18 months- post baby thoughts

in 3 days karl will be 18 months old. i try to restrain my mother hen crowing about how completely amazing he is and how i’m sure he’s already a child genius on par with anything salinger dreamed up. {mostly bc the italian side of my brain is afraid of the evil eye.} usually i fail. hopefully i don’t come off as smug. 


smugness. i actually worry about that {and everything, hi generalized anxiety disorder} whenever i interact with people online. can you be happy with yourself and your accomplishments without seeming like an asshole? i don’t know. 

women, especially are never supposed to be happy about their lives. appearance, career, love-life, children {if you have them or if you don’t}- these are all areas where you are expected to find fault with yourself or if you don’t, to stay silent. no one wants to hear your twee-ass happiness.

the point i’m coming to is, i’ve lost most of the 60+ lbs i gained while pregnant with karl and i’m happy about it. i know, i should be quiet. i should never be happy about how i look bc it’ll make other people unhappy about how they look or else they’ll simply think i’m delusional bc i obviously don’t look that good. at least, growing up, that’s how it worked in my family. anyone foolhardy enough to be verbally satisfied with their appearance was quickly attacked. since none of the women in my family were shrinking violets, ugly fights about being pretty ensued.  

when i got pregnant, mixed in with the congratulations were the strange, prophecies of doom regarding how i would look in the future. i’m no one’s {except my husband’s} idea of perfect. i’m too tall to buy most ready made clothes. broad shouldered, small bust, big hips {see pictures}. i like my body, but i don’t expect anyone else to. however, i was a little weirded out about the- “your boobs will disappear!” “don’t gain weight! you’ll never lose it!” stretch marks, hair loss, etc. really? jesus, i was more scared of gestational diabetes than my fat ass. i don’t know if this was part of the hazing process of joining the sorority of motherhood, but it was lame.

 did i care? kinda sorta? how much did i care? i cared more that people would say things like that than it actually happening. i have my mother’s body {minus the implants} so i had a pretty good idea how i’d look. i was 36 and was never going to look 26 again- and i certainly don’t feel bad about that. our obsession with looking 19-21 for all eternity is just stupid. as is our obsession with “getting our body back” after we have children by erasing any and all trace of having carried and thus given birth to a child, which is a really creepy goal. of course you only have 6-12 weeks otherwise, as i was told repeatedly, it’ll NEVER come off!!!  i tried to not have that frame of mind and set a calm,  realistic goal for myself: 

38″ hips

that’s how big they were before i got pregnant and that’s how big they have to be for me to fit into my pants. pants are the hardest thing for me to find, so the ones i have i guard jealously. most of them i’ve had for about 8 years. well, i reached my goal and i’m happy as a duck. 

it took 17 months. i didn’t crash diet. i ate moderately and rarely drank. i exercised a half hour a day. for each step of weight loss i did different things. riveting, i know. not like the exciting covers that shout at me from magazines while i wait in line, “drop 3 dress sizes in in 1 month!!!” i didn’t want to yo-yo and i didn’t want to hurt myself by not getting the right nutrition. we went out to eat delicious red robin a couple times a month {we’re pure class}, but other than that i cook from scratch. i have a sweet tooth and made cakes and cookies, again from scratch. 
my body is different now. my upper arms are thicker. my bust is bigger {hello!}, my ribcage expanded, and my waist is bigger. i’ve always been prone to cellulite, but now i’m covered in it. oh well.
the photo below looks like i’m sucking my gut in but i’m not, at least not very much. my mother used to regale me with horror stories about a hunch-backed cousine of hers who got that way from bad posture. for karl’s sake, i hope i don’t turn into a crazy mother. 


i’m a stay at home mom and i only have one child, so i had an extra half hour to exercise. i also have the time to cook, take vanity shots of my saddlebags, and to post self congratulatory blogs about myself instead of painting like i should be doing. but i do have a fair idea of how lucky i am and as much as i like myself, i like other people too. i skewer no one just to prop up my own ego. 

so please, don’t tell your pregnant friends how terrible they’re going to look after they have a kid. show a little restraint. trust me, it’s not “funny.” you’re not “bonding.” and they have enough to worry about.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Molly Covert says:

    High five on making your goal yo! I don't think it is self congratulatory at all to say you are happy with the way you look because 1. you do look great 2. you worked hard 3. who gives a flying fuck about how anybody else feels about the way you look. Those people shouldn't get high fives from you. Besides, the media only wants us to feel bad about ourselves so that we buy what they are selling. If we liked the way we looked they would go out of business.

  2. thank you so much molly πŸ˜€ i've noticed that people love it when you try, but rarely love it when you succeed, in any aspect of your life. not that people have said that usually to my face, but i've definitely been in groups of people where another person's achievement is discussed & then they're derided. they just can't be happy for their "friend". it's pretty sad. and yes, the media. i'm regularly surprised and disturbed by every new thing they find wrong with women. cankles? really? tell that to a petty girl. she was too busy being awesome during ww2 to care.

  3. Jan says:

    I can't believe people said those things to you. Man, you may need new "friends". I think you look great and am very proud of you.

  4. πŸ™‚ they were acquaintances rather than friends, but i've seen people do the same thing to other people. sort of that general, raining on your parade kind of behavior, but incredibly rude at the same time.thank you janice. i'm excited to be in the maintenance phase of fitness rather than the reducing phase πŸ˜€

  5. What a great and honest post. Congratulations. Sounds like you do it your way and that just works out fine- good for you.

  6. thank you πŸ™‚ i've been trying to convince my friends to be more positive about their bodies. no one's perfect & that's kind a wonderful thing.

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