My Post-Partum Body Taught Me Weight Is Just a Number: Diary of a Shameless Mommy

Aom - Nutthaumpan Inprom

Diary of a Shameless Mommy
Aom - Nutthaumpan Inprom

There was never a point in time in which I was thin. I was a fat toddler, middle schooler, and teenager -- I had no grand illusions that I’d be a thin mother. And just before I got pregnant, I finally reached a place where I was OK with it.

  • Actually, I was more than “OK” with my curvy body. I learned to truly and deeply love it.

    diary of a shameless mommy
    Aom - Nutthaumpan Inprom

    It wasn’t an easy or even linear journey to self love, but by the time I hit 29, I had really come into my own. If I wanted to wear a bodycon dress, I did it. If I wanted to rock a boobalicious shirt, I did it. Dye my hair weird and wild colors? Hell yes! I even got to the point where I stopped obsessing over the numbers on the scale and the ones sewn into my dresses. If I was taking care of myself, if I was healthy, what did it matter what those numbers said?

    So when I got pregnant, I didn’t even think I’d be worried about my pregnant body, let alone my post-partum one. After all, I knew better, didn’t I?

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  • Turns out, being fat and pregnant makes you obsessive about weight. Because the number on that scale becomes your whole identity.

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    Plus-size pregnant women face a stigma in society and in the doctor’s offices. OBGYNs are more likely to mistreat and misdiagnose you because you’re fat. People will constantly comment on your size and will side eye you if you happen to really want that extra slice of cake. The number on the scale became something I could cling to and use as the ultimate defense weapon.

    “Wow, do twins run in your family or something?”

    “Nope, just one baby in there. I haven’t even gained more than XX pounds in two months, thank you very much.”

    Every time I ate in front of other people, I’d casually let them know I wasn’t one of “those” fat preggos who’d just go nuts now that I was carrying -- I'd only gained XX pounds so far!

    For 95 percent of my pregnancy, my weight would fluctuate about 10 pounds. And I wore that information like a badge of honor. So when I found myself in my ninth month of pregnancy a whole 30 pounds heavier, the shame I felt about my body was almost unbearable. I vowed I would do whatever I could to get my pre-baby body back -- and I’d be back to being a thicc queen as soon as I hit that number again.

    Me, Lauren, who spent years trying to dismantle fatphobic rhetoric and even longer working on loving herself, was totally consumed by this arbitrary number on the scale. Who was I?

  • I made a promise to myself that after I had my son, I wouldn’t go near a scale for at least a week.

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    And I did pretty well. After a week of being post-partum I tiptoed my way onto the scale with a lot of trepidation. But when I saw the number I did a double take.

    Did I just lose 33 pounds in a week?

    I looked up at my naked body in the mirror. My once hourglass figure morphed into a much more rounded middle. My boobs hung lower, my skin looked saggy.

    This has to be a fluke. I look so ... different than before. Isn’t the whole Idea that I lose weight and then go back to “normal?!”

  • Despite the fact that my body was “back” to the weight it was before, it was in no way the same body I had when I started this journey.

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    Women get so much pressure on them to snap back when, really, the concept of doing so is so asinine. You cannot go back. No matter what the scale says, no matter what your shape looks like, you will never be the woman you were before having a baby. And it took a descent into scale-madness before I could see it.

  • Granted, I’m still struggling to love my body again.

    Aom - Nutthaumpan Inprom

    Clothes, despite being the same exact size, do not fit the same. I am a new mother, and because of that this body has seen some sh*t. Even though it’s hard to grapple with, I think if I did somehow magically return to the body I had before I’d be a little freaked out. After all, I just created this tiny perfect human who changed my life in every way a life can change -- what would it mean if there was no evidence of how he got here?

    Although I may not be at peace with my body as I once was, I couldn’t be more grateful for it. It gave me my son -- I should probably give it a break.