The wedding dress test is something I started after having Ethan. I knew from before having kids that I never wanted them to be a reason for being heavy or be someone who held on to baby weight and spent my life blaming my kids for looking overweight, so however hard it would be I would loose it and as long as I could always fit back into my wedding dress within the yr following, then life was good and I would know I was at a size and shape that was healthy and “normal” for me and a size I was happy with. I loved my figure at that point in life, a healthy size 12, minimal fat rolls (if any) and curves in the right places. I’ve always had broad shoulders and being heavier on top and I at this point had finally accepted that like I accept my scrawny sparrow legs (which I secretly love) and so I decided it was a good idea hang onto my wedding dress so that when I felt ready after each pregnancy I could try it on and either feel content with my size or motivated to loose the pounds and be back to normal.
This week (at just gone 10 weeks postnatal) I felt ready to take the test, and I was absolutely over the moon that it fit!
I am only a couple pounds away from the weight I was when I got married nearly 7 years ago, and for the record this NEVER happens for me so I am just blown away by how quickly I have slimmed down this time, and with it how good I feel about myself. It has taken me having 4 kids to accept this body post pregnancy because this is this is not only the 1st time after having a baby that I have lost weight quickly, but it is the 1st time I am completely happy with what I see in the mirror.
I guess I’ve always had things I didn’t like about myself…the flabby arms, the knobbly knees, my chin at certain angles – I could go on but what’s the point, I realised 8 years ago that if someone could fall in love with me and see my beauty then I should jolly well start doing the same. I felt amazing when I got married, afterwards and then I had kids and loving myself suddenly became harder to maintain. But fast forward to the present and for the 1st time in what feels like forever I found myself feeling body confident days after having a baby … within a week I found my regular clothes were fitting again and I love that I can now wear whatever I want from my wardrobe. I have just been amazed that despite feeling wrecked and feeling like this pregnancy was the most physically demanding, I actually have come out of it feeling really good about myself!
My journey to this point has been a long and rocky one as this feeling towards myself wasn’t always the case as I say. I distinctly remember the awful view I had of myself following the birth of Ethan when an emergency section not only left me traumatised but with a body and scar that I despised for a long time after. The way I viewed myself was really quite sad, and had a lot to do with the warped view as a result of the PND I quickly developed…I would cry most days I had to get ready, feeling on the verge of a breakdown and I literally felt gross whenever I saw myself. I would read so many quotes and things about how stretchmarks and scars were our medals and all that stuff, but to be honest I thought it was an absolute load of rubbish!
Poppy’s pregnancy was another that took its toll on my ability to love myself. Initially I hated my body for letting my baby down, and then more than anything I just didn’t want to look pregnant. I started to exercise 6 weeks Postnatal, which whilst recommended as a waiting date I know by the pain I felt I should have waited longer, but I pushed past it as I wasn’t particularly in a good place 6 weeks on and was fixated on this idea that I need to not look pregnant!
I’m not sure what changed within me, I think its the unconditional love and compliments from our children, the continuous affection from Nathan and the self confidence and strength that came from fighting to survive after loosing poppy. But now, here in 2016 and after 4 pregnancies and almost 6 years on from that initial post pregnancy body, I feel like I could shout about how good I look and more importantly how I feel. I have some LBs still to loose, but my stretch marks aren’t as red (more faded silver) my section scar is barely visable, my belly is still rather jelly like, but my clothes are all fitting and the best part? It only took me 8 weeks! Yes, That’s all it took this time round for me to fit back into everything I own (bar a few shirts that won’t button because of feeding!). And I am in absolute shock but oh so so happy! I put it down to gaining less because of my diet with gestational diabetes, breastfeeding and of course walking around so much carrying Alice in the wrap.
At 1 week postnatal I realised that now Alice was out I only had a stone to loose to be pre baby weight, 14lbs and I would be back to normal so I set the goal to be there by the 6 week mark and ate sensibly and got on with new baby life.
By 6 weeks I was right on target, the 14lbs had gone but there was still a bit of flab to drop.
By 8 weeks there was little trace of the fat rolls or that I had even recently had a baby and was only 7lbs off my pre…married weight.
Now at 10 week and after these 4 kids taking their toll on my bod, I only have a couple of pounds to go and I love what I see in the mirror. I don’t struggle to get ready day to day because my clothes fit great…I honestly never imagined that something as ordinary as a weight loss goal related to my wedding dress would leave me feeling so body confident and loving me for who I am and what I look like now years down the line.
Be kind to yourself, set goals and just do it because there is no greater feeling than loving yourself and being happy in your own skin…even after having kids! I have wasted far too much time not being happy with me but now at almost 32 I am and It is ordinary moments like this that just bring Joy!