Thinner Thursday: Body Love

As a pre-teen, I remember feeling like my belly wasn’t flat enough.  “Don’t worry about that”, my best friend told me “soon you’ll have boobs and then you’re belly will look way flatter in comparison”.
It was a nice thought, but despite developing, I still felt like I could be prettier… skinnier.
Now, I wasn’t a big kid.  I wasn’t even chunky.  I was a good, normal size.  But from a very early age I was sucked into the lie that I wasn’t skinny enough – wasn’t pretty enough – wasn’t good enough.
This isn’t a comment on my parent’s ability to promote a healthy body image in me.  Instead, it is more of a comment on society’s propensity to exacerbate the negative self-images that already exist.
In high school, I wasn’t thin enough.  In university, I gained the freshman fifteen and then I obviously wasn’t thin enough.  If only I could get down to my high school weight.  When I was planning for my wedding I had slowly let the weight creep up and I tried to loose a few pounds before my nuptials.  If only I could get down to the weight I was when I first met Dan (end of first year university).  I have never been happy with my weight.
What I was never smart enough to figure out was that I was always wishing that my body was back to a previous weight – a previous weight that I wasn’t happy being.  I told myself I would be happy if I could just get there again.
Soon, my belly got taught and round.  It started signalling to the world that I would be a mother.  For the first time in a long time, I was happy with my body.  This life inside of me was changing the person I was, both on the inside and the out.  To me, that was beauty.
And then, my body abruptly changed… again.  You’d think that loosing a giant belly and a bunch of weight would make me feel better about myself, but instead, I didn’t know who’s body I was wearing.  My belly, although no longer round, was also no longer taught.  It was saggy and pock-marked.  Angry purple lines zigged around and across my body.  The person in the mirror was not me.  The face in the pictures was not me.  The body under my clothes was not mine.
I wanted so desperately to love my body.  But how can you love something as your own when it very clearly isn’t?
I was determined to love my body.  Especially since I am now a Mom.  Although I currently do not have a daughter, I am not so naive to think that negative self-image affects only females.  I need to be a good example to my child/ren.  I must have a positive body image.
I started by loving myself.  I loved being a Mom.  And this body is part of that deal.  As for the parts that weren’t as easy to love right off the bat, I decided to make a lifestyle change.
(Here’s the part where we come to the weekly weigh-in)
Week 0: 164 lbs
Week 1: 165 lbs 12 oz
Week 2: 165 lbs 2 oz
Week 3: 164 lbs 10oz
Week 4: 163 lbs 9 oz (loss of 1 lb)
Week 5: 163 lbs 12 oz
Week 6: 163 lbs 9 oz
Week 7: sick
Week 8:  162 lbs 4 oz (loss of 1 lb!)
Weight Watchers Starts: Initial Weigh in: 159 lbs
Week 15 and Day 1 of Weight Watchers: 156 lbs 12 oz (loss of over 5 lbs total!)
Week 16 and Day 8 of Weight Watchers: 155 lbs 10 oz (loss of 1 lbs!)
Week 17 and Day 15 of Weight Watchers: 153 lbs 0 oz (loss of 2 and a half lbs!!!!)
Week 18 and Day 22 of Weight Watchers: 152 lbs 5 oz (loss of 1 lbs)
Week 19 and Day 29 of Weight Watchers: 149 lbs 15 oz (loss of over 2 lbs!!)
Week 20 and Day 36 of Weight Watchers: 146 lbs 13 oz (loss of 3 lbs!!!!!)
Week 21 and Day 43 of Weight Watchers: 145 lbs 11 oz (loss of 1 lbs)
Week 22 and Day 50 of Weight Watchers: 143 lbs 15 oz (loss of 2 lbs!)

I am now lower than my pre-baby weight.  I am somewhere around my wedding weight.  And I am on my way to my university weight.
Here’s the thing.  My pre-baby wedding weight and my post-baby wedding weight do not look the same.  Not at all.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not still thrilled with my accomplishment.  Since starting Weight Watchers 8 weeks ago, I have lost 15 lbs!  That is major.  And, although I am excited for further progress, I am loving myself and my body now, as it is today.  I will look in the mirror and know that I am looking at an awesome body that birthed a child.  I will look at pictures and see a face so happy to have a little baby boy in my life.
I have changed into a mother.  To me, that is beauty.
And that is the type of self-love I hope to teach my children.

Photo taken today.
7 months, 4 weeks, 1 day old
Laura (@LauraORourke) lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A wife to Dan and a mother to Cameron, she spends her free time blogging, reading, and doing photography. Her blog finds it’s home at  You can find find her book reviews here and her photography here.

Modern Family: Like mother, like daughter

America’s Next Top Model: Be Italian, be Italian, live today as if it may become your last