I guess my reply is a combination of in-part comiserating, and in-part looking so good that others would surely be throwing me dagger-eyes!
For background, here's a synopsis of my adult weight/shape (I am 5;10', BTW):
- Married at 19. Weighed 130-135lb. Around a size 6/8.
- Weighed almost 150lb by the time I got pregnant with DD#1. Lost weight after the pregnancy, but only to around 157 before pregnant again.
- After #2, did a lot of countryside bicycling overseas and weight melted off easily right back to 130lb (I was as surprised as anyone as I wasn't trying to lose weight and I detest exercise).
- Immediately once pregnant with #3, body said "too small" and I gained 13lb the first trimester. Post pregnancy #3, I lost weight, but only down to 153.
So I started my twin pregnancy at 153lb and gained 40lb (tried hard to gain more!) By one week post-partum, I was back to 153lb. I had horrible loose skin on my belly. My belly button was so messed up I could almost cry just to look at it. It was just hanging there with this little pouch of loose skin right around it and it didn't go "in" anymore. I've also been decorated with many stretch marks. The dozens and dozens of small stretch marks that circled my abdomen are OK with me. But I have 3 enormous, wide, "sun-ray" ones heading out at 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock and 2 o'clock from my belly button. It's hard to be "cool" about these ones - even now that they have started to fade.
Having returned to pp weight within a week, I didn't stay there. Contrary to popular wisdom, my body always seems to "bulk up" for nursing and I gained my regular 7-8lbs. So: hovering at 158-161lb for all these post-partum months so far. Most of the clothes I'm wearing are size 12.
I have zero tone in my abdomen, but I think that's more to do with detesting exercise than having been pregnant with twins. I have a big, flabby roll between my hips and natural waist. I don't doubt that I could eliminate this within 6 months once my boys are weaned, if I exercised some and stopped indulging in unhealthy snacks and chocolate! While this flabbiness spills out over my belt and looks gross in some clingy clothing, I'm actually very flat across the front if you catch my profile.
The skin has shrunk back and improved a lot in these post-partum months. (My twins are now 9.5-months-old). I know that will continue when I lose weight, just never back to "19 and childless". Even with my "sun ray" stretch marks, I absolutely WILL wear a two-piece bathing suit again. . . just probably not for another 12-18 months. I see no need to look perfect to expose my midriff at the beach.
I don't know what to think about that Shape of a Mother
website. Part of me thought "yay" b/c I see the impossible standards of beauty magazines that so many women and girls don't seem to realize are fiction. But part of me thought it was just a cozy way to indulge in laziness and completely avoid any
attempts to return our bodies to a healthier (and sure, more attractive) state. I saw all the zinger comments that were sent the way of the "aerobics-butt" exercise-maniac mom. I can see why the tone of her post would elicite those types of responses. And I recognize that genetics is the single biggest factor in one's shape. But I'm also not wandering around pretending that my flabby roll is the result of genetics and not the 4 Mars bars I ate in the past 3 days! (I know, it's been a bad week. . . Or is that a good
week?! It depends how you are looking at it!)