Body image...

Body image - this feels like its a controversial topic amongst women. For me, I have a good one, pretty much. I have been lucky most of my life to be fairly slim...svelte...slender...whatever the word to describe comfortable in my skin, able to wear the clothes I like, no major fluctuations in weight. I have a pretty healthy relationship with food. I love it; my day revolves around it, I have nothing but good feelings for good food. I associate food with health. I eat well, I am well. The weight issue is an I absolutely admit: I am lucky.

When I had my firstborn I gained over 4 stones (56 lbs) in weight. I was young and to be honest, a little arrogant back then. I thought that I would always be slim no matter what. I genuinely thought that my body was not capable of putting on fat. Yet in those days and weeks after the birth, the realisation dawned - that I had gone post-pregnancy from a UK size 10 to a size 16. None of my clothes had a hope of fitting. I felt like my old body was gone forever and I would, forevermore, look like I had been 'dipped' in extra weight. I know, I know, a size 16 is not a bad size. I have much love for plus size models, I am not saying that size 16 is see what I mean? Controversial. I don't want to suggest anything negative...what I am saying is that the movement from slim to not so slim was such a shock to my system. For me it was very hard to come to terms with. I had never dieted. I had never thought about what I ate. I had never exercised (see previous post on why I run...). cut a long story short, I spent 6 months ruefully lamenting my lost body. That early baby stage was not exactly my happiest, I struggled with adapting to motherhood, I was just 26, most of my friends were still working on careers and finding husbands. I was working on breast feeding and washing baby clothes. Then out the blue, I contracted Salmonella food poisoning and was soooo sick. The weight dropped off in a week or two as I was just so ill! I guess from a body image perspective I was given a reprieve. I returned to some semblance of my old body and that has stayed, give or take, until today.

I do look at my daughter though and wonder what body image messages she is getting from me. I try never to talk about food/fad diets/weight in a way that will make her question the beauty of her body. I just want her to sail through life (what mother doesn't?) thinking of her body as a fantastic tool that she had been given, a gift, to do stuff from body image issues.