Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

How creating a new life,gave me back my own

I knew when I became pregnant with my son, that I would love him and do whatever it took to make sure that he would be safe and happy. What I didn’t expect, was how becoming his mother would also make me take care of myself for the first time in my life.

Growing up, I was a very confident, outgoing little girl. It wasn’t until I turned 17 that my life took a drastic turn. My brother Billy, who was just the coolest and most handsome big brother in the entire world, had become ill. His illness took him from me when he was just 21 years old. I was shattered. Feeling like I had lost complete control over what was going on around me, I turned my control inwards. I started starving myself.

It was easier to cope with the pain from an empty stomach than the pain of accepting my brother was gone. He had always found a way to make me feel special. With him, I felt pretty, funny and smart. Without him, I felt none of those things. Thinking I would never be good enough I tried instead to be THIN enough. As any anorexic can tell you, thin enough just doesn’t exist.

There were moments when I felt stronger and promised I’d take care of myself, but the strength never lasted.

When I met my husband I believed that marriage would solve everything, I had a man who loved me unconditionally, surely that would be enough. Unfortunately, his love and acceptance for me wasn’t enough to bring out my own. My battle with self-esteem and body image continued, until a couple of years later, when my child saved my life.

As soon as my husband and I started discussing having a baby, something changed in me. It was as if I knew what had to be done and was prepared to do it. I needed to get my body as healthy as I could, so my child would be okay. Amazingly, when my doctor told me that carrying a little extra weight would make conceiving easier, I slowed my workouts and upped my calories. It didn’t take long before I was pregnant with my son. For the first time in my life, I felt EMPOWERED. I was someone’s mom and he was depending on me to make intelligent, responsible choices for him and for myself.

I watched my belly grow and my hips widen and I felt beautiful, for the first time in a very long time; beautiful and strong.

Halfway through the pregnancy, life sucker punched me once again, with some news I was not expecting. My mom, who had battled and beaten Cancer throughout her life, had lost her last battle. I had never imagined becoming a mother without having my own to share the experience with. I was devastated. My family was worried. Their concern was that this incredible loss was going to send me right back into the madness of my eating disorder. But I knew differently.

I was a mom now. I owed it to my child, to my own mother and to myself, to continue on the path of self-acceptance I had started when my motherhood journey first began. The greatest tribute I could give my mother was to take everything I had learned from her and let it guide me through my own experience as a mother.

When I became my son’s mother, I also became a friend to myself. From a girl who never felt skinny enough, to a woman who loves her curves.

Motherhood changed me because I’ve stopped worrying about what I’m NOT and feel blessed for who I AM.


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