measuring tape

Photo by patricia serna on Unsplash

Those who follow this blog know I’m committed to advocating a positive body image, so much so, I was bowled over when a photo I shared of myself in a bikini last year which happened to show my stretchmarks went viral, leading to me starting the #proudinmybikini campaign, encouraging others to feel good about themselves.

Reading the hundreds of comments and messages on social media that my image had made them feel proud to don a swimming costume or bikini again and some stating they would now take their kids swimming when they felt they couldn’t before, truly moved me.

It makes me angry that women in particular, mothers or not, are made to feel bad about their bodies but slowly thanks to we bloggers flying the flag for diverse beauty, things are slowly becoming more balanced and equal.

Imperfectly perfect is what we are- and in the words of Beiber (I’m a fan, what can I say?) please ‘go love yourself’ (me included).

As a mum of two, my body has taken a bashing for sure, it’s undergone two pregnancies and two C-Sections and as someone with PCOS and insulin resistance, I have to work incredibly hard to keep my weight steady.

And guess what? It fluctuates.

Now you’re probably thinking, I’m not an overweight person but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle, that my weight doesn’t yo-yo (I LITERALLY put on 5 pounds every month during PMT time due to water retention) and I go through periods of low esteem when it comes to my body.

It’s not constant but it’s there. I was a very slim child before the ‘puppy fat’ stages between 10-13 before puberty kicked in and frankly what has left until now a yo-yo way of life between a small UK 10 to a large 12 for most of my adult years.

I’m an hourglass shape and the last few years has seen me mostly wear a UK size 10 (that’s 6 to my US friends) but right now I’m a dress size bigger, something which happened without me noticing over the few months thanks to indulging as a way of dealing with stress when a relative became unwell.

A size 12 you cry-no biggie right (pun intended) but the majority of my clothes patiently waiting in my wardrobe don’t fit me bar a few yo-yo pieces and I’m feeling a bit demotivated.

I want to state that admitting this here doesn’t mean I believe or advocate an ideal size, a 10 is just the one that suits me when it comes to my shape, build and height.

I’m just being real that I struggle to keep my weight steady.

I know that now I’m back to eating a low GI, low carb diet (the one that works best for me with my PCOS) and running several times a week, means in around a month or so, I’ll (hopefully) be able to wear my jeans again.

And here’s the thing, I don’t hate myself right now, yes my arms and thighs are bigger, my tummy protrudes (more) but I still feel OK, I don’t hate my body, I’m just a little frustrated because a) the majority of my wardrobe is just ‘hanging’ around and b) I hate feel self-conscious when it comes to photos taken of me by others and published on social media or on the blog where I question whether I look ‘big in that shot’.

I know it sounds vain and it FLIPPING is but being ‘on camera’ for a lot of my work and let’s face it, we all are, when it comes to social media, adds a layer of pressure and there’s no point denying it.

I remember that distinct and sometimes overbearing feeling of pressure in losing baby weight after kids, too.

The images of ‘media mums’ back in their skinnies straight from the maternity ward and being 3 stones bigger myself while taking 18 months to return to pre-baby weight, was HARD.

And losing baby-weight does take time and it’s common for most to take time yet the mainstream media have never seemed to get this memo. Thank goodness for the reality of blogging and social media which has and IS working to naturalise baby weight and post-pregnancy bodies.

…Look, everyone has a goal weight that feels ‘right’ for them. 3 stones of baby weight once baby had made an appearance and for a long time after, did not make me feel good in my skin.  That’s normal but if others’ are more sensitive around that time and if more women showed the reality of this, life would feel a lot less stressful for many (and at a time that is stressful enough due to a new little person and lack of sleep).

That’s why we need more posts of real women naturalising what a post-baby body looks like, admitting when they put on weight and that it’s normal and OK if that happens (it’s life) as is doing something about it when you feel you need to, like I am.

We all know obesity is a huge problem in the Western world and glorifying the overweight is as bad as promoting the underweight, an ideal that has been forced down our throats for the last decades, but not conforming and promoting positive body image means accepting perfection does not exist and that weight for many including myself, fluctuates.

I’m writing this post because I want to be honest with you all, I don’t want you to feel you’re alone if your weight is yo-yoing too.

I was a small size 10 late last year and I’m a 12 now, I even wore maternity leggings the other day to feel comfy.

I’m not at my ideal weight right now but hopefully I will be again sometime soon so I can most importantly feel healthy, fit and STRONG for myself and my family. In the meanwhile thank you Spanx you beautiful sucky in ‘skorts’ and working on being KIND TO MYSELF.

 

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20 Responses

  1. Ed

    Well said and a nice positive message!! I’m a personal trainer so have to deal with this stuff a lot. A good tip is if you’re trying to lose fat as a woman don’t compare week after week. Compare week 1 of the month to week 1 of the next month etc. This will help will give you a better reading due to the menstrual cycle. Try to include some resistance training too!

    Reply
  2. Lins @ Boo & Maddie

    This is such a great and honest post and I think it’s so important to write and share these. You always look amazing to me but I know how it feels to not feel completely happy inside your own skin and that’s the most important thing. You’re an inspiration Xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thank you darling, I just wanted to be honest to hopefully help others who might feel the same way, thank you so much for your kind comment beautiful lady, I feel the same way about you x

      Reply
  3. Amanda

    A great post hun – there is so much pressure isn’t there. We are inundated with headlines like “Kate Middleton steps out in super slim skinny jeans just 8 days post birth” bla bla bla. I felt so mad about all of this following the birth of my first that I wrote this post http://www.ourwildthings.com/2013/08/a-protest-against-post-pregnancy-weight_28.html (i’d actually only been blogging for about 5 minutes then and so don’t think anyone read it, but it felt good to have a rant. Since writing that, I actually think there’s too much pressure on even celebrities these days and it is not healthy for them let alone us. Anyway, I think you have a fab figure regardless of your fluctuations, and I totally get the whole point you are making about it isn’t your size, but rather how you feel – I too fluctuate between 10-12 and have soooooo many clothes I can’t wear. xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks darling, off to read this right now, you are so right, so much pressure on celebs and us mortals and it’s just not on. Thanks for your kind words, I definitely think we need to kinder to ourselves don’t we xx

      Reply
  4. GiGi Eats

    Weight totally fluctuates and it’s obnoxious but we should NOT base our self-worth off of how much we weigh! I haven’t stepped on a scale in over 4 years and I don’t plan on EVER weighing myself ever again! No need. I am happy with who I am and that’s that!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Don’t Do That! Do This!My Profile

    Reply
  5. Morgan Prince

    I think we all beat ourselves up so much about our weight, and I definitely do. I’ve gained A LOT of weight since last year and am now struggling to lose it again. The thing is though, I’m learning that the more I beat myself up the more I want to comfort eat. If I’m kinder to myself I get my motivation back and begin losing a little weight. I think we should all be kinder to ourselves. Thank you for writing this post hun. xxx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      So true hun, the harder we are on ourselves, the more we want to eat. So important to be nicer to ourselves and treat ourselves with the respect and kindness we deserve, thank you lovely x

      Reply
  6. JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    I saw you at the weekend and you looked gorgeous as ever hun, however feeling good and looking good starts from within. We all have to give ourselves permission to have an ‘off day’ (or few days, weeks, months!) and no-one can be picture perfect all the time. I have been a size 24 UK at my largest and am currently in a size 16 and you know what? I’ve learned to embrace myself whatever size I am. If I have had a bad photo taken, it is what it is- people tend to notice my big grin in social media shots anyway rather than my double chin and if I look awful in one photo then people tell me how fab I look when they see me in person because they think I looked like that one bad shot! I am on a weight loss mission as I want the outside me to reflect what the inside me feels like and I’ve been overcoming some screwed up writing with my eating habits, but we all fluctuate and that’s normal! Keep smiling and taking those selfies – we are all better looking with a happy smile!
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill recently posted…Slimming World Peach & Blueberry CobblerMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw LOVE this Nadine thank you darling, you are gorgeous yourself and it was me feeling uncomfortable in the pics over the weekend that made me want to write this, to let others know if they feel the same, it’s OK. You are doing brilliantly hun, so inspiring and you are right, all anyone cares about is a big smile and positive energy. Thank you for making the weekend so amazing and for being your wonderful self, everyone in my family loves you! x

      Reply
  7. Capture by Lucy

    See I totally relate to this. I looked back through Ollie’s pregnancy journal I kept and I was 2 stone lighter at the start than I am now! I am such a yo yo dieter, I feel so cross with myself that I’ve let myself slip out of my small 12s and into 14s but don’t seem to have the willpower to commit to a serious diet at the moment. I’ve decided to embrace my wobblier curves for a few more weeks and get my running trainers out. No splash on my Fb like I’ve done before charting my slimming world losses, it’s a pressure I can’t cope with at the moment, but feel so inspired by those doing so well. Sammy asked me what the lines on my tummy were the other day and I said they were from growing you darling and he said “Well isn’t that nice Mama, you can look at them and think of me and Ollie.” I have a post in draft on the back of that complete with tummy photos – this post might be just the motivation I need to be brave and hit publish xxxx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh hun that’s literally brought tears to my eyes because yes to the lines on our tummies being so positive, markers of mummyhood. Please publish that post. You always look beautiful to me and you are so tall too so bet what seems bigger to you is not big at all. I know we all have our preferred weight and for me, it’s time to get strict to lose those extra pounds. I just want others to know they are not alone if they’re feeling the same as I am x

      Reply
  8. Laura's Lovely Blog

    Thank you for writing this. I have PCOS and the struggle is hard. I have tried for the last year to lose weight and have just gained a load back again and I’m cross with myself. I’m a 16/18 now and actually a UK14 is a good size on me. I’m curvy and I’m ok with that. I just need to get back there and you’re right low carb is the way forward good luck x

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Laura, it is REALLY hard with PCOS as your body works against you when it comes to weight loss, the specialists all say low carb is the best way to treat and control it, wishing you luck lovely, you’ve done it before, you’ll do it again, we can do it together x

      Reply
  9. Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas

    Agree that there is so much pressure on women to have perfect bodies. You look amazing and soon will be checking your body size 12, and am sure that you will still look amazing! The most important you said, you need to feel good about yourself, and be helathy and happy. Who cares whether in size 10 or 12? Don’t beat yourself for putting a bit of weight on. I m sure you will soon be back to your old jeans xxxx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks darling, there really is so much pressure, I just wanted to write this so others don’t feel alone in this. You inspire me so much and I’m off to run today again. Cannot wait to see you tomorrow, yay xx

      Reply

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