A Weighty Issue

A Weighty Issue

weight post

You know when you’ve got that nagging feeling at the back of your mind that something is bothering you, but you’re not quite sure what it is, but know it’s something you don’t want to actually realise, so you push the thought away? Well, I’ve had that feeling for quite a while now. I was really ill over Christmas, and during a 6 hour coughing fit, where I was debating in my head whether Tena Lady poster girl was actually my next career calling (it will be if I keep ignoring my pelvic floor, especially preluding chest infections,) I realised that, no, that wouldn’t be a good move. Why? Because I feel absolutely gross, and nobody would want to look at me.

In one of my early blog posts, I joked that I was sad that since having children, my belly button now resembled a cats asshole embedded in a giant’s scrotum. That is a very accurate description of it, but I was using humour to cover the fact that this actually devastates me. Pre children, I was always so proud of my flat stomach (other bits not so much,) but a flat stomach lets you get away with a multitude of other sins, I reckon. Now, my stomach is more of a feature spread in Woman magazine, with the headline ‘I lost half my bodyweight, and now I’ve got a stomach flap that hangs down to my knees and I call it Frank,’ you know, that kind of thing. I’ve worn leggings for nearly 4 years straight (FOUR YEARS????!) and have finally realised that jeans will never be a thing, ever again. Wearing jeans, for me, would be like trying to stuff your sleeping bag back into its carrier, you know when the more you stuff in, the more seems to spill back out again, and when you finally, triumphantly, push the last bit into the bag, it looks all lumpy and lopsided, and weird. Jeans are out.

I’ll explain the problem in a bit more detail. I’ve always been very health conscious. In the days where I danced in shows and competitions, the training helped keep me in shape, but I always ate well too. Even when I finished training for shows, I went to the gym, ran in a club, did yoga and pilates, and did dance classes for fun. When I was pregnant with Deep Thinker, I was still slogging it out on a treadmill at 7 months pregnant. But with Mini Assassin, I had horrendous back and pelvic pain really early on, and by 5 months, I could barely get to the end of my road without being in agony. So any exercise was totally out. He was also a huge baby (I think this is what must’ve done the overstretching damage to my stomach, he was a whopping 3lbs heavier than Deep Thinker had been.) And I jumped on the scales after he came out, to find I’d put on 3 stone. In the following weeks, hardly any of this came off-I got all the agony of the ‘shrinking back to yourself’ pains, without actually looking any different. I vowed to get back into shape ASAP.

I quickly fell into a terrible state of postnatal anxiety and depression after he was born, and spent the next few months either not being able to eat at all, or vomiting everything that I forced into my mouth. When I started to feel better, I was surprised to find that during that horrible time, I had still not lost any weight. When I really felt up to it, I re-joined the gym, went on the strictest calorie controlled diet, and went to the gym and killed myself 4-5 times a week. Four soul destroying months later, and still nothing had come off. So I tripped off to the GP. He did a load of blood tests, and found that during my pregnancy with Mini Assassin, I had become insulin resistant. He gave me metformin (a pretty standard medication usually for the treatment of diabetes,) which was supposed to reverse my insulin resistance. Nearly a year, and maxing out on the dosage of the stuff later, and all it’s done has given me diarrhoea, and killer farts that could clear a room in record time. The dietician at the gym assured me that the paleo diet would work. She had seen people with the same problem lose stones on it. So I launched into literally spending every spare second cooking (it’s a real bloody faff, most things you buy have at least 2 or3 paleo banned ingredients in them, so you end up cooking absolutely everything from scratch.) Needless to say, I lost naff all, and was totally unmotivated by all the cooking and preparing anyway.

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So, back to my Big Realisation… Mr W has been saying a lot recently, things like ‘why don’t you go out anymore?,’ ‘Your friends will forget what you look like,’ ‘Why don’t you want to go to so-and-so’s birthday drinks??’ I had always replied with what I believed to be true: ‘I’m too tired,’ and now the perfect gem, ‘I’ve got blog stuff to do!,’ always met with ‘oh, ok, as long as that’s all it is…’ That’s not what it is at all. I was also hit by something Mum Muddling Through said on the last linky before Christmas, about members of the #coolmumclub not willing to be dismissed at frumpy old has beens. My immediate thought was ‘I’m a fraud! I AM a frumpy old has been-I’d better not link up anymore. I’d better retract my guest post. I don’t belong there!’ I even slunk further down under the duvet, like all the other coolmumclub members might suddenly walk into the room and see me for the fraud I am! I don’t want to go out, because I never feel happy in anything I wear, and spend the evening pulling at my outfit, trying to cover everything I hate (which is like, all of it.) I look at my old clothes and mourn that I will never wear them again. My mum used to love buying me new clothes for Christmas (she has amazing taste,) and 3 Christmases ago, she got me some oversized tops, to ‘see you through the rest of your pregnancy,’ with the promise that ‘next year I can go to town with the good stuff again!!’ She looked totally apologetic this Christmas, as she passed me what turned out to be yet more oversized clothes, to mix up the leggings and oversized top combo that is my daily (hated) uniform. Oh, and I avoid mirrors, which is actually something I hadn’t consciously realised I was doing until I had the Big Realisation.

I’m tired of the self loathing, and the I-could-bang-my-head-against-a-wall-until-I-knock-myself-out frustration that with all the will and motivation in the world, I can’t look any different to how I do now, and nobody in the entire world right now seems to know why. And I flipping hate it when people say that I should be happy because at least I’ve got 2 healthy children, and my body is a reflection of bringing life into the world. I can still be grateful for, and blessed to have my children, AND hate what pregnancy has done to my body. I don’t know how I’ll ‘learn’ to accept this, with the massive effect it’s having on my life. Soz for the misery guys, I know it’s not like me, but I’m feeling flipping s**t about it.

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34 Comments

  1. Ali
    January 10, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    So sorry to hear you are feeling so blue. I’m not even sure what to suggest…it sucks and I’m sorry that you’re struggling with it all. Thinking of you and hoping tomorrow is a better day xxx

  2. January 10, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    So sad to hear that you feel this way. If it’s any consolation, I wear leggings all the time too, and I’m absolutely certain that you won’t get booted out of the #coolmumclub!

  3. January 10, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    Oh you are NOT alone!!
    Have a big, virtual, hug.
    What is it about having your second child that makes your body just give up and turn to mush?!
    I refuse to accept that this is just how I’ll look from here on in.
    I’m determined to do something about it.
    You can too!!

    P.S. You totally deserve to be in the #coolmumclub
    I’m not cool at all, and I’m in it!! Fake it til you make it! 😀

  4. January 11, 2016 / 6:39 am

    It seams really unfair that your body is rebelling against you these days. Of course I want to add that you shouldnt let it stop you going out seeing people and doing the things you love, but I understand only too well how your weight can affect your self confidence (even though mine is totally my own fault). I hope at some point the doctors can find an answer for you about this Xxx

  5. January 11, 2016 / 6:47 am

    I can totally identify with how you’re feeling. I don’t make resolutions but I have a goal this year to have more quality time. This means for the family but also for me. I vow to change how I look at myself and stop putting myself last. maybe that is the problem that as mums we put everyone else first and forget our own needs and then Wonder why we feel unhappy. I know that is true for me anyway. We all have off days but only some of us have the strength to do anything about them. I hope I have the strength this year! Stay positive, you can beat this feeling.

  6. January 11, 2016 / 7:21 am

    Know that you are absolutely not alone. I hate the way I look and have zero self confidence. I’m even paranoid that people are pointing and laughing at me because of the way I look. This year I decided no more. I am fed of being miserable. I am trying to lose weight, but more than that I am trying to change the way I see myself and be kinder to myself. Have you thought about going to a department store and having an appointment with a personal stylist. A new look could give you a real confidence boost. x #Fartglitter

  7. January 11, 2016 / 8:36 am

    I really feel your frustration lovely. As a constant yo yo dieter I know how it feels to not feel comfortable in how you look, but I only have myself and a love of cake to blame. I can’t imagine how soul destroying it must be to put the work in but not see any results. Be kind to yourself. You are still the same person, you’re just carrying a few souvenirs from your journey so far. Hugs xx

  8. January 11, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Ooh. #fartglitter
    (That’s not an order by the way :0) )

  9. January 11, 2016 / 8:45 am

    I bloody hear ya!!! Soooo feeling the same way. Feels like everyone else’s body just popped right back down to size after kids. That self loathing is a horrible daily realisation. PLEASE; with all your witty talent and obvious perseverance…when you find the holy grail…let me know the answer. Such a big share that totally hit a chord with me…and rattled it loudly. Good on you. #fartglitter

  10. January 11, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Oh dear – not a good way to start the year! I recently wrote a post about how running will change your life. Not sure if that’s your sort of thing? Hope you feel better soonx #fartglitter

  11. January 11, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this I think you’ve tapped into a feeling so many mothers have. I beat myself up because I hated my perfectly reasonably pre baby belly! If I had it now I’d be crop tops a go go. One small silver lining is that if this had not happened I would not have read the most wonderful, wittiest, most accurate description of a post partum tummy I have ever read. #FartGlitter

  12. January 11, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Oh no! Big hugs. I put on a lot of weight at Uni and when I was pregnant, 4 stones each time I think. It’s awful how low it can make you feel. I hope you find a solution and some happiness soon.

    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter x

    • This Mum's Life
      January 23, 2016 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you! I’m on the constant look out for solutions, I’m hoping something will start working for me soon! Xx

  13. January 12, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Oh darling, I totally know how you feel with this. My body has not been the same since I had my baby over 2 years ago. I try, believe me I try but perhaps not hard enough. Everything seems to have got that much wider! Don’t feel miserable (I know it’s easy for me to say) but accepting the changes and making small goals helps. xxx #abitofeverything

    • This Mum's Life
      January 23, 2016 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks Rach. You always look amazing in your photos, but I know what you mean, ribs and hips do seem to actually be wider for most people, what’s up with that??!!!!! I’m aiming to get there eventually, maybe if I had more time to work out really hard? Who knows. You are right, small goals are more achievable. Thanks for reading and commenting. X

  14. January 12, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Being overweight devastates me too. I need to lose 9 stone and it feels awful some days. Luckily Im doing something about it and slowly going downhill towards my goal. Good luck and thanks for such an honest and great post. Angela from Daysinbed #Abitofeverything

    • This Mum's Life
      January 23, 2016 / 1:19 pm

      Thanks Angela. It can be absolutely devastating can’t it? Good luck with your journey, I will look forward to updates, to see how you are getting on. Xx

  15. January 12, 2016 / 11:27 am

    I could not lose weight after my #2 as well and I realised that I was not one of those whose weight melted away while breastfeeding. I was the opposite – I gained! So it’s hard when you read literature and listen to other people’s advice and nothing works and you start to think “what’s wrong with me”? I do hope you will find something or some plan that will help you! I have been a yo-yo all my life but I just discovered a High Protein Low Carb plan that really worked wonders for me this year! And the weight loss has just boosted my confidence! Keep on trying and looking! I had to giggle, no had a LOUD laugh at your description of your belly button!!!! Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:31 pm

      Yes, the old belly button is in a fine old state!! I’m glad that bit made you laugh though, if we don’t laugh, we cry!! But although I’ve fluctuated the odd few pounds before, I’ve never been particularly large in size, so to be larger, then not be able to get rid of it, is a massive shock! I’ll keep trying though, and well done for finding something that works for you!! Thanks for reading and commenting. x

  16. January 13, 2016 / 1:19 am

    I didn’t gain weight because of children, but because of illnesses, some diagnosed and some undiagnosed for a long time. But I think I can still understand where you’re coming from. I went through a few years where I pretty much isolated myself from everyone because I was so desperately unhappy with how I looked. I couldn’t understand how my husband could even still love me since I thought I was so gross. But somehow, he did keep loving me, even when I didn’t love myself. Nothing anyone says will be able to talk you out of how you feel. Perhaps we have to go through feeling like that to come out the other side. Because there /is/ another side. A brighter, better side. The only way you’re guaranteed to stay this size forever is if you don’t try. You may never get to the size you were, but neither do you have to stay the size you are. Everyone’s bodies are different. Just because one diet works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. I went through planned diet after diet, gained weight on some of them. Cried a lot in the privacy of my shower. Finally listened to my body and found something that works for me. It can get better. I promise. I’ve been blogging about my own weight loss journey, because I’ve found it helps keep me sane and strong to have my subscribers involved. I wish you all the best and pray you don’t give up!

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you! That is so great and inspirational. It sounds like you know the exact struggle I’m having. I’ll pop over to your blog to find out what it is you’re doing that’s worked for you! I know exactly how you felt, I worry that people are looking at me and my husband when we are out, and wondering what he’s doing with me, and I think that he must find me repulsive and want to leave. It’s an awful way to feel. Thanks for the lovely comment and advice. x

  17. January 13, 2016 / 8:31 am

    hmm I’m not a big advocate of the paleo diet as it can very hard to stick to, as so restrictive. I reckon the dietitian at the gym was probably a nutritionist (they are different). However, for insulin resistance the reduction in carbohydrates should really help with your blood sugars and as you are cutting down on so much processed food, weight loss normally does occur. I’m wondering if the exercise was making you hungrier and you ate more to compensate, so no loss? Sometimes as well, (this is not to offend) are you being truely honest about everything that goes into your mouth – foods and drinks both count. It is so easy to pick and miss something? If you want any specific help give us a tweet and lots of luck. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thanks Sarah! Don’t worry, no offense taken, family and friends have already tentatively asked me if I’m being totally honest! The only things I knowingly do wrong, are not giving up wine (I was told to do this by a personal trainer,) I just can’t do it, in the least wanting to sound like an alcoholic way! And I still eat cheese and houmous (my favourite foods,) but in miniscule proportions. But I’m sure those things won’t make all the difference? I ould do it, but I’m sure I’d be miserable, without wine especially! Thanks for commenting. x

  18. January 13, 2016 / 9:26 am

    I wish I was able to give you a friendly hug or at least say something to make you feel better. I know what it’s like to feel utterly awful about the way you look, I think we all do. Hoping that you find a solution or a way to find peace with yourself soon x

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Robyn. I’m hoping a solution will be found, or I can find a way to live with how I look! Thanks for reading and commenting. x

  19. January 13, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Oh Lucy. Don’t listen to me… You do realise we are all fighting the frump, I can’t tell you how poo I feel when I meet up with my old pals and they spend all evening complimenting each other’s hair outfits etc and I’m sat in my finest threads feeling like…. A mum. We have all been there honey. The joke is in the irony you see 😉
    We also all feel the lack of drive to socialise… It’s called too bloody knackered and can’t be arsed 🙂
    Sounds like you need some expert advice, your body must have some stuff going on if none of those diets work? Go back to the gp and ask to be referred to a specialist? Or, start dancing again? You loved it right? Do what makes you happy Hun. Keep smiling and making us smile too.
    Sending you a massive, massive virtual cuddle X X X #bestandworst

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I know, I hate going out with friends who don’t have children, and they all look fresh and fabulous, and I’m sure that once I’ve gone they’ll be saying that I’ve really let myself go etc… It’s awful paranoia! I’ve asked to be referred to a specialist, so will wait and see if that throws anything up. Thanks for the lovely comment. x

  20. January 14, 2016 / 7:23 am

    Oh lovely, I know exactly how you feel. Becoming a parent is hard but then you’ve got the part where they have changed your body and added pounds that just won’t go. I know it’s a cliche but I’ve learnt to love me, it’s hard but can be done. #coolmumclub xx

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:14 pm

      I envy people who say they have learnt to love themselves-please pass on any tips to me, because I just can’t find it within myself right now! Thanks for reading and commenting. x

  21. January 14, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Oh I could have written this. I am feeling so frumpy right now and I have too have spent the last four years in leggings and baggy tops. I miss my skinny jeans. Yesterday I went shopping and bought healthy foods instead of the usual crisps and chocolate and tonight for the first time in years I went for a jog. I’m just hoping I can see it through for more than a week this time. I hate myself when I look in the mirror. I barely recognise the woman I have become. I’ve decided that now is the time to do something about it.

    #coolmumclub

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      Good luck with it! I’m glad you’ve found the motivation-hating what you see in the mirror is so miserable. I miss skinny jeans the most too!! I loved them! Let me know how you’re getting on. x

  22. January 14, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    Eeek! Sending you a big glass of wine and slice of cake to cheer you up – because it sounds like you need it right now. As far as I’m concerned being a mum gives us all a carte blanche to be frumpy. We are only going to get covered in snot and told we are wobbly anyway. And no, we don’t think you are a fraud! Hugs from all at #coolmumclub lovely xx

    Talya – http://www.motherhoodtherealdeal.com

    • This Mum's Life
      January 18, 2016 / 9:11 pm

      Aaaaw, thanks Talya. I hate feeling this way, and it’s so unfair that we do an amazing thing, and some have to look like, well me, because of it! Thanks for reading and commenting. x

  23. Jessica Mcneil
    May 31, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Dear Lucy,
    how are you? I do hope that you feel much better now and your kids have become the main reason of a smile on your face. I am pregnant now and totally afraid of facing the same situation as you had. If you have already coped with that anxiety and unrest that you had after childbirth, I would appreciate any recommendations from you.
    Thank you for a great blog!

    P.S. Love yourself and other people will love you!
    Best wishes,
    Jessica.