Sunday, April 19, 2009

Accepting the Fat

I feel fat.

I have never had a weight issue in my life. If anything I was too skinny in high school. Now I find myself 20 pounds over my normal weight, perhaps 30 over what I would like to be, and it feels awful. Friends and family reassure me that I look great and I appreciate that, but I just don’t like what I see.

I really didn’t think it would be like this. What I thought would happen was I would breastfeed Jack and that the pounds would come flying off of me. Oh, and I could eat whatever I want too. By two or three months postpartum I would be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s what people told me! And worse yet, that's what the books said! It was too easy to believe them.


I’m surprised how much this has taken a toll on my self-esteem. It has only added to the discouragement I feel about being alone at home and unable to find a job. I still look four months pregnant, my clothes don’t fit well, and… and I just hate it. It feels lousy.

I’m trying to eat healthier. Eating more veggies at snack time and light meals for dinner. But I get so hungry!! Jack just sucks it all out of me – literally! And, on days like today when I’m worn out because Jack needs extra attention and Tim has been working four ten hour shifts in a row, it is easier to heat up left over pizza than to try to pull together a decent meal.

Working out hasn't been easy either. Up until recently, Jack was only able to be awake for an hour at a time. I could work out during a nap, but if he woke up early I wouldn't get a shower. Only recently have I been able to go on walks, but the weather seems to be confused here in Colorado and winter has come several months late.

Weary. Weary. Weary.

I wish our culture would be healthier. I wish the ideal wouldn’t be for me to be 5’ 6” (my height) and 110 pounds (way below healthy). But you turn on the tv or open an ad and all of the women are size 0 or less. It makes a normal, healthy woman feel fat. And it makes me feel like I’m failing to be what I “should” be.

So, the question is this: can I accept myself the way I am? Can I love myself even though I don't like what I see? Can I find myself beautiful with a flubby, stretched out tummy? Can I learn to see that tummy as the fabulous vehicle that brought my wonderful little boy into the world?

Oh God! Help! I need to see myself as You see me and not as I do! I need to know I am lovely. I need to know I am who You want me to be. I need to know my worth does not depend on meeting expectations – especially when they so often are my own false expectations. Please – help me trust You and Your love. I need to remember as You’ve taught me before that that’s where my worth comes from.

“The Lord does not look at things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~ Yahweh (1 Samuel 16:7)


  1. Hey Leah! So I linked over from facebook and wanted to share a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers (Maggie at While I have not been pregnant, I mentally filed this post (and the comments included) away to remember for later=)

    -Josie St Peter

  2. I once read that your body stretches out for 9 months, so realistically it takes 9 months, or more, to get your body back to normal. Sometimes I look in the mirror at my little pudge tummy and I try to thank God that I am now a mommy and that very fact gives me the right to have the tummy that only having a baby can give you. You are beautiful Leah!

  3. Ok... first of all, who told you it would take 2-3 months? I was still in maternity clothes at 2 months with both kids. I never lost all my preg weight after Silas was born, I was within about 7 lbs or so when I got preg again, so that was 15 months later. And trust me, even then my clothes fit differently. Look at moms with babies, not at tv or ads... we are real. Also, because you are nursing, your clothes will fit different too, and your hips may be wider, etc., it happens... but these are all little things that come with a huge blessing, an amazing little boy. As he starts to move around and you are up more and chasing him it will eventually happen. But more so, I think we just need to accept our new "mommy bodies". I heard that it takes over 7 years to get "back to normal" once you stop bf... and that is with the last kid. I told this to my mom and she said that sounded about right. But I also agree with Beth... it took me about 9 mo to a year to feel good about my body after Silas was born. So don't be too hard on yourself. You are so beautiful and the sooner you believe it the sooner you will start to see yourself that way. (I actually threw away my "skinny jeans" as soon as I found out I was preg with Silas and I have never regretted it... I feel no pressure to be that thin again, what a relief.)


  4. Hey Leah -
    I saw your post on FB and linked to your site. Such normal feelings to feel as a mom! I totally feel for you and know that whatever I say still won't take away your feelings but hope that it will let you know that you aren't the only mom that has felt this way!
    I honestly never lost the weight until I was done breastfeeding. I'm still nursing Cason and too hate feeling and seeing my pudgy tummy! With Kamryn because of the c-section I felt it took 9 months for sure to start to feel down to my "normal" pre prego size. I honestly don't think I felt good about my body until right before I got pregnant with Cason and then I had to do it all over again!
    I honestly tell know, people don't see me unclothed except for my husband (well and the hospital staff when I gave birth) but I just figure you hide the flab with some darn cute clothes (especially the style now that's looser tops!)
    Hang in there... :)

  5. leah, you are full of awesomeness. jack is lucky to have you for his mommy! sorry you've been feeling a little down lately.

  6. Hey, I just saw this on It applies to your blog so I thought of you.

  7. Leah! I have enjoyed reading your blog thus far. Thank you for your honesty. :) Your little Jack is just adorable! We have a blog too... check it out at:

    Hope you are well!


  8. Thanks for the comments everyone. They were and are really helpful. I now KNOW I have been listening to the wrong sources/people. The book I was referring to was "What to Expect the First Year" which said I should lose the weight within two months. Bull. :)

    Thanks for the links to the websites too. Josie, yours made me smile and feel good about myself. :) Beth (I love babycenter btw) that article was also encouraging. Jess, like I said on Monday, thanks for sharing your experience. That was helpful. And Carissa and Karly it is good to hear from you!!

  9. Oh! And Bridget! Thanks for your comments too! :) You inspired me to go shopping for some better clothes. I got a really cute shirt on Monday! haha :)

  10. Hey Leah-

    This Molly Duepner and I came across your blog. I just also wanted to Thank you for your honesty about what its really like for you as a mom. Not only do I think will you be a wonderful resource as you are the oldest sister to four others but also to all the young women you come across in your ministry. I am already learning from you! I imagine the body changes after pregnancy are intense and I bet I would feel the exact same way, just like "when will this get off of me!" You should cut yourself some slack though, you are a new mom trying to figure out how to raise this being that just showed up in your life, helpless and needing you! I think I would probably go for the pizza as well! If you are trying to think of new ways to exercise when you have a free hour or so, I have loved belly dancing myself and you actually need a little belly fat for it to be a beautiful dance.. maybe a way to celebrate it? Just an idea.