Being honest about the baby weight


Melissa Haak
 
 

By Melissa Haak

Peanut Butter in my Hair
 

I, like many women, have had a tumultuous relationship with my body and how I see it. I struggled for years in my youth with body image issues, and abusing my body through starvation and over exercising. I look back at some of those pictures of me now with the gangly arms and legs and the sunken eyes-I looked like a bobble head.

Being a mother is hard on the body. You start by growing another human, inside you. I think I gained almost 50 pounds with my first and I had to stop looking at the scale. It took a few years but after my first two I was able to get back to a healthy and comfortable weight. I fit into my favorite jeans again and while I was not as skinny as I once was, I was happy in my body.

The last four years have left me in a body I don't recognize. I don't notice it in my everyday, other than when I am trying to get dressed. Stuck in that in-between stage of maternity clothes being too big and my regular clothes being too small. I go through the busyness of the everyday and only occasionally notice the extra roundness here, the extra curve there. Then I see a photograph, I 'm trying to be in them more afterall, and I don't know who that it. It's someone else, a family member who was always larger. It's not me. Except it is.

Four pregnancies in four years. Two miscarriages. Depression. Anxiety. It manifests itself in bad habits and extra pounds. I realize now with each passing day that my baby days are numbered. Everytime I pick him up he feels bigger. He does new things every day. Soon (well actually, four years, but it will go by fast) I will have all my kids in school for some amount of time in a day and then what? Who will I see staring back at me?

I once wrote that you {me} had to love yourself enough to take time for yourself. I write about it often actually and it sounds really good on paper, but I have four kids, some work, a house to clean, volunteer obligations and the list goes on. After I did the mud run I felt something I hadn't felt in a long time, powerful, strong, accomplished. I had found me way down deep at the bottom of the to do list and I missed her.

It took a few weeks but on Saturday I said enough, I'm going to do this. I have taken a run everyday since Saturday. I'm doing the Couch to 5K training program and I am loving it. I feel so much better mentally and physically and in turn I am being a better wife and mother.

It started with just deciding I had to do it. It wasn't ideal, it was Saturday morning and it was hot. It wasn't perfect. I was slow, and so out of shape. There was so many other things to do! But it starts with one step, and I took that one step, and another followed and another.

I want my kids to see that I don't only love them fully and completely but that I love myself too. That starts with taking care of me, one step at a time.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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