Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves in the chaotic holiday season at the end of a chaotic time. I hope you got also got some well-deserved rest. My holidays are already a blur and I still can’t remember what day it is or what I did yesterday, but that is standard.
I was in the middle of writing a follow up piece from my “how pregnancy helped my recovery” post, but I just felt so over whelmed and defeated yesterday, that I thought I would continue with these feelings and write about that, I will post the follow up piece at a later date, when I can get back in the right head space.
On Monday I went back to work after having 9 months off for maternity leave. I had been dreading Monday since before I even left work and I really wanted to extend my leave, but COVID (as it does) put a bit of a dampener on that. I digress, I went back to work and Charlie stayed with my mother in law, who is over from Sydney, which was super handy and work actually was better than I expected. I gave myself time and was patient with myself trying to figure out how to time manage again and I was impressed with my ability to work after 5 hours sleep, which is something I would have called in sick for usually (thank you motherhood). I took my portable tommee tippee breast pump to pump on my lunch break, not as good as my Spectra pump, but it did the job just fine and I was able to get a good amount of milk for next week AND help with my anxiety regarding losing my milk supply. I came home around 4pm and Charlie was not the least bit interested in the fact that I was home- job well done.
On Tuesday it was my second year wedding anniversary and I had work again in the morning. I had a new uniform set out for the day and when I tried to put it on, it didn’t fit. I was surprised because my uniform from the day before, although a bit tighter, fit me so I reluctantly got back into my uniform from the day before. I had realised that the uniform that still fit me, was my maternity uniform from when I was 30 weeks pregnant at work. The waist band on my pants was so tight around my belly that after 4 hours of work and bloating, I had a big red mark around my midline; something that hadn’t happened when I wore them when I was pregnant. It was hard to accept that not only did I not fit into my old uniforms, but I barely fit into my maternity uniforms either. I just tried to push past those old feelings of unworthiness and remind myself why they didn’t fit and that seemed to help.
I came home from work and wanted to get some of my wedding photos off my computer to put on my phone (so I could post them on instagram) (such a millennial). Going through all the old photos I kept comparing myself to myself and kept thinking how much thinner and better I looked just two years ago.
I got ready to go to dinner with my husband. I wore my hair in a messy bun, but not a cute messy bun, a “I just got home from work, breast fed the baby, fed the baby dinner, pumped, had a 2 minute shower and find clean underwear from the floor” messy bun, just a hint of mascara and the only one of two dresses that fit me. I looked in the mirror and I just did not like what I saw- so I refused to look.
I think back to the headspace I was in before my wedding day and my goal was weight loss. I was the healthiest I had ever been physically, but it came at a small cost to my mental health. My husband and I decided to elope, but I still wanted “the dress” so I just went to a little boutique near our home in Victoria and told the lady working in the boutique that I had a smaller top half and a large bottom and thicker thighs, she had the perfect dress. It was a two-piece lace dress with the top half and bottom half in two different sizes! It was amazing, but along with the perfect dress, I then had the anxiety that came with wearing a wedding dress with my mid drift showing. I now had 4 months to “slim down”. I went to boxing three times a week, ate eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and a some form of meat and veg for dinner- every damn day. It was hard. I love food. I love food so damn much, so it was difficult to be so regimented and stay away from “bad food”. At the end of the day, I was my goal weight that I had aimed for, but I still did not feel good enough and there was still room for improvement in my head. I decided to let go a little bit and just enjoy myself and by the time we were on our way to our wedding venue, I had had enough of restricting myself and got a big fat whopper meal from Hungry Jacks as my last meal before I came a wife and I enjoyed it so much. I made a pact to myself to just eat whatever I wanted after my wedding day as a “good-bye” so to speak to restricting myself. Looking back now, I can see that this form of extreme dieting is just another form of eating disorder behaviour.
On the day I felt like a goddess and truly let go. It was a magical day and the evening was even better. We were in our Pj’s by 9pm and asleep shortly after.
I felt so awful yesterday. It’s confronting and uncomfortable when transitioning from such a toxic mind frame to a healthier one. I just gave myself time, I did not like the way I looked yesterday, but that is okay. Today I felt better and on the weekend I had a day where I was loving what I saw in the mirror. Body dismorphia is a thing and it is hard to look at yourself and realise everything you’ve created with your body and appreciate it when your mind takes you to that place of unworthiness. I gave myself time and waited until I was in a better mind frame before I could come and write this. It is hard and I feel vulnerable putting it out there, but I want to show that I talk a big game of recovery and hating the diet industry, but I have days where it truly is hard to accept myself. And that is okay. Accepting yourself is not linear and neither is being a parent. Some days I am on a roll with being a mum and the next day I am trying hard to stay awake and playing with Charlie on the lounge all day. And THAT is okay.
We do what we can.