Loving MY Body Beautiful – Part 1

Last week I went swimming and I wore a bikini.

As a new(ish) mum, this is a pretty big deal for me.  I never thought I’d wear a bikini again after having Alfie, however after wearing a swimsuit on a hen do and feeling decidedly frumpy, I bought one to see how I looked. How did I look? Pretty good, I think!

This may not be the perfect beach body, but it's MY beach body
This may not be the perfect beach body, but it’s MY beach body

I’ve never been particularly worried about my body or how it looks, but I’ve never *loved* it or celebrated how I look. There have been times when I’ve looked my absolute best, yet I’ve still managed to think I was fat and had wobbly bits and didn’t look *perfect*.  On my wedding day I was the smallest I’ve ever been as an adult.  I constantly have friends tell me how skinny I was then, but I couldn’t see it.  Equally, on my honeymoon I didn’t want any photos taken in my bikini as I thought I was fat! Thankfully as the days went on, I cared less about how I looked and more about capturing some lovely honeymoon memories. Now I look back and realise that actually, I looked pretty good!

I think it’s a woman thing that you will always pick apart how you look and forget about how you feel. But then I guess how you think you look does contribute to how you feel. Shortly after our honeymoon, my husband and I joined a local outdoor boot camp to get fit and lose weight (we both put on a lot of weight on the honeymoon and over Christmas immediately afterwards).  I’m a bit of a sucker for standing on the scales and worrying about how much I weigh rather than how I look. I looked pretty damn good when I was doing boot camp, but the number on the scales didn’t move much. I now understand this is because muscle weighs more than fat and as I was toning up, my muscles were growing and getting heavier.

On my wedding day, and rocking a bikini and skin tight dress on my honeymoon
On my wedding day, and rocking a bikini and skin tight dress on my honeymoon
Taking part in Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research
Taking part in Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research

When I got pregnant, I didn’t give a second thought to how I looked.  I knew I was going to put on weight, and I didn’t care how much.  In fact, I was worried at the beginning that I wasn’t putting on enough weight, as I didn’t start gaining weight until about 16 weeks, despite my belly growing.  I weighed myself the day before I was induced, and had put on a total of 3 and a half stone, which isn’t really a huge amount, and definitely not loads considering I had a 10lb 3oz baby.  I was very swollen in my legs and feet, and also my hands and face, so I was clearly carrying a lot of water weight, so I didn’t necessarily put on a load of fat.  But I wasn’t worried throughout my pregnancy about putting on weight.

I gained 49lbs when I was pregnant
I gained 49lbs when I was pregnant

Initially I was a bit worried about stretchmarks, and every one told me to put on my bio oil twice a day (at least!) but I was so slack at doing it (I was lucky if I did it twice a month!!) so when I got stretch marks I couldn’t really complain.  To be honest, I thought I’d got away with it, because apart from a few lines on my thighs, I didn’t get any stretchmarks on my belly until I was 40 weeks (so if he’d come on time, I might have got away with it)!

After having Alfie, it really didn’t take that long for my belly to go down.  I think a lot of my weight was water weight, and obviously he was a big baby.  I don’t know how big my placenta was because I didn’t get to see it (which I’m gutted about!!) but that could have been quite big as well.  So my belly wasn’t huge – not that I was worrying about it at all!  Because I’d had a C-section, it was uncomfortable to even sit up or walk, so there’s no way I was thinking about exercise.  But I was a bridesmaid at a wedding 3 weeks after Alfie was born.  I hadn’t tried on my bridesmaid dress because I was pregnant when it was bought, but unfortunately it didn’t fit – although surprisingly it was because of my huge boobs, not my belly!!  I hadn’t even considered that it wouldn’t fit up top.  Cue a mad dash to the shops to find a dress that fit me that also fit in with the wedding theme.  Thankfully I found a gorgeous dress, that I felt comfortable in (and very surprisingly it was a size 10!!!). I also had a wedding to attend as a guest when Alfie was just 6 weeks old, and again, I was pleasantly surprised how nice I looked.  I did wear some spanx to help suck me in, but hey, I think most women have these in their underwear drawer…don’t they?

Bridesmaid 3 weeks pp
Bridesmaid 3 weeks pp
Wedding guest 6 weeks pp
Wedding guest 6 weeks pp

Since having Alfie, I have continued to lose weight quite quickly, despite the amount of food I’ve been eating!! I put this down 100% to the breastfeeding.  Alfie’s always been a hungry boy, so has fed a lot and I think he is literally sucking the fat out of me.  I have been on one run since the birth, 12 weeks post-partum and haven’t been on one since!  It was hard for me – the actual run was fine, but I was in a lot of pain the following few days, to the point where I struggled to pick Alfie up.  I think this has scared me a little so I haven’t tried again, but hopefully I will be able to get back on it soon to get my fitness levels back up (I have a charity run in September that I’ve done no training for!).  I also went to on pilates class (technically half a class) which I really enjoyed, but it was the first time I left Alfie and he screamed the whole time and basically scared Craig for life, so I haven’t been back ha!

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I am still slightly obsessed with the scales.  It makes me pleased when I stand on them because my weight has dropped dramatically.  I have lost 4 and a half stone in total, and am now a stone lighter than I was before I was pregnant.  My goal is to get back to my wedding weight, so I still have just over a stone to go, but I think once I start exercising again, that will drop off.  I have previously gone to a local bootcamp which I’ve always enjoyed and has been fab in helping me stay fit and toned, so I’m hoping to get back there soon.

So do I love my post baby body?  Yes.  Because it has given me a beautiful baby boy.  No I don’t look like a supermodel – but let’s be honest, I didn’t look like a model before the baby, that’s more to do with my face than my body haha!  I may be lighter than I was before I got pregnant, but my shape has changed – my tummy is wobbly and I have a slight overhang where my scar is, which I’m doubtful will actually ever go.  My bum has all but disappeared, and I used to quite like my big juicy butt!  I don’t think my boobs will ever be the same again (although a good push up bra solves that problem!)  My skin in pregnancy was amazing – my face was beautifully clear, my eczema cleared up and my legs didn’t have a spot of dry patches on them.  Unfortunately, this has all returned since birthing the baby, but it just means I need to up my moisturising routine again.  I obviously now have a large scar from the C-section, but actually I love it!  I’m lucky I had a fab surgeon who did it so neat, so it looks great.  But it’s not something I’m ashamed of and to be honest no one other than myself or my husband is ever going to see it, so it doesn’t bother me at all.  Most days I forget it’s actually there (because I can’t see it!)  But I have learnt to embrace the changes and marvel at how amazing my body is rather than what it looks like.

This post is part one of two about how mums feel about their post baby bodies. Today’s post focuses on my own personal feelings and tomorrow’s post focuses on how other mums feel – so please do come back and have a read!

#bebodybeautiful

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42 thoughts on “Loving MY Body Beautiful – Part 1

      1. I think for me, I’ve never been overly worried about my weight (we don’t even own scales, I couldn’t t tell you how much I weigh!) but I guess more than anything I’m just sick of not feeling like my own self :-/

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      2. Yep I totally get that! I’m a sucker for the scales which to be honest I think is even worse as even though I weigh less, I don’t look/feel the same. It’s a hard thing to get over though and I’m definitely lucky that I’ve lost the weight quickly – maybe I would feel differently if I hadn’t of shrunk quite so quickly xx

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  1. You look amazing! I haven’t braved a bikini yet (almost 5 months since Piglet was born) but I’m off on holiday in september and will be then….. I think. Like you I’m breastfeeding and have lost the baby weight, but my body has still changed so its all about embracing what I’ve got now! #fortheloveofblog

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    1. Definitely embrace the bikini!! I honestly felt more frumpy in a swimsuit than I did in a bikini. It’s just a case of finding one that is flattering and fits properly – I have high waisted bottoms and an underwired top and it makes all the difference. Thanks for reading x

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  2. This is such a fab, positive post! Took me years to dare get in a bikini after babies, but these bodies grew tiny humans we have be too hard on them! In awe of your bridesmaid duties so soon after birth!

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  3. It’s great that you are embracing your body. I think there should be less emphasis on numbers – weight and dress sizes – and just on what feels good for you. I honestly don’t even know how much I weighed before I got pregnant, how much I gained during or how much I have lost since. I have never felt I had a great body, but as I have got older I have learned to just love the body I have got. And now I have another little body to love too, and that puts it into perspective even more! And you do look great in that bikini. #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. So, so true! I’ve always been a sucker for the scales, and I don’t know why, but it’s a hard habit to break. I’m trying more to go by how I feel in what I wear, rather than what size it is. Thanks for reading x

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  4. You look absolutely fab lovely. I think a lot ofor us worry about how much weight we put on and how we look after having a baby. However that’s natural and for some people it takes time for it to fall off and others seem to loose it so quickly. One year since having my daughter I feel almost back to normal again. The weight fell off pretty quick with breastfeeding, but I think only know I feel like I can wear a bikini again. I too have a c section scar and loose skin under my belly button (that I think will never go) but that’s having a baby for us. I’m really impressed you went for a run 12″weeks after. Well done. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  5. I think you look amazing and great to see you embrace the bikini! A lot of mums worry about their weight after having a baby, so good to read a positive post about weight post baby.

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  6. You look absolutely amazing in your bikini. Women are so hard on themselves. Also snap with the baby – my baby was 10lb 3oz too so it definitely takes its toll buy wouldn’t have it any other way. #fartglitter

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  7. I think you look totally amazing and I would be proud to have your post baby bikini body. I have developed a condition post baby meaning my body adds weight rather than losing it so hopefully once I get that sorted I can get bikini ready too. You are inspiring and have a very healthy attitude xx
    #marvmondays

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    1. Thank you! I hope you are okay and get everything sorted, it can be tough when you can’t lose weight when you want to, but even if you don’t feel 100% at your best, I bet you can still rock a bikini like the rest of them xx

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  8. Like you, when I was pregnant, I really didn’t mind gaining weight. I didn’t do anything to try to prevent stretch marks either. I thought that it was just all part of the package. Having a baby means your body will change. It was harder after my daughter was born. And even more difficult once I stopped breastfeeding. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a totally different person. Becoming confident in myself again, after baby, and not listening to my negative inner voice has been such a struggle. (I wrote a post on it too!) Really, every body is a beach body! It truly is amazing what our bodies, as mothers, are capable of! It’s something to be proud of. You look great in all of the pictures you posted! #MarvMondays

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    1. I agree with everything you said, so very true!! Is it also bad that I’m holding onto the breastfeeding because I know it’s what’s keeping the weight off?? It is such a struggle to be body confident again, but it definitely helps to know many mums are feeling the same as you. Thanks for reading xx

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  9. You have an amazing figure and clearly enjoy keeping fit which is half the battle. I have ditched the scales along time ago and now just go by the fit of my clothes. My youngest is now 13 and I never bounced back the same way after her as I did my eldest, I am not sure why but I think we all get too hung up on how we look to others rather than how we feel. Having said that my post this week is focusing on the battle of the post partum/peri-menopausal bulge! #marvellousmondays

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    1. I do enjoy keeping fit but never find the time to do it now – hoping to get back on it soon though as I do miss it. I can only imagine it is harder to get back in shape after more than one baby. Thanks for reading xx

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  10. You look fab and it’s all about how you feel. It’s not all about what the scales say either. I’m a bit of a fitness freak but I’m not governed by the scales as know it’s about how I feel when I look in the mirror. I’m not bikini perfect, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it! 🙂 #marvmondays

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  11. Great post lovely and you have done so well! You look amazing. I’ve gained more weight on my second pregnancy but like you, not worrying. There is time to get back to my exercise routine and diet. Like you breastfeeding my first really helped and kept those boobs!! My bum was awful pp but lots of squats and jumping about helped when I was ready. Love this post though – very inspiring and great to read xx #marvmondays

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  12. I think you look stunning. I did pretty much the same as you with both of my two – gained 3 1/2 stone and lost 4 1/2 which I too am convinced was down to breastfeeding. A bit has crept back on this last few months but I’m on a mission to get back down before it runs away with me. I love your positive body image though and I think that we mums should embrace the scars and wobbly bits that our babies have left. I consider them to be their first footprints and I wear them with pride knowing that nobody can ever take them off me. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

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  13. My god you look amazing! I did not look like that 3 weeks after either of my c-sections and even with breastfeeding, it has been a real struggle! But our bodies are what they are and I’m thankful for my two healthy girls. Two miracles! Thanks for sharing #marvmondays

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    1. Ah thank you, you are very kind. My body has been kind to me (this time!) and feel very lucky – however I would hope that even if I hadn’t lost the weight I’d still love my body for what it gave me 🙂 thanks for reading xx

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  14. You do look fantastic in all of these! Honestly, of course we all have hang-ups but it is incredible what our bodies go through to give birth so it’s no surprise really. Fab read. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

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  15. This is such a lovely post! You look fantastic and are inspiring me right now to get into that bikini for swimming. 🙂 I’m going to a mum and baby pilates – maybe have a look to see if there’s any around you then you can take bubba with you if it’s something you’d want to do. #marvmondays

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      1. Awww no! Poor you lol – I guess Alfie thought it wasn’t good enough for you hehe 🙂 I really like Pilates, I am sure you’ll like it too. All that core strengthening makes me a very happy mummy haha 🙂

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  16. You look fantastic lovely! I’ve done similar I’m a stone lighter than I was when we conceived and gave about another stone to go to be the weight when I first met my husband at 24 (eek feel old now), I intend on getting there… Thinking of joining SW to help! #MarvMondays

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