When I moved to NYC after living in Italy for seven years, it was a tough transition. When I left Florence, I longed to live somewhere bigger and with more action. But when I got to NYC, I had a hard time meeting new people and creating meaningful relationships, there was fierce competition in the work world–and to top it off sh*t was EXPENSIVE. Everyone told me to ‘give it a year’. Friends and new acquaintances alike said that the first year in NYC is hard for everyone, but that after a year I would LOVE it for sure. A year passed and I still hadn’t found my place. Next, everyone was saying to give it two years, and that after two years I would LOVE it for sure. So I gave it one more year. So two years had passed and I still wasn’t feeling it. So I moved to Los Angeles, this time, without asking for opinions about how long I’d need to stay before I started loving it.
It is with that memory that I write this post, because it has been nine months, and despite what many people have said about it taking ‘nine months to gain the baby-weight, nine months to lose it’ my body still looks and feels…well, bleh. Part of me thought that just by eating pretty healthily and walking around the reservoir a few times a week, that after nine months, my body would be like it was before. My truth-telling nieces who periodically ask if ‘there is another baby in my belly’ have spilled the beans: I still look pregnant. Somehow, when Ida was tiny I felt like I had the I *just* had a baby pass–but now, nine months later, I feel like I should be back to feeling normal.
And I don’t.
Since being here in Cph I have been walking a TON, like around 5 miles a day. I get home and my legs are tired, feet are sore–but it feels SO good to walk this much–and I feel bummed that I didn’t push myself to walk more while I was pregnant. Without beating myself up too much about it, I can’t help but wonder if I had been more active during my pregnancy if that would have changed the complicated birth and emergency C-section, which I feel like is one of the main causes of my body-issues right now. That f***king flap is still ever-present and, the worst part is, as I do lose a bit of weight here and there the flap just hangs further down. I mean, what?? And when I’m getting dressed in the morning, I think about how to hide the flap–a sad juxtaposition to my pretty round belly that I loved to flaunt while prego. Not to mention that the only comfy nursing bras that actually fit my BOUS (boobs of unusual size) make my breasts look more like one big inner-tube, than anything resembling the buoys of yore.
Saturday I went out shopping–still on the hunt for a pair of jeans that fit. I found myself wandering through H&M and made my way to the maternity section, which they intelligently call the ‘mothers’ section here in Denmark–which made me feel a little less lame for shopping in the maternity section when I am, alas, not at all pregnant. As I was browsing through the jersey-top jeans and elasticized balloon tops, I was being stared at by huge posters of Beyoncé on the beach, in a bikini, looking damn hot, I might add. It took pretty much all the will-power in the world for me to not lose-it right there at H&M. WHY DOESN’T MY BODY LOOK LIKE BEYONCE’S? Afterall, we had our babies just a few months apart. Damn that C-section.
(I did find some cute pants though. So, there’s that.) I’m kinda kidding about the Beyonce thing–but kinda not. She’s considered ‘thick’ in many circles. I was searching online for high-waisted bikinis this morning for a summer trip and paused for a while trying to imagine what this suit would look like on me. Not that the size ‘L’ would fit me anyway. But really?!
I’m pretty good about not thinking about it too much. Or I just focus on the good stuff–like Ida, or the fact that even when I’m at my heaviest my face tends to stay pretty thin–lucky me. But when I do think about it, or look in a full-length mirror, or look at huge pictures of Beyonce in a bikini while I’m shopping in the maternity section even though I’m not pregnant, I get bummed out.
So I’m not going to ask you how long it took you to ‘get your body back’–and even that type of rhetoric is bumming me out these days. Get your body back from where or from whom? My body never left, she’s been here all along. What I need to get back isn’t my body–but my comfortability in my body, my confidence, my f*ckitedness. Truth is, I never had Beyonce’s body–not when I was fourteen, not when I was at my skinniest, not before I had a baby. I had my body, and I still do. Now I just have to figure out how to love this body a little better. This body that has been like a really good friend to me and I’ve been embarrassed to take her out with the cool kids.
What I am going to ask you is to share, if you’re up for it, is one thing that you love about your body. I’ll start. I love my skin. The olive shade, the softness. I don’t even mind the stretch marks so much. My husband calls them war scars. Huzzah!
Now you go.