Hello, my name is Jessica Christensen and I weigh 165 pounds. Yes, I just posted my actual weight on the internet. And, surprisingly, no, I’m not ashamed of it.
True, it’s 10 pounds more than the high end of my “healthy” weight range. Yes, it’s 40 pounds more than I weighed 4 years ago at my wedding. No, it’s not really where I’d like to be. But, for right now, I’m happy with it, and this is a huge achievement for me.
I am a woman, and, as such, have constantly fallen victim to the self-consciousness and insecurity with my appearance that plagues most, if not all, women. We are constantly bombarded by messages telling us we’re too fat, too skinny, too white, too dark, too tall, too short, too anything at all to be considered beautiful or desirable. The sad thing is, even though we all know there is no “ideal” body type and that what we see in magazines, movies, and on TV are airbrushed, make-upped, over-styled fallacies, we can’t help but feel like we don’t measure up. I’ve always seemed to be especially susceptible, and it only got worse after having kids.
My pregnancy with Kyle left me with stretch marks not only on my belly but on my thighs, calves, and sides. It left me with a “pooch” that never went away, even after losing all of the pregnancy weight and then some. It left me with widened hips and a more robust backside. I absolutely HATED the way I looked. I longed for my trim, narrow pre-pregnancy figure. I longed to fit into my size six jeans again. I was absolutely certain everyone was focusing on my flab every time I went out in public. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. Eventually I became resigned to the fact that I would never be “skinny” again so I should just accept how I looked. But, I still wasn’t happy.
During my pregnancy with Lucas, however, my attitude and outlook began to change. I didn’t stress about how much weight I gained. I didn’t worry about the size of my protruding belly (well, at least not TOO much—I’m not perfect, after all). I knew my body was doing something amazing, something so few can do, something many women would give anything for. How could I hate it? Plus, I realized that I wouldn’t trade anything, not even my 125-pound, size six pre-pregnancy body, for my children and the amazing experiences I had bringing them into the world. After having Lucas, I’ve learned to embrace my body’s changes rather than regret them. I can honestly say I love my new curves! I do, of course, have my insecure days, and I do have goals to improve, but overall, I’m happy with how I look. Plus, my husband can’t get enough of me. Nothing gives a woman more confidence than knowing someone thinks she’s sexy.
I know my confidence radiates as well. I’ve received more unsolicited compliments on my appearance after having Lucas than I did after having Kyle, even though I was 10 pounds lighter then and I’m still not back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet. I love myself, I am confident, and it shows, and that is what people see, not my tummy pooch.