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.
Hey… did you know Mother’s Day is SUNDAY? Yea, the thousand and one posts about it on social media and the blogosphere reminded me too. I actually mailed out my gifts this year BEFORE Mother’s Day. (Though, likely, they will still be late.) A serious accomplishment for me nonetheless.
I do have good intentions. I actually love all the ideas that come up right before Mother’s Day on all the blogs. I think, “Wow. Next year I am totally going to do that.” Then the year passes by and it is suddenly May 5th. And, while I am sipping on my margarita I inevitably realize that another Mother’s Day is approaching and catching me unprepared.
If I am this terrible at remembering Mother’s Day—and, I’m a mother—I really can’t be terribly upset that my husband completely forgot that Mother’s Day is this upcoming Sunday and might have planned to be at a Timber’s game. I’m guessing my two-year-old hasn’t planned to make me breakfast in bed or created me a stunning card creation. (slacker)*
I thought I’d help a hubby out and share my favorite picks for Mother’s Day. While being a mother is gift enough—and all that jazz— I sure do like a well-thought-out gift.** This momma doesn’t have expensive tastes, loves a sense of humor, and appreciates thoughtful/useful (yet still fun) gifts. Maybe, just maybe, you haven’t figured out a gift for your momma (or baby mamma) these gift ideas will be helpful for you as well.
*While my husband’s memory is not made for remembering holidays and such… he shows me every day how much he loves and respects me. I like to rib him a little about his forgetfulness, but seriously, he is awesome. The kid is a total slacker though. 😉
** Anyone who knows me knows this is a joke. Sure, I like a pretty little gift as much as the next person. But, I cherish things much higher than baubles. Happy Mom’s Day out there to everyone who made it this far in the post!
Typically around this time of year I am thinking so much about what I want to do for other people that I get a bunch of messages from my family and friends asking me what is on my wish list. This year was no different.
And, while of course there are things I want (I like things)… very few items come to mind when people ask that question. I’m just happy to celebrate with people, especially this year. It has been a long, tough year and I just want to spend some good quality time with people I care about.
However, my sister and mother never, ever take that as an answer…. if you follow my Pinterest boards you might have seen me go a little online window shopping crazy with my wish list. Sorry about that!
A blogger I follow posted her Want, Need, Wear, Read list and I loved it…. so, I am mimicking her a tad and putting up my own list.
Need: Oh dear, oh dear… I need new underwear and bras SO bad. Pregnancy and nursing did a number on my body. I’d like to throw out all that I have and replace them with some pretty new things from Victoria’s Secret or something similar.
Read: It has been so very long since I have read something longer than a blog post. There are a couple of books I want right now. But, I’m also craving a magazine subscription or two. BUT, the one book I want the most right now is the 2013 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. I wouldn’t mind the short story and novel edition too!