if it's only occasionally.

I was an overweight kid, too. I was teased and picked on until the 8th grade when I graduated and was getting ready for high school. I actually dropped a ton of weight between 4th and 5th grade and by the time I hit 8th, 9th I had learned how to do my hair and make up and choose good clothes, but the teasing continued until I was in a bigger school because kids are just mean and once you're someone who gets picked on it's hard to break that pattern with the same people. I've never been teeny tiny, but I've been a more average weight since then and think that I'm moderately okay looking, so I did fine for the rest of high school as far as bullying goes - but the issues are still there. I haven't had someone attack my looks (to my face, at least) in over 10 years and I STILL consider myself the chubby girl with no friends.

I've gone up and down throughout pregnancy. Sometimes I feel like my bump is gorgeous and I do have a glow... and sometimes I feel like a whale, especially if we're surrounded by itty bitty girls in skimpy clothes. That doesn't happen often but the work travel I've been coming with dh on has been to a college town and there are summer classes so there are lots of young girls with tans in jogging shorts everywhere and it makes me painfully aware of how light skinned I am and how heavy my legs must look (my legs have been my biggest insecurity for as long as I can remember). For the record, I have never, ever caught dh checking out any of these girls and he tells me all. the. time. how attractive he thinks I am and how much he loves my pregnant shape. It's still hard sometimes.

If you haven't already, I would talk to your bf about how you're struggling and would ask him to keep any comments that make it clear that pregnant women aren't his thing to himself. It's really not necessary or supportive, whether he means to do it or not. If he really isn't into it, he still has plenty of ways he can build you up emotionally as his girlfriend and I think that would be a good place to start.

Also know that men who cheat will cheat no matter what their partners look like. Affairs have nothing to do do with looks and everything to do with the way the other person makes the cheater feel. From your posts, I don't really get a cheater vibe from your bf. I know that logically you probably know all of that and probably know that he loves you dearly and loves that you're carrying his baby boy and it's just hard to get around the fear and the emotions of, "What if?" but FWIW, I would try my best to not let my mind go there without cause and to make the conscious choice to trust him (and again, if he isn't already, keeping the unnecessary comments to himself and giving you compliments for the things he does love about you would probably help that a lot).

Sending you so many hugs! Would it help to go pick up a few more maternity items? I had a minor freak out a couple weeks ago over not having enough pants/shorts that fit and dh dragged me to the mall that day to pick up a few more pieces (I have been slow on the maternity shopping). It helped a lot more than I expected. You could also try going for a hair appointment or a manicure or pedicure if you're good on clothes. I hope you feel better!
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  #5  
June 19th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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I am sorry you are having a hard time with this. I understand how you feel. As a teen I had similar issues. My Mom is a small woman and while I was growing up she always wore a size 0 which I could never fit into and I hated it. Even though my weight has been healthy for several years it is a struggle during pregnancy and right after because my body doesn't look the way I think it should. I have always been insecure and self conscious.
I think that what makes a big difference for me is my husband. He is an amazing supporter for me when I feel bad about my weight or size. He is always reminding me that while pregnant I am nurturing our child and its not like I am sitting on the couch all day eating chips and ice cream! After I have the baby he always tells me that I should not expect any significant changes for hte first 6 months because my body is recovering and at the same time trying to sustain me and another person( I breastfeed exclusively) He compliments me and is very encouraging.
I think that you would have an easier time dealing if your SO were supportive. I think that there is nothing wrong with being honest about not being attracted to a very over weight person but to make a pregnant woman feel unattractive or afraid she might lose your attention while growing YOUR child in HER body is just plain rude and insensitive. I woudl bring it up with him and let him now how you feel. Let him know that it might be irrational, but that you are afraid that your physical changes might affect how he sees you and it scares you. Let him know that you are struggling with accepting your body as it is right now and you might be surprised at how supportive he can become. I think that most men want their women to feel beautiful and find it attractive to see their woman's body change to grow their children. With my first pg I felt so huge and I wondered how in the heck my hubby could even think about having sex with me let alone be excited to see me naked but once I talked to him about my insecurities he assured me that he didn't have an issue with it. Of course he did tell me that it didn't mean he would be okay with me totally going overboard and gaining 60lbs or something and he wanted me to eat healthy for my sake and the babies, but I would not have let myself gain that much just because I would not have been able to handle it.

I hope that you can find some support from your guy, no pregnant woman should feel unattractive-we are creating new life inside of us and that is a very beautiful thing!
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  #6  
June 19th, 2013, 08:46 AM
AmbzAsh's Avatar Little Miss Sunshine
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Thank you so much, ladies!! I know you all have said it time and time again so this isn't the first time I've heard it all....but it really helps to know that other people understand or have felt the same way before.


Quote:
If you haven't already, I would talk to your bf about how you're struggling and would ask him to keep any comments that make it clear that pregnant women aren't his thing to himself. It's really not necessary or supportive, whether he means to do it or not. If he really isn't into it, he still has plenty of ways he can build you up emotionally as his girlfriend and I think that would be a good place to start.

Also know that men who cheat will cheat no matter what their partners look like. Affairs have nothing to do do with looks and everything to do with the way the other person makes the cheater feel. From your posts, I don't really get a cheater vibe from your bf. I know that logically you probably know all of that and probably know that he loves you dearly and loves that you're carrying his baby boy and it's just hard to get around the fear and the emotions of, "What if?" but FWIW, I would try my best to not let my mind go there without cause and to make the conscious choice to trust him (and again, if he isn't already, keeping the unnecessary comments to himself and giving you compliments for the things he does love about you would probably help that a lot).
You're right, Keaks...I definitely don't get the cheating vibe from him either. And it really does seem silly when I sit down and actually think about it. He IS doing a lot better with telling me how beautiful I am and when he thinks I look great in an outfit he always tells me. So that's a HUGE plus! It's just my ridiculous mind making myself think "Well, is he just saying that just to make me feel better and he really doesn't mean it?!" I know, I know, I sound crazy ;-)
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  #7  
June 19th, 2013, 09:15 AM
mirdeemrlvs's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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awww. HUGS... I struggle with my weight too and started out overweight. Luckily, my dh says nothing one way or the other about the way I look. I am thankful for that. Even though he never says I look sexy or beautiful anymore, he doesn't tell me I'm fat. That's got to be hard to deal with. Just hang on a little longer, and do what you can to eat right and that's all you can do. Before you know it, little one will be here, and you can do all the walking you want :-)
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  #8  
June 19th, 2013, 09:19 AM
AmbzAsh's Avatar Little Miss Sunshine
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Let me rephrase what I said above....I feel like I'm making my bf look really bad.

He NEVER tells me I'm fat....EVER. Or says anything negative about my appearance towards me.

Maybe I'm just looking for him to be more reassuring about how I look. Maybe that's it....I don't think he would ever intentionally put me down or make me feel bad about myself. I'm just one of those people that likes verbal affirmation I guess
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  #9  
June 19th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Huge hugs to all of us who are bumming about our body image right now.

Even though I have been blessed to not have body image problems growing up, I am also struggling with the way I look and the way clothes look on me (and on how my body looks without clothes too).

What has helped me the most lately is saying something like, "My body is this way because it is a home for my child. If I looked the way I want to look, I would not be having my son, and I don't really want that. So I will be thankful for the ability to sacrifice how I want to look so that I can provide a place for him to grow."

Whenever one of those moments come again that I feel bleh or don't like how I look, I find reminding myself of the above is really beneficial to getting me to remember WHY I look like I do.

Hope that helps :-)
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  #10  
June 19th, 2013, 09:33 AM
Dolly Lama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Also know that men who cheat will cheat no matter what their partners look like. Affairs have nothing to do do with looks and everything to do with the way the other person makes the cheater feel.
Girlfriend, hop on over to the back board for proof that this is nothing but the truth if you need to! lmao!!! I'd like to add that even though a guy may have his preferences, men who are with women they love generally report loving their women even more and finding them absolutely beautiful when they're pregnant. You are a gorgeous woman pregnant or not, don't forget that.

Your BF sounds like a good guy, but maybe he's just one of those guys who isn't going to offer reassurance and compliments on a regular basis - I know plenty of guys like that. If that's him, you may want to consider talking to him and asking in a very direct way for what you need. I'm sure he loves to you enough to want to help you feel better about yourself right now, so this shouldn't be a problem.

You only have a little while left to struggle with being pregnant - we're almost there!!! We've been here supporting each other throughout pregnancy, so there's no reason why we can't continue to support each other while we whip ourselves back into shape. We got this!
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  #11  
June 19th, 2013, 09:38 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmbzAsh View Post
Maybe I'm just looking for him to be more reassuring about how I look. Maybe that's it....I don't think he would ever intentionally put me down or make me feel bad about myself. I'm just one of those people that likes verbal affirmation I guess
That definitely makes sense to me. I'm a big verbal affirmation person too. I've had to let my dh know that I need that kind of reassurance too. In past conversations he's said that he always thinks I look nice and it just doesn't occur to him to say anything, and if I ask he'll always give me a positive answer - but I've had to explain that when I have to ask I feel like, well, of course that's what you're going to say now that I've asked you, you're a nice guy and wouldn't give me an answer other than a positive one. He says that he still means it, but he does understand how when he gives compliments entirely of his own volition I don't have to wonder if he's just giving me the polite answer.
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  #12  
June 19th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Yes! Its like if you bring up the topic of feeling huge or whatever its like the compliments don't go as far as when THEY just walk in and tell you that you like good.
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  #13  
June 19th, 2013, 10:09 AM
AmbzAsh's Avatar Little Miss Sunshine
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Quote:
He says that he still means it, but he does understand how when he gives compliments entirely of his own volition I don't have to wonder if he's just giving me the polite answer.
Exactly what I mean!!!
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  #14  
June 19th, 2013, 10:37 AM
beckiethedoula's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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First I want to say, you are a beautiful woman and I love the photos of your beautiful belly you post of fb. <3

I struggled with anorexia in high school and junior high also, but was "cured" by getting pregnant and completely confusing the crap out of my metabolism. I started this pregnancy at 217 lbs. I have been heavy since having my first son. I struggle with the fact that I will *never* have that cute little baby bump that so many women get. I always just look chunky until the last trimester. I totally understand how hard it is to accept all the changes that your body goes through during pregnancy. I remember the struggle of being 17 and pregnant and lividly angry about getting "fat" and still loving growing a little person.

All that being said, I've had almost 13 years and multiple pregnancies to reflect on those feeling and to come to terms with my body as it is. I'm proud of my body. It is strong despite its soft parts. It can grow and nourish a baby without any help. It can chase a toddler and hike with a teenage boy. It is capable of so much more than I give it credit for. I feed it and am grateful for it everyday. I try my ****edest to ignore the scale, ignore the number on my jeans, and just trust that if my body feels well than it is well, no matter what those numbers say.

There is a website called "Shape of a Mother" that I've found to be so helpful. It's normal women like you and me and everyone here, struggling with or reveling in the bodies their babies gave them. Maybe check it out and see if there's something there you connect to. There are some nekkid photos so it's NSFW.
The Shape of a Mother

We're here for you, any time you need to get it out! <3
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  #15  
June 19th, 2013, 10:53 AM
AmbzAsh's Avatar Little Miss Sunshine
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Quote:
There is a website called "Shape of a Mother" that I've found to be so helpful. It's normal women like you and me and everyone here, struggling with or reveling in the bodies their babies gave them. Maybe check it out and see if there's something there you connect to. There are some nekkid photos so it's NSFW.
The Shape of a Mother
Thank you, Beckie! I clicked on this website and read one of the first stories and loved it immediately! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Xo
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  #16  
June 19th, 2013, 11:20 AM
jensma's Avatar Katie: mommy to Ty & Em
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yep i have with both of my other kids just embraced it and by the last month i longed to get that baby out and feel 'normal' again. with this one i'm already thinking about how i can start working out, tightening up, toning and looking hot again...i think i'm struggling b/c i just feel fat again, and i'm going to be 30 next year and thats hurting too...i just want to feel young and cute again :/ sigh. oh well, i will soon have 3 beautiful babies, and i have long since given up bikinis and shorty shorts, i know i'm not 21 anymore, but i struggle with my appearance for sure. you're not alone, its normal. just try to embrace what your body is doing. most people consider pregnancy to be cute! roll with that
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  #17  
June 19th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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I have not struggled with body image issues. I was always a big kid - I have my dad's frame, but never got teased for it and it never really stressed me out. I personally can't relate to those who get so worked up over the way they look, as long as they're healthy they should be happy. Having said that, I understand that these issues exist and can make a person feel pretty crummy. For what it's worth, I think you look amazing! You rock the preggo look! You're one of the few who I can see most pregnant women resent when they look at you and wonder why they can't look that good while pregnant! Sure, you'll feel puffy and uncomfortable, that's totally normal and is not going to go away any time soon. After delivery you'll work hard to get back into your normal body, which you will also rock, and it will all be a distant memory
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  #18  
June 19th, 2013, 01:38 PM
MamaLaurie's Avatar Veteran
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Well, I've seen your pics and you look fabulous!!! I promise you your body will snap back really fast after baby is born. Now, when you're on your sixth kid (and 39) the body won't snap back as quickly. I'm going to give it at least a year to 18 months for me. I'm not feeling too great about myself either right now, but I keep reminding myself that it is so very worth it. And truly it is!! I had a really hard time with the varicose veins on my legs when they first appeared. Now I've accepted them and the fact that I will never wear short skirts or a swimming suit ever again. Having babies is hard on my body, but I don't regret any of them for one single second. They have made my life so much more complete. Plus they keep me so busy, I don't have too much time to dwell on my imperfections. Hang in there, we're approaching the finish line fast!!!
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