Please Stop Telling Me To Love My Flabby Body

Wannabee BLUNT
Written by Wannabee BLUNT
If I read one more blog post telling me be proud and stop hiding my mom body the next time I go to the pool, I’m going to scream! Look, I appreciate the premise of these posts. They tell us that we shouldn’t stress over the extra curves motherhood and age have bestowed on us. They tell us that we should wear our stretch marks like trophies and that, above all, we shouldn’t be judged. Well, “Amen!” to all of that and, if you are a mom who is comfortable strutting her stuff up and down the beach with a bare midriff, then good for you!! Really, I’m happy for you.
The thing is that most (at least many) of us moms are not comfortable doing that. We feel awkward and unattractive in our own skin. We see the moms with the perfect measurements and feel pangs of jealousy and self-consciousness. 
To be very honest, I do not like my almost 40 year old mom body at all. I would like for the stretch marks left by three pregnancies to disappear. I hate that my once size 8 physique now struggles to squeeze into a size 14 and I absolutely despise my flabby belly that hangs over the waistband of my panties like an bloated muffin top. I am grateful to be healthy, and thankful that my body allowed me to grow three little humans and nurse them all.
However, I don’t like the body I see looking back at me from the mirror. I just don’t.
Now, I know there are some of you reading this who are probably nodding along with me. I also know there are others who are already composing nasty comments in their heads telling me that, if I hate my body, then I should get off my fat ass and do something about it. So, let me explain something–I AM doing something about it. I go to the gym 2-3 times every week even though I despise it and have to skip other things that I actually enjoy in order to make time for my workouts. I even spent three months last fall working out with a personal trainer. I wear a FitBit on my wrist to track my steps and as a reminder to get up and move. I have MyFitnessPal on my phone where I track the number of calories I put into my body. When sticking to my original calorie goal had no effect, I slashed another 200 calories from my “permitted” daily intake. None of this has helped me shed any weight at all. So, I went to my doctor and then to an endocrinologist. Both ran oodles of tests to check my thyroid function, my hormone levels, and my blood sugar. The good news is that all the test results were normal. The bad news is that nobody can figure out why I simply cannot lose weight. I’m just “big boned,” I suppose which is largely unacceptable in this day and age.

The truth is, I want to like my body. I want to have enough confidence to say “To hell with it!” as I put on a bathing suit and run along the shore like a Baywatch babe. I’ve tried repeating mantras and biblical scripture. I’ve tried avoiding mirrors and I’ve tried to just pretend it doesn’t bother me. I may have even tried throwing darts at a Victoria’s Secret catalog. None of it has worked.

My flabby mom body does bother me, and no matter how hard I try, I am embarrassed by it. Although the intentions behind those other posts are very honorable, for me they just feel like someone pouring gallons of salt on an already open, gaping wound. I already feel judged because I am not a “skinny girl,” and after reading those posts, I feel judged because I am less than proud of my physique. It’s a double whammy that has the completely opposite effect from what I believe the authors intend.

So here is what I propose: If you are one of the moms who can put on a bikini, bare your belly, and let the sun glint off you “tiger stripes,” then go for it! If you are a mom who has had 10 kids but still has her high school figure and never had a stretch mark in your life, awesome! I will applaud you all (and be quite jealous, in fact), but I WILL NOT judge you. That is, as long as you promise not to judge me either.

When you see me down the beach or across the pool sitting under an umbrella in my skirted tankini and floppy hat trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, know that I’m doing the best I can and that just being there is hard for me. I won’t tell you to cover up if you’ll stop patronizing me by telling me to pretend my bulge doesn’t bother me.

Deal? Deal.

This author doesn’t want bikini tops thrown at her, so she has written anonymously.

About the author

Wannabee BLUNT

Wannabee BLUNT

Wannabe's are Guest Authors to BLUNTmoms. They might be one-hit wonders, or share a variety of posts with us. They "may" share their names with you, or they might write as "anonymous" but either way, they are sharing their stories and their opinions on our site, and for that we are grateful.

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  • I love this. Well, not the part about you not liking your body, but totally the part about not needing to be told to love it or wear a bikini. The only way I got to a place of being okay with my body was by doing psychological “exercises” and by getting rid of the notion that I had to love everything about it to be a generally happy person. My problem isn’t weight as much as a diastadis recti and other ahem issues from childbirth. I know you didn’t write the post because you wanted more advice, so I won’t give any… I will say I’m with you in the one piece and I feel no shame about not wanting to display all the marks of motherhood.
    Meredith recently posted…Fitness Meme Hall of ShameMy Profile

  • i could have written parts of this, especially about struggle with weight loss even with A for effort! I’m now working with a trainer who has taught me to focus on body fat loss % instead of lbs. I started with her a year ago and was 45% body fat now I’m 29% after a year and a TOUGH year where lost my dad and moved my mimi to assisted living near me. But my lbs barely moved! But I feel great!!!!

  • I gave up on hating my body years ago. I admire your determination and discipline in going to the gym. IMHO, being FIT is what matters. How you feel- how much energy you have, what you’re able to do, is what matters. I bet you can chase your kids around the park (if they’re minis) or keep up with your older kids on a hike. I bet you can walk the mall with your friends. You can walk from your car all the way out to the sand, and even if you’re “hiding” under an umbrella, at least you’re there. That’s what counts, Mama. You don’t have to wear a bikini. There’s a middle ground. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a tankini, a one-piece, or even a (gasp) skirted suit. Not baring it all doesn’t mean you’re indulging in self-hatred. I don’t wear bikinis (much to the relief, I’m sure, of the bathing public) lol But, like you, I’m at the beach with my kids.

    Even though it’s not easy for me to walk out to the sand. Or walk the mall. Hiking’s out of the question, though I used to enjoy it.

    My body fails me too. Solidarity with you on that point. I think we can choose to celebrate what we CAN do, and do that. We can set challenging, but realistic goals for ourselves, like running an extra half-mile this week on the treadmill, or swimming just five more laps. Do what you can do, and be proud of what you can accomplish. <3
    Life With Teens and Other Wild Things recently posted…Of Love and Loss and Moving OnMy Profile

  • Very good read. I loved it. I understand completely what you are saying and support it. So as much or as little of your body as you are comfortable with. All women are beautiful, even mothers!

  • this is GREAT. I get so tired of looking at myself and thinking, ‘it is ok, I’ve got flab in places I never dreamed flab would go….but I HATE it!’ so much of this is perfectly quotable. Yes, I am glad I have my boys. I am glad my body mostly works (Diabetes among other things). But, if I could just have that 23 in waist back…or maybe 27 inches!

  • I SO get this. There is almost more pressure to totally LOVE your body than there is to actually lose weight and look perfect! As much as I truly believe life is about living and not the size of our body, I surely could pick about 30 different things I don’t like about mine!

    And the swim suit? I wear shorts every single time I go to the pool. They cover my worst parts and make me feel so much more comfortable and secure.

    I’m so glad you shared this piece… I believe it speaks the hearts of women everywhere!!
    Chris Carter recently posted…Six Ways To Unplug This SummerMy Profile

  • I can totally relate to what you are saying – as a matter of fact, let me just check to see if I wrote this… Nope ok we’re good. 😉 I’ve been on a similar journey for the last couple of years – every six months the endo tells me ‘my levels are normal’ etc. Increasing my healthy fats has just recently seen me finally lose some weight – 14lbs actually and shockingly. I still think the thyroid is involved. Anyway, contact me by email or on my website and I’ll happily share some of the articles I’ve read recently that have me finally moving out of the “so confused” zone.

  • As slim, toned size 4 all through high school and early 20s and now a saggy, bloated size 16, I just try not to pay TOO much attention to the exterior. I can’t help doing it in dressing rooms, however, and i am still in shock when I see my fat stomach hanging, my once petite breasts heavy and sagging, the massive amounts of cottage cheese on my once cute-as-a-button ass, and so on.

    The challenge seems to be accepting A) that, no, we are not in high school anymore and B) we are middle aged, and this is what middle-aged looks like. Someday, hopefully, we will all be old ladies, and old ladies’ bodies are, shall we say, not a pretty sight. Deal!

    The upside is I now just eat what I want, in moderation mostly, but occasionally getting satisfyingly full, knowing I am already fat, so it doesn’t make TOO much difference. Also having a husband who still chases me around the house and doesn’t care that I’m not skinny. 🙂

  • As a person who never had to work for ‘it’, but now has to work [and doesn’t even have ‘it’]…im justifying things to myself by knowing that in 10 years from now, I’m going to wish for this [skin, elasticity, flexibility, fill-in-the-blank]. I’d love to have the [skin, flexibility, etc] from 10 years ago when I didn’t appreciate it, so I know they’ll be something I don’t know about me that I should be appreciating now. While I do not love the skin I’m in, I can appreciate the rose colored glasses I wear and not degrade myself the way i did when I had ‘it’…