My relationship with my body has always been turbulent, mainly one of hatred to be honest. As a child I knew I was bigger than everyone else (being tall meant I was naturally bigger anyway) and I can clearly remember having feelings of low self esteem as a result.
Teenage years brought me to an all-time low when I stopped eating. I lived on one meal a day – a jacket potato with some gravy. I think I got away with it because I’d become a vegetarian and so was in charge of my own meals. I look back at photos and feel so incredibly sad – I was skin and bones and yet I know I felt enormous. It just shows how you can never trust what you see in the mirror and should probably listen to friends who tell you that you look great!
Having three babies has meant that I have had to adjust my view of my body. When I was pregnant with Gracie I was so anxious to see how I would cope with gaining so much weight but actually I have never felt so body confident in my life. Knowing I was growing a baby seemed to cancel out any body confidence issues, leaving me feeling something I’d never felt for my body – love.
For the first time ever I wanted to take care of my body and every night I would moisturise my belly, enjoying talking to baby while I did so. I’ve done this through every pregnancy and this time around I used a fab kit from Secret saviours, with a day and night cream to use with a special bump band.
The system helps to prevent stretch marks and I am so pleased that I came away with maybe one or two this time. I was actually really shocked as I felt so stretched by the end of my pregnancy. With a 10 pounder I was very lucky indeed!! I have been using the creams over the last 6 weeks too and I think keeping moisturised has helped my skin to stay supple and ease back into shape. The best thing for me though was the lower back support it gave me. My bump was so so heavy and up until I started using the band I’d had really bad back ache so it was great for that!
Six weeks on I would say I am pretty much back to my ‘normal’ body shape – whatever normal is these days. It did take a good 2 or three weeks for my uterus to contract down and lose the baby bump and now I am just left with a mum tum. It is weird as I had a completely flat stomach after having the girls – even on the first day! Just shows how every pregnancy is different. Not that I expected or even wanted a flat tummy, for the first time in my life I honestly didn’t care and I still don’t care.
I do care about looking after my body though and I am also wanting to look after my mind too. Being a mum often means you end up putting everyone else’s needs above your own and I have definitely been guilty of this over the last few years. I have moaned that I haven’t had time to brush my hair, felt rubbish when wearing frumpy clothes – but who has been to blame? It has taken me 5 years but I have finally realised that I am the only one who can make the time to look after myself and have ‘me time’.
I am going to share more about my daily routine in a day or so, I want to show you that even with three kids it is possible to get showered, brush your hair and put some lippy on! I cannot tell you how much of an impact it has had on my mental wellbeing, just making a few changes here and there.
Take care of yourself first or you will have nothing left to give others
I honestly worried towards the end of my pregnancy that I wouldn’t be able to cope with three, but I am doing ok. There are days when I don’t do so well but on the whole I am feeling like I am on top of it all. I am making time for me and this means that I feel able to look after everyone else.
I used to look in the mirror and hate myself, hate my body and feel very low indeed. Having children has taught me that my body is truly amazing and deserves to be looked after. I am eating healthily (partly enforced by being dairy and soya free at the moment!) and am taking care of my skin. Feeling body confident is having a positive impact on my whole mindset and I am the happiest I have been in a very long time.