I’m now nearly a year postpartum and am still learning to work with the new shape of my body. While my weight is the same as when I got pregnant and my size is the same, my clothing does not fit the same. I was excited to partner with Olga for their new intimates collection Flirty as the biggest discovery I’ve made this postpartum experience is how important it is to love yourself and feel comfortable in the skin you are in at the moment. This post is in partnership with Olga an intimates company that specializes in intimate apparel for curvy and busty women. All opinions are my own. Olga’s Flirty collection may be found at Macys and Kohls.
Having a baby does some pretty crazy things to your body. It is basically stretched, pulled, swollen and deflated all in the course of a year or so. My body bounced ‘back’ a little easier after baby number one than it has with baby number two. Though I have technically lost the weight gained during pregnancy, my body is different than it was after my first pregnancy and certainly different than it was pre-kiddos.
I can’t blame ALL of these changes on the kiddos, because, in fact… I have AGED over the past six years. It is funny. In my head I’m still 25, but when I look at myself in the mirror I now see my mother and grandmother looking back at me. Between my changing body due to both aging and having babies, I really need to learn to love my body all over again. This holiday season I am really working on taking steps to feel comfortable in my new skin while making efforts to be healthier overall.
There has been so much this past year that I’ve struggled with both silently and pretty loudly depending on how well you know me or how close you’ve been to a melt-down. One of those struggles has (obviously) been appreciating my body as it is now and feeling good about myself in total. I’m gonna be totally honest, the tips below are from someone who doesn’t have it all together. These tips have worked for me in the past. These tips have come from friends who have dealt with these same struggles. But, they are from a totally imperfect person who is still trying to follow them all.
There have been so many times this past year where I’ve ran across a photo of me five, ten, or more years ago and have been caught up in wishing I still had the slender frame I had then. At some point I even broke down in tears for not really appreciating what I had then when I had it! Then it hit… that is the key. We are getting older. As much as I would love to not get another wrinkle or roll of funny mole on my back I also really, really want to keep getting older. (The alternative is really not a fun option.) So, my biggest tip is to take a moment and appreciate what you have right now in this very moment in time. Do you love your eyes? Think your ankles look great in those shoes you bought? Find the things about yourself that you LOVE and celebrate them. Focus on them. Appreciate them.
A bit of TMI here (though, isn’t this whole post really?): I wore my stretched out underwear and old nursing bras WAY past their expiration dates. When your panties are falling off you while you walk because the elastic doesn’t work anymore it is time to get new underwear. I had been waiting. I’d been waiting for my wonderful sleek figure that was just gonna suddenly appear. I was waiting until I had time to hit the gym more often or for my thyroid meds to finally make a difference. At some point I thought, It is time to STOP WAITING. Finding beautiful, comfortable, and well-fitted underwear, bras, and clothing items made me feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.
I don’t care if you feel best about yourself in a pair of yoga pants or some heels and earrings. Dress in a way that you can really feel comfortable and beautiful.
Side note: I have always had difficulty finding bras that are actually comfortable in my plus size figure. I even threw down way too much money at a popular plus-size clothing retailer to NEVER wear the bras that they custom fit to my body. They pulled and pinched and were so HEAVY. Enter in Olga’s Flirty Collection. I loved the look of them when the team at Olga sent over the lookbook, but was still weary that I’d actually like the selection. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I’ve been with the quality, styles, fabrics, and fits of the Flirty bras and underwear I received. If you are looking to buy yourself (or a loved one) some really nice (yet affordable) intimate wear items then I’d highly recommend this brand. The sizes range from 34 C to 46 H.
This is the part I really, really struggle with on a day-to-day basis. I know what is good for me. I know that exercising and eating healthy will go a long way in making me feel better. I do overall make fairly good choices. However, I also know that when I am feeling down and out about things it is SO much easier to make the unhealthy choices. No judgement from me here and I will take no judgement on this as well, thank you. This is human. Sometimes we don’t always act in our own self-interest. I feel that moms especially don’t take enough time focusing on their needs because they want the needs of their family to be fulfilled first. So, whether it is committing to drinking more water, walking more steps, cutting certain indulgences… making a commitment to your health with invariably help you feel better about yourself. It is not going to fix it all right away and I really stress BALANCE in this area. Going into extreme lifestyle changes with high expectations is a sure fire way to get burned out and feel worse about things.
One of the hardest parts of these changes for me is not so much seeing myself in the mirror, but seeing myself in photographs. I’ve cringed and cried at the site of me in photos with my sons. I’ve focused on those rolls of fat or the swallow looking skin. I’ve made myself get in the photographs anyways. I’ve made myself STOP focusing on what I deem as imperfections in me and instead focus on how HAPPY I look or how beautiful my family is in that moment. I don’t want to get to sixty to look back and not see me in my photos of my family. I’ve found that making myself get in more photos and making myself look at the good in those photos has had the side effect of me actually liking myself in photos more and more often.
With the launch of Flirty at mass department stores, Olga now provides sexy solutions for curvy women everywhere, encouraging and empowering women to be #FearlesslyFlirty because “sexy comes in every shape and size.”
The collection features four bra styles ($45 each) – deep plunge, balconette, unlined underwire, and deep plunge with lace. It also features coordinating hipster panty ($12.50) in playful colors and prints. I chose a deep plunge and balconette bra and coordinating panties to test. I am in LOVE with both though the deep plunge is worn more often simply because I got it in the nude shade.
I received complimentary products with purpose of trying out and sharing my experience with my readers. The products I share about today have made it into my daily beauty routines. Thank you for reading and helping to support the companies that help make this blog run. I’ve included affiliate links in this post, all affiliate links are marked with an *. For more information on my sponsored posts and affiliate partners please read my policies page.
I value sleep a lot. It is a commodity that my eight month old doesn’t seem to value quite as much as I do. When I had a 1.5 hour commute to work and was pregnant with the little guy, I came up with a few ways to get out the door and to work looking presentable in the least amount of time possible. I moved recently and have a lot less of a commute, but still have hung on to some of the habits I created then. Hopefully some of these daily habits of mine help another sleep-deprived lady out there!
First I should mention that these five steps are what work for me. I don’t assume everyone has the same routine or beauty needs that I do. I often go out of the house with little to no makeup. I also have no problem leaving my house with my hair wet if pressed for time. Some days I do longer beauty routines, and other days I stick to a routine that takes fifteen minutes or less.
Showering is MY time. I shower daily and sometimes twice a day. While I do value the cleanliness factor, I really value my time in the shower as my time to myself where all other noises are tuned out. I take three to eight minute showers most mornings and in that time I wash my hair/body, oil-pull my teeth, shave my legs and clean the shower. Leaving my coconut oil* and a spoon in my bathroom helps make me remember to oil pull a couple days out of the week. (It all may be in my mind, but I find oil-pulling relaxing. On days I do oil-pull I feel like my teeth look whiter and my mouth feels cleaner. I also feel that when I am starting to get inflamed gums this habit helps with decreasing pain and inflammation. Note: I’m not a dentist.) I also leave a non-toxic shower cleaner* and handled sponge in the shower so that I can easily clean the shower as I am in it.
When I had short hair I would easily wash it every morning and either let it air dry or use a hair dryer for five minutes or less. Nowadays I have longer hair and air drying/ hair drying takes a lot longer than it used to and doesn’t always garner the results I want without some serious coaxing. I currently wash my hair every other day. When I wake up early enough I wash and use my hair dryer to give it the shape and style I really like. Most hair washing days end up with my hair in a bun. I swear by the Goody Spin Pins* for those days when I need to just throw my hair up in a hurry.
Typically the day after I wear my hair in a bun I use the wave of my hair (from being wound into a bun for a day) to my advantage. I spray some dry shampoo* through my hair, scrunch up the wave a bit with some sea salt spray* and hit the road!
When wanting a polished look with little time I’ll blast my wet hair with my Pro Tools Ionic Hair Dryer* using the diffuser attachment to make sure I keep the volume in my hair. I follow up with a heat protector (currently using the Infusium 23 Repair and Renew Spray*) and then a quick run over my bangs and face-framing layers with my Pro Tools Ceramic Straightener*.
I’ve talked about my new favorite make-up brand in a previous post, but I am still using and enjoying products from Mineral Fusion, so I’ll be sharing about it some more. Most days I don’t have time to do a full face of make-up with eyebrows, eyeliner, bronzers and the like. Because skin protection is important, I moisturize with the Mineral Fusion Facial Moisturizer with SPF 40* (note: I’m pictured with SPF 15, but I liked it so much I ended up buying the SPF 40.
My on-the-go makeup bag is filled with what I believe are the essentials for my work face. I have the Mineral Fusion loose powder, blush, brown eyeliner and mascara in the bag. I’ve combined it with one of my favorite, inexpensive three color nude eyeshadow sets* and whichever lip color suits my fancy. My whole makeup routine takes approximately 2 minutes.
I like clothes. I like them a lot. I don’t however like how anything in my closet looks on me at 6:30 in the morning. After having my second child I had to go out and purchase new work clothing to fit my new size and shape. When doing so I decided to purchase pieces that could easily go together and that felt good on me. I have probably a rotation of 10 work outfits that I mix and match. Sure, most mornings I look at my closet and feel bored, but for the most part, I’m feeling confident and comfortable at work with little effort.