Last Friday, I had my six-week postpartum check-up and, as I have been recouping from giving birth, I find that I have been dealing with a lot of my self-image issues all over again. Dealing with them while you’re pregnant and changing is very different, I find, than dealing with them after the fact.
I just spent nine plus months changing utterly, hormones and a growing human being undoing all the work that I’ve done to my body over the past few years. My pregnancy developed in such a way that I wasn’t able to keep up with my exercises during the latter part of it. So I’ve lost the muscle tone, strength, and, stamina that I used to have, thanks to bellydance, and now I find myself looking in the mirror and wondering if I’ll ever look (or, rather, feel) like “myself” again. I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight already but I still feel…off, one might say. I know that what is “normal” is what is NOW, but self-image – at least mine – isn’t one of those things that naturally conforms to what life is right now.
A couple of weekends ago, I went shopping with my mother and we went to JCP. I was a little disappointed with the selection but I did luck out and find three dresses that I (a. really like and (b. make me feel like a million bucks. They also provide incentive for me to get back into dance, back into shape, now that I am greenlit for exercise by my doctor.
The song below is one that strikes a chord with me because I have always thought of myself as, while not necessarily ugly, at least unpretty. I usually sing this song with one of my best and dearest friends who understands my feelings better than most. Lately, it has been resurfacing in my mind as I look at myself in the mirror. It also reminds me that I did find a place and a point in my life where I thought of myself as beautiful. I want to get back there.
I know that it, perhaps, has little to do with how I look but I also know that it’s my own journey through and to my own self-image, a healthy one.