I’m pulling in my stomach so tight right now because I’m incredibly conscious of it. It’s staring right up at me as I sit with my laptop, daring me to let go and show what shapes my body really makes.
Forty minutes ago I finished a twenty minute post-natal cardio workout, and just about got through it. (I also had to entertain my 3 month old whilst doing it – thankfully she enjoyed watching me move around).
To work out, I pulled on my old leggings that I used to use for running. I feel like I am bulging out of them, camel toe and everything*. They are a size too small and the elastic is highlighting my “mummy pouch”.
I fucking hate my “mummy pouch”. This kangaroo-inspired part of my body is the leftover stretched skin from having such a huge pregnant belly that I could barely lift myself off the sofa. It’s soft and mushy and is decorated with purple stretch marks. It’s accompanied by a five inch long C-section scar.
I’m happy that my old maternity clothes are very loose on me now, that my old jeans fit me again (yay!) and that I have a waist again. But I am still struggling with my post-pregnancy body.
I look down and I can’t stand seeing rolls. I can’t stand seeing the fat on my arms or the soft pouch on my stomach as I pinch them to show that yes, they are there.
It’s what I was brought up to despise. 90’s and 00’s role models were skinny girls. They had -5% body fat. They had a butt like an ironing board. They had skinny, non-muscular tummies with belly-button rings.
I wasn’t like that. I was a kinda chubby kid that struggled with more than thirty minutes of walking, who only lost weight because they stashed their lunch money at home to buy a new iPod.
If anybody said to themselves the things that I say to myself about my body, I would tell them that they were beautiful, that being healthy is the most important thing, and that being healthy doesn’t mean being skinny.
But I do not say that to myself. I feel like a piece of shit after indulging on homemade carrot cake (especially after my third slice of the day). I don’t think I deserve any more food after eating one or two Creme Eggs (but how the fuck am I supposed to say no to those things, they are delish).
One of my goals at the start of this year was to “get buff”. By “get buff” I mean get the body that I fantasise about having – I want a big round butt and tiny waist*. I want that anaconda to want some.
*= My boobs are currently the food bags of a tiny human, so I’m just gonna see what happens with these two milk jugs once I stop breastfeeding.
Since mid-January (I waited til after my birthday because of cake) I’ve been trying to work out every few days, trying to eat a little less crap and snack on healthier stuff. It’s been going quite well, though this fucking snow has kept me inside and triggered some sort of hibernation instinct in me (all I wanna do is eat).
I just want to be one of those wonderful people that are proud of their bodies, whatever shape they are.
Am I ever really going to get a big round butt and tiny waist? I might if I do hundreds of squats everyday and really focus on my obliques in every workout.
But is that my natural shape? Nah. Is my natural shape good enough? Probably.
Actually yes it is good enough. I know it is. I know that I am actually a slim person who eats well and exercises regularly. My body is a healthy version of its self. I don’t push it too hard or do too little.
All body shapes are beautiful. I just need to convince myself that mine is too.