November 19, 2014

Bare-ing It All

The other day I came across an article about post baby bodies and how they aren't always as pretty as what you see in the magazines or, heck, even as pretty as your best friends flat, post baby stomach.  The article talked about our "battle scars" and how we should be proud because they're a symbol of something amazing, life created, our precious babies.  The girl who wrote the article is a small, fit girl but she just had one "problem area" that she could never seem to embrace regardless of how often she told others to embrace theirs.  The girl went on to show her not so favorite body part, her stomach, and it looked just like mine.

And then, in not so many words, she said she was having surgery to correct the "problem".

And I haven't been able to shake it since.  

I was sad, instantly, when I realized what I was reading.  Maybe a little part of me was jealous and that's where the sadness comes from.  But I like to think I'm not as shallow as to be jealous of someone else's tummy tuck.  Anyway...I was sad.  I was reading this story and thinking, "someone else like me" and how empowering this post was and then it was like someone popped a balloon.  I was mad at her for making me feel like I wasn't alone in the struggle to tighten up this post baby belly and then it was like she was "taking the easy way out" with surgery {not that she is taking the easy way out, that's just how it made me feel in the moment}.

Then it dawned on me, I will be the face of "ugly" post baby bellies.  Why am I relying on someone else to share their vulnerability for others to relate to.  Why don't I be that girl?  So here I am. 

This is my belly at the end of the day, what it normally looks like.  I have a very small waist and am the lowest weight I've ever seen as an adult but that lower part of my belly {and my belly button} still look wonky.  I'm actually starting to see a little bit of definition {abs maybe?} in the top part of my stomach but it seems like the bottom half, that pooch, is still playing catch up.  But you know what?  I've not given it my all either.  I haven't tried targeting that particular part of my body but I will start.  I haven't cut out grains and dairy long enough to see a change but I will continue to eat a Paleo diet in hopes that the results will follow.  You know what keeps me going?  The fact that even though it doesn't look perfect, or like what the magazines show me, or like my freak of a nature friends look like it looks better than it used to and I'm all about progress, not perfection.  

Surgery is not an option for me.  Most likely, if you're reading this post, it's not an option for you either.  Not only is it not an option but it's not something that I would want for myself either.  I am raising a daughter, a young impressionable girl, and that's not the image of beauty I want to portray to her.  If you don't like something, go under the knife and have it changed.  No.  Instead I'd rather portray an image of hard work and dedication and IF by some chance you still don't get the results you desire, well by golly you've tried like hell to get there.  And, chances are, the only one judging you is YOU.  

In light of the whole Kim K thing, you know the one, I've been thinking about how women's post-baby bodies are portrayed and it's not a good image.  Certainly I know that those photos are photoshopped to death but young, naive,impressionable girls do not know that.  They look to celebrities, like her, as inspiration and idolize that type of behavior and appearance.  I will be damned if that's the way my daughter views herself.  So yeah, it's a tough time for a woman's body, but it doesn't have to be. 

I think all of this has brought me to realize something I should have a long time ago.  I love my body.  No it's not perfect and it sure as hell doesn't look like it did 4-5 years ago.  But I've created two beautiful humans.  The apples of my eye, my greatest gifts, my pride and joys both came from this body.  Also, I'm not done yet.  I am not done seeing what my body is capable of.  I have come a long way in the 15 months since James was born and I know I can push my body further.  If it's just loose skin and this is how my stomach is destined to look forever, so be it.  

Love your body.  

That is all. 


  1. I love this! Thank you for this post! My belly looks a lot like yours & no - I'll never have surgery to "fix" it and my body will have forever been changed by pregnancy but my life has also forever been changed by my beautiful daughter so that just seems fitting!

  2. You go, Momma! I know that once I give birth to my Olivia, I'll feel exactly the same way and have exactly the same values to pass along to her. I'm so proud of you for being honest and having the courage to "bare it all." High five!!

  3. I have the same issue. My stomach looks like that and Ive tried my hardest to get it back to the way it was 5 years ago but at this point idc anymore. like you said I created two beautiful little boys and I'm proud of that.

  4. Great post!! I love how real you are and you look so amazing. Our bodies are pretty darn amazing what they can do!!

  5. shannon, you've been so inspiring to me. I'm not a workout person..mainly because i simply can't fit it into my schedule and i've never truly liked it....and i guess i hardly even sit down until evening chasing my turkeys, but still! i think it's just amazing to see someone (you) accomplish so much and stick with it. i can promise it's likely i would ever have as much discipline, but you make me want to try!

    you've done amazing and look amazing!

    my tummy has always been larger and my more flabby area...although for a long time I didn't know I had celiac and essentially i had a diabetes belly. with cohen i gained 40 lbs and with the twins i gained 40lbs.. granted that was in 14 months...but my stomach....lower stomach looks awful.... but i only weigh 115lbs.... ive just always been a 5'2" petite person and since i cut out gluten weight doesn't even cross my mind. my issue is i did have a doctor look at my tummy...someone who doesn't even do plastic surgery, and they said my stretched tummy skin simply will not go's dead, shriveled skin..i was certain it would because i mean so many other people who have babies and twins have flat tummies now... i mean didn't freakin j'lo have twins?!? ..i guess i totally understood people who lost a LOT of weight possibly having skin that had no place to go.(and ive seen that on talk shows)...but the doctor just said with my frame and my skin and my skin is dead and my stomach is flat and the skin isn't going anywhere.. i truly don't want a tummy tuck...but if i ever want flab gone, she basically said it would have to be cut off. im a lover of stretch marks on my hips because those are my babies... i stretched wide half of what i am tall. anyways, so with being told that, that, too, gives me little motivation to even work on my stomach. feel stuck being someone who might at some point convince myself i want the dead skin gone and go to surgery..... what do you think!? should i have someone who knows about working out look at it? someone who does plastic surgery? i guess i just am trying to figure out if it can go away if i put the work into it, ya know?

  6. and i totally read the post on my phone and for some reason it didn't scroll past the paragraph by the picture...ending sentence "I'm all about progress, not perfection" as for below that.. i think the kim k think is awful because exactly the reasons you said.. it messes girls up in the head! ive been perfectly content with how i look...which is clearly another reason ive not put effort into working out or figuring out my dead tummy skin......and how i look is what people i feel is what i see ya know? and i feel good because i eat pretty good and take care of myself... .and thankfully i didnt see centerfolds nakey when i was young, ha! i don't feel like i have to LOOK beautiful as long as i feel beautiful. I'd much rather Slaone see real bodies than photoshopped...cough..fake ones! and so she probably sees me nakey all too often...ha! she knows my b0obs made milk and my tummy had her and knox in it :) ....and let's be honest.. the people who see us naked, love us no matter how we looks so ultimately, it's always about how we feel in our own skin!

  7. Such an awesome post my friend, and I am so proud of you for baring all! I have no problem with surgery (I have had breast surgery but would never tummy surgery) but each to their own and I can understand why so many moms would. But I agree with you - there are other ways to "fix" my tummy and I am proud of my mommy scars x

  8. This was fantastic. I was staring at my "battle wounds" yesterday and focusing on the loose skin, the very noticeable stretch marks and the ever loving pooch that I was born with and has only gotten worse since having a baby. Surgery isn't an option for me either and even if it were that's not how I want to achieve my goals. Loved this post!

  9. Great post! Let's all appreciate our bodies for the amazing things they can do!

  10. As a mom of 3 babies now I've been so inspired by your fitness journey! You are always so real on here and I grately appreciate the honesty and bravery of this post!

  11. I have been "trying" to fit in more fitness. My eating habits are healthy (ish) 99% of the time and I used to be SUPER active marathon runner, rock climber, equestrian however juggling two babies, a full-time (and more) job, the house, the husband and all of our critters leaves little to NO time. I hear all of the time how that is not an excuse - yet I feel like - walk a mile in my shoes - then tell me where I can make more time in the day because sleepign and eating now take the hit! That whole sayign that moms can do it all (yeah well there are limitations, like ya know running yourself into the ground trying to make it to the top professionally and have the cleanest house, happiest kids etc). You are inspriing and I totally agree with you. I want BOTH of my girls to see the beauty in themselves and trying hard to achieve their goals!

  12. I love this post. You are an inspiration in sooo many ways. I have earned the same embarrassing striped and they are hard to overcome. Knowing there are other women out there just like me makes me a little bit more comfortable in my stripes then I was before I read this post. Thank you for always inspiring!

  13. Great post! The progress you've made and the effort you put into a healthy lifestyle is far more inspiring to me than any flat tummy could be :)

  14. Gosh. Much inspiration. Totes amazeballs.

    Way to keep it real, yo. By carefully pulling your pants over the lose skin and lifting your boobs up to your chin.

    1. Hi Angela. Long time no see. Did you even read this post? I'm talking about how my stomach is NOT perfect. My pants are down low enough to see my hip bones so I'm not sure what you are even talking about, pulling my pants up. As for lifting my boobs? Yeah I had to otherwise the bottom of my boobs would be in that picture and that's not exactly something I want/need on the internet. K thanks. Bye.

  15. I have a 3 year old girl and would not have plastic surgery (for post-pregnancy um… issues) for the same reason - what message does that send them? Motherhood wrecks your body? It's worth risking horrible complications to "look better"? I would rather put $5000 on a boob job than give it to you for college?

    Thanks for going there!