Banality of body image

It feels weird to write about something as banal as body image in the wake of a child loss tragedy (mine, Connecticut’s, yours, maybe). But I’ve read a few posts about it on Still Standing Magazine’s site and, well, it’s my turn now.

I largely echo what is said in this article on baby weight without the baby. And also on my post a while back on being a blob.

Not everyone has body image issues, but it’s a fairly regular companion in many of our lives, and I’m no stranger to it. I was far from being even a little bit athletic before I carried Henry, but my eating habits of late have been pedantic to say the least.

I’m a comfort eater – salty, crunchy chips and tasty chocolate are nearly always available in my house (guess who does a lot of the shopping 😉 ). When we were losing Henry, I hardly ate. Then I switched gears somewhere along the way and began to indulge myself. I’d like to stop, though it’s hard to turn away from the evolutionary habit of wanting high calorie foods in stressful times, especially in the winter. And getting all dressed up just to go for a measly walk when it’s cold outside? Fuggetaboutit.

All excuses aside, in the end, it’s my choice to do nothing. But do I ever think about it! The mental exercises revolving around thinking about my weight alone should burn enough calories to keep me fit, but unfortunately, the body doesn’t work that way.

hngngnghghgngnghghghghghghhh!

Some of it is weight that I put on during pregnancy and, like the article I’ve linked to above states, there’s no baby here to help burn the extra calories off via breastfeeding. No toddler to chase around and let my meals turn cold and unappetizing. There’s just me, and it’s hard to muster up the motivation to get my butt moving, especially when there are days whittled away with grief, self-pity, and exhaustion.

The New Year is the ideal time to make a resolution to change my ways. Weight loss is probably one of those hot-ticket, much sought-after prizes many of us aim for this time of year after the shovel and stuff eating roulette of Christmas. Trouble is I’m not a believer in New Year resolutions.

My minimal activity and eating habits as of now won’t get me to lose any weight. Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve added much more on, but I haven’t lost enough to fit into my old jeans, and I’m not about to step on a scale. I’m still wearing maternity pants because they’re the only thing that fits, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to go pants shopping right now (talk about depressing…). So I have the daily reminder of not being pregnant each time I get dressed, and I feel like a clown – a fraud – getting in to these big pants. But they’re comfy, so I’ve settled for now.

The fact that I’m writing about this hopefully means that I will make the choice to do more, but I think I just have to accept myself as a couch potato for the moment. I know change is inevitable, and I’m not striving to look like a model… just to be able to fit into my old pants, which were a far cry from model-thin anyway!

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope

Henry’s story is now posted to Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is a place for us to come together and share our stories and our faces with others who may be looking for reassurance that they are not alone.”

I’m sad but relieved to join the legions of women (and some men) as they retell their heartbreaking stories on this site. I even found a few moms who had lost their children to osteogenesis imperfecta type 2. It’s a terrible thing to have in common with someone. But alas, life can be shit sometimes, so there you have it.

The site helps destigmatize loss, because so many women (and men) suffer in silence. We either feel too scarred and brimming with tears from our experience to talk about it, or we feel that no one really understands what we’ve gone through. There’s no point in bringing it up because, as we are hyper-aware, nobody really knows what to say to us. So we often hear things that hurt us rather than their intended aim of providing comfort. Well, my blog and other projects, like Carly Marie‘s blog, Still Standing Magazine, Small Bird Studios, and so many others, bring our grief to the forefront and, I think the only time we’ll stop talking about our angel babies is when we finally join them.

My post is a mashup of several stories from my For Henry pages, so you won’t read anything new in my story, but please visit Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope anyway for the messages of hope woven delicately into the free expression of tragedy.

With peace,

Mel