I feel nothing but sad for the teenage girl I was who could not see any purpose for her body outside of aesthetics. Before I got pregnant I had body dysmorphia and orthorexia. I had mostly recovered by this time, but that didn’t stop the people close to me from having their concerns (fair). During my pregnancy I was fiercely headstrong, distracted and besotted with my little growing bean. Every time I got measured I felt nothing but relief and joy to know my boy was thriving. After he was born I had to navigate my way through shitload of discourse about my body: gaining my pre-pregnancy body back, losing the baby weight, bouncing back etc etc. From the start I knew I had nothing to gain back. My narrow hips tried their very best to accommodate my oversized child, I have gone up two shoe sizes and I traded my DD cup bras for bralettes only pls (fuck off underwire).

My body is forever changed and that’s ok. While I knew all this it took me a couple of years to fully accept it and completely reject the pressure to look the way I did before I became a mum, and as soon as I did I started to respect and connect with my body in a way I never had before. I ended up losing all the weight without trying to do anything other than improve my chronic pain, mostly with at home yoga (thanks YouTube). I was bombarded with praise of how good I looked. At times this was triggering and I found it hard to resist a feeling of validation and pressure to maintain a certain weight. While people had good intentions, it was still frustrating to me because I was not any less happy when I was fatter and I still have to deal with chronic pain daily. Weight is a simplistic and superficial indicator of health. My body created new life and keeps me alive every day and for that I feel nothing but gratitude and respect.

- Grace


image via pinterest

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