Am I the only one who is relatively young (45) and has gone through a lot of medical issues that have led to my body changing in ways I never expected? Pregnancy was tough enough. I was very young for my first pregnancy, only 22 and had never been over 100 lbs. When I gained 36 lbs and then lost all but 10 of them about 6 months after having my daughter I couldn’t believe how different my body looked. Some changes were good but a lot were bad.
I went through a few miscarriages too and even though I was pregnant for a short time, my tummy got bigger and losing that weight quickly did a number on my stomach. My second pregnancy at a much later age didn’t help either.
Losing the ability to be as active as I was before and even being pretty much bed bound for about 2 years, I gained a lot of weight after being diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, Fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s Syndrome and then Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I also have a long scar in the middle of my chest from having a Thymectomy. I’m shocked to see how much my body has changed. I have trouble finding clothes that I think I look good wearing, and forget about lingerie! When I see a website like Shirley of Hollywood I think there’s no way I’d wear anything like that ever again. Now if you asked my husband, he’d say go out and buy 2 of everything.
I do think having a negative body image is something that women go through most of their lives. Add unwanted and unexpected physical changes due to pregnancy and chronic illness to this and you have a recipe for problems.
Working on my body image is something on my list of things to do. I have so much physical stuff happening that this keeps getting pushed to the bottom of a very long list.
image courtesy of Virginia State Universtiy (Virginia Cooperative Extension)