Have You Ever Done This?

Have you ever done this?

You get out of the shower and grab your towel. You wrap it around your body then dry your face, neck, shoulders, breasts and stomach. Maybe you dry your bum too but you can’t be bothered with your legs and always let them air dry (oh wait, maybe that’s just me! :) ) Then you walk over to the sink and wipe away some of the steam on the mirror. First you reach for your face moisturiser (nothing makes me feel like more of a Goddess than a few drops of rose hip oil!). Then you grab whatever it is you use on your body – lotion, shea butter, coconut oil – and you start applying that. Quickly now, your “lingering in the bathroom” days are over since having children. Grease up the legs, extra at the knees, and of course need a bit more for those meaty thighs and butt cheeks! From there it’s back up to the shoulders, arms and elbows. Another palm of moisturiser and its breasts and stomach and voila! You’re oiled up. Then you take a step back and look at your naked self in the mirror.

Ugh. You see it now. It’s getting old. It’s getting droopy. You’re fat. F**king cellulite. Faded stretch marks. Where did this body come from? It looks like a strangers. You wonder if this is what your partner sees. Probably. You make a mental note to not take your shirt off until the lights are out.

He tells you you’re beautiful but your reflection tells you otherwise. You quickly dress. You come out of the bathroom sad… Dejected… Depressed. Seeing yourself naked always does that to you.

You’ve tried to explain how you feel about your body but he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get that when you button your jeans now there is that extra skin below your belly button that likes to pop out and bulge out the top. You plan your wardrobe around that skin. He doesn’t understand what it feels like to walk around in a world that is wallpapered in lingerie and bikini models – all smiling and sexy with their lean unblemished bodies. You feel like a freak some days.

So… Have you ever done this? Felt this? Or have I just written something incredibly personal to **mostly** strangers?

I’ve always been insecure about my body. My heart aches for the 17 year old girl I was who thought she was fat and started her first diet. My heart aches for the 25 year old new Mom that I was who thought her body was “ruined,” scarred forever from stretch marks and unworthy of my husband’s admiration. My heart aches for the years I spent punishing myself physically and emotionally, but also punishing my family too, as my self-loathing spilled over into our lives.

Now that I don’t hate my body I cannot believe how much time and space this took up in my life. Learning to love myself – truly embracing the skin I’m in and saying “thank you my body, I will be kinder to you now.” – is one of the best thing’s that ever happened to me, my family and my marriage. When your body isn’t an issue anymore there is a gaping hole in your life ready to be filled with positive and fulfilling things.



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  1. Phoebe says

    A friend said recently she wishes she was as thin as she was when she thought she was fat! I’m a size 12-14. I’m 75kg. I know that only cause I had to stand on a scale with a listless child in emergency so they could assertion his weight and give him steroids to open his airways and save his life. It’s a number. The clothes sizes a number. I’m not oblivious to my ‘faults’. I long for stronger, leaner, less wobbly bits. However I can honestly say I’m happy in my skin. My husband lovingly caresses each curve. My children kiss my crows feet next to my eyes. They are there from smiling at the joy they have brought me. My baby grabs for my soft, saggy, wobbly breasts for milk numerous times a day. This body created life and continues to give it with each beat of my heart and each I love you I whisper. I like clothes, make up, dressing up, dressing down. Fluffing up my hair to go out, getting out the false eyelashes and lippy. I look in the mirror and see beauty. I lay beside my husband and feel love. A deeper, more tangible thing than I ever thought possible after 10 years with the same man! I tell my children ‘I am beautiful today’. ‘I feel confident and powerful today’. And I meant it. A far cry from a 18 year old who starved herself in search of perfection. Who at 40kgs felt fat. Worthless and ugly. I am enough. I will not let society and billboards tell me otherwise.

  2. Marney says

    Wow this article really hit home with me as pregnant with my second I am struggling with my changing body after a 7 year gap between bubs. Being fit and healthy before I became pregnant again I have found it hard not having the energy to exercise much and having images of teeny women with their baby bumps and skinny legs makes it hard to feel okay all the time in how I look.

    Don’t get me wrong, I adore my baby bump and thank my body for the joy it is bringing my partner and I, but it would be dishonest if I didn’t admit to the body image struggle and worrying about the “after”. I really appreciate your honesty in this article Jen, it’s a battle sometimes not to feel down about it but positive messages are so empowering to others and helping them with their own battles! :)

  3. Julanya says

    I am 7 weeks post-partum with my second baby and have been suffering from terribly negative body image since delivery- I really needed to read this today. Thank you for providing some much needed perspective!

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