Covered in spit up, after 3 projectile vomits in a row, I caught a glimpse of you as I walked past the window to go upstairs for a fresh burp cloth. I was horrified. I didn’t recognize you.

The new non-stop aching in my back, my hips, and my joints is excruciating.

The c section gut and stomach left behind feels like a fat suit that I just want to rip off. NOW. But,  I can’t.

All I can feel is my huge protruding gut that now hangs way too close to my lady parts…but at the same time it is literally numb from the incision that’s still healing.

My stomach and my boobs feel and look like pizza dough.

What waist line? My hour glass shape is now just one big blob of left overs.

My face looks like it was stung by a bee and simultaneously aged 10 years over night. I could pack for a ’round the world cruise with those bags under my eyes. Even my hair texture has changed. Is that really a thing?? WTF?

Ahh, it’s you. We meet again, my fat postpartum body.

I remember you because I’ve been here before but yet I also feel like a prisoner being held hostage.

I don’t belong here. I don’t want to be here. But yet, I have no choice in the matter.

If I want to get away from you, it’s going to take work. It’s going to take new choices and different decisions. I didn’t get here overnight and I won’t escape you overnight either. THAT feels defeating, just like the sleepless nights feel like they are never going to end. Being stuck here with you also feels as if it’ll never end.

I feel pissed off. I feel angry that I have to do this again.

I also know that I’ve escaped you before so I know that I have what it takes to do it again.

I’ve developed Stockholm Syndrome with food and my fat body as my prison. I hate you but yet I have a psychological connection from all the years of abuse.

Just like someone with Stockholm Syndrome, I want to hang out with you even though I know you’re dangerous and making my life miserable. It’s just easier to drive around in my car with you to keep myself from going insane stuck inside the house learning how to navigate my new world (a world that I planned AND asked for) with a 4 year old who never stops asking questions and a newborn that needs every other ounce of energy that I have …and the energy I don’t have in me to give.  Not to mention, all of this happening during a global pandemic has made motherhood and life hard harder than ever.

It’s comforting to swing into the drive thru with two kids that are literally strapped into their seats. It’s soothing to sit in a parking lot, watching YouTube and eating my comfort food, for a moment of silence and “alone” time while one is napping and the other is preoccupied with a screen. With each bite of fast food, I consciously make the decision to eat it, knowing that it’s keeping me hostage here, where I don’t belong.

It’s a habit I know I HAVE to change if I want to get out of this hostage situation but right now THIS just feels easier.  At the end of the day, I have no fucks left to give so it’s easier to eat my emotions and get a sliver of “so called” comfort . . . which is just misery in a mask.

I don’t want to be here in this body right now…and I also don’t want to do the work to negotiate my way out of this hostage situation…for now.

Sigh.

This isn’t the body I started this pregnancy journey in.

Sure, I didn’t start this journey in the perfect body or even close to my goal weight.

But, I wasn’t “fat – fat” when I got pregnant. I wasn’t obese. I wasn’t miserable. I wasn’t uncomfortable. I didn’t ache. I didn’t feel like a prisoner in my own skin.

But now? Now, I don’t recognize the carnage that was left behind.

Sure, I got my beautiful, healthy, perfect baby boy….but what’s left behind is unrecognizable. It’s like after a hurricane when everything is damaged around you but yet the sun is shining again and you’re left to figure out how to pick up the pieces.

When you’re pregnant, you glow, your hair grows thicker, and everyone gives you that knowing look, communicating with their eyes as if to welcome you to the motherhood club.

At some point in your pregnancy, all the fat rolls blend into one big, hard, round belly that looks cute. You no longer look fat. You look pregnant. You no longer feel the need to suck it in or hide the belly that you’ve resented and hated your entire life.

You are the center of attention around your family, your job, your doctor….shit, even perfect strangers!

The pregnancy does what ever the fuck it wants to your body. You let it because you know it’ll all be worth it at the end.

Then, the baby comes out and you can finally breathe a sigh of relief that he’s here and the ultrasounds WERE right. He’s healthy. He’s perfect. And he’s yours.

That perfect round belly is now sagging like a sad deflated balloon 3 days after the party ends and the guests go home. Then, your body is abandoned and it’s just you in there now and it’s a fucking dumpster fire. Nobody cares how you’re doing anymore. All the focus (including yours) is on that beautiful little baby.

Strangers have no idea you just birthed a baby and are walking around with a literal wound in your abdomen that is still freshly bleeding and healing. They make judgmental assumptions that you’re just another lazy, obese person who doesn’t give a fuck about their health. That you’re just some fat lazy bitch that gave up on themselves a long time ago. They think this is just who you are and that you’ve always been this way because they are meeting you THIS way.

Everyone just expects new moms to “bounce” back. And you know what the truth is? The truth is that it’s a fucking shit show as you’re trying to navigate your life with a new baby while also healing your body from doing a shit load of work for 9 months. You are still a patient yourself but are also swamped with this new responsibility while trying to fight against the current, searching for a glimmer of your old life. It’s exhausting.

It’s also normal. Welcome to the fourth trimester. We need to stop acting like pregnancy ends on the day you deliver the baby.

I literally teach women how to lose the emotional weight so they can gain confidence and ditch the body image bullshit.

I KNOW what to do and how to do it. And I WILL do it.

But right now? I’m having a moment with the inner fat bitch. I’m letting myself have that conversation with her.  It’s important to acknowledge the inner fat bitch thoughts because THEN you get to make a decision on what you’re going to do with it. If you continue to zombie walk through life, ignoring the thoughts, you’ll stay held hostage by them.

I’m deciding to punch that bitch in the throat because I just gave birth.

My body is NOT a dumpster fire. It is NOT disgusting. I am not worthless just because I’m not in my ideal body at the moment.

My body is miraculous. I am still my irresistible, amazing, awesome, fabulous fucking self at 250 lbs or at 150 lbs.

I know logically that I can lose the weight and that I know how to lose the weight and that I will lose the weight.

I’m giving myself some grace. It’s only been 6 weeks.  I also need to remind myself that I had severe postpartum complications and I’m just now coming out of that fog. I had to give myself time to heal and tackle all the things that were thrown at me. Now, I’m ready to tackle the emotional weight and the physical weight. I’ve had time to process everything, to finally start feeling like a glimmer of myself again.

I have too much to lose to give up now. I have too much to lose to let the inner fat bitch tell me I’m worthless just because I’m not in my ideal body right now. This is temporary and this too shall pass.

To my “fat” postpartum body, thank you for gifting me my beautiful babies but it’s finally time for us to part ways.

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An Open Letter To My Fat Postpartum Body on the Irresistible You Podcast

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