I knew that after having a child my body would never be the same again. I know that many women never, or with great difficulty, return to their pre-pregnancy weight and that’s something I was prepared for and totally ok with. So what if I gained a few permanent pounds? I created a human!
But what I have now is something that I was not prepared for. I used to get compliments all the time “You look great!”. First of all, thank you for the sincere compliment. I do appreciate it. I heard that line a lot a couple months after giving birth. This then transitioned to “You don’t even look like you had a baby” and “Well you didn’t gain that much weight during your pregnancy…” to which I said thank you and revealed to people that I had gained a proper amount of weight, nearly 30 pounds, during my pregnancy.
But now what I’m faced with is “Oh my gosh, you’re so thin” and “Wow you’re skinny”. To many these would be welcome compliments but to me they are allegations of abuse. These are said with undertones of jealousy or shock as I am eyed up and down. Sometimes the slight look of disgust or concern will creep over their face as they take me in. I know these tones and looks because I’ve experienced them before.
I am a small person in general. I’m 5’5″ and my normal weight is 120-125lbs (I can fluctuate between those numbers within a day). Right now I’m at about 110. I’ve lost weight since having my baby and when you’re already small it makes a big difference in your appearance. I think to most people I used to look small but now I look stick thin. I have always been a skinny person, it’s just the genetics I came with. I was still in a booster seat in middle school because I didn’t meet the state weight requirement to go without. If I got sick and vomited a lot I would drop 10lbs over a weekend and take weeks or months to put the weight back on. My friends would tell me that they didn’t like hugging me because “It feels like I’m hugging a skeleton, I feel like I’m going to break you”. I have had several people either straight up ask me if I’m anorexic, or tell me that it’s ok to eat food because I needed to take care of my body. I was told that I would never have a husband if I didn’t gain weight to look more attractive. I knew the truth though. That those are just the cards I was dealt and that I was healthy. But those same feelings of frustration with being viewed as too thin are creeping back up.
I love food and I eat a lot (seriously guys, I just ate a serving of spaghetti and two fajitas for lunch). That was true in my youth and it is now. I am not on an exercise regimen or a diet. The reason I’m small again is because my metabolism has picked up due to exclusively breastfeeding my baby. I’ve had to eliminate some foods from what I typically eat since whatever I eat ends up in my milk and if I eat certain things it causes my baby discomfort but it hasn’t impeded my ability to feed myself.
Am I healthy? Yes and no. Yes, I am eating well and despite what people who haven’t known me for years may think, this is actually just a different version of my “normal” body. Emotionally, spiritually, nutritionally, and weight wise, I am healthy. What’s not so great is that my muscle tone is rather lacking. I think that in order to be truly healthy you should be active, which is something I am currently not.
I don’t know what the future holds for me or my body but I know that I will continue to take care of myself and my baby the best that I can.
If you’ve been worried about me, thank you for the concern but I’m doing great and eating well and so is my baby. If you want to be my “workout buddy”, or have a favorite “baby and me” exercise, let me know!
Shout out to all my naturally skinny folks out there, it’s a blessing and a curse that most people don’t understand but you’re not alone!