Vanity Vulnerability: Honest Thoughts on How Self-Love is Hard


After my first daughter, I killed the post-baby weight challenge.  I was thinner than I was pre-baby, I was in smaller size clothing, I was active and I was happy.  I have shared about my pregnancy issues after my firstborn, the miscarriages took a toll on my weight more than I had realized. When I did get pregnant with my second daughter, I gained more than my target pregnancy weight and after she was born I was pregnant 6 months later with my third daughter.  Needless to say, I had NOT reached my pre-pregnancy weight before I found out I was pregnant again.

I struggle EVERY day with positive self-talk and loving my new body.

I hesitated to write this post because it is embarrassing and it leaves me very vulnerable.  It is on a subject matter we don’t openly discuss and I do not have any of the answers.

I track every calorie I place in my mouth.  I track every calorie I burn.  I am eating less and eating healthier than I have ever eaten. I am working out and strength training every day with no visible results.

What is embarrassing about that confession is not the actual struggle, but the way it makes me feel.

I have never been the prettiest girl.

I have never been the thinnest girl.

What I struggle with now is my identity now that I am a bigger girl.  If I am being totally honest and also totally vulnerable, I do not see myself as having the same place or value that I once did in society.  Without being thinner, without being cute, I have no idea what worth I bring to the table.

I hear Bender’s line from the Breakfast Club play over and over in my head,

“You see, I’m not sure if you know this, but there are two kinds of fat people. There’s fat people that were born to be fat, and then there’s fat people that were once thin but they became fat, so when you look at them you can sorta see that thin person inside!”

So I have a strength training routine for fat burning, I do cardio that I hate for 30 minutes every day, I have a meal plan I follow every day.  I just recently learned I was allowed a cheat day, I never took a cheat day and still I stand in front of that mirror every day struggling to figure out who I am now. I have to wear support undergarments and I cannot breathe most days in my clothes.  I start every day with positive videos, motivational speeches, and have positive affirmations- I actually laugh at myself while I say them some days. I try not to let my kids see me cringe when I see a photo they’ve taken of me because I cannot believe I work every day to have the body of the person that shows up in their pictures.

I also hear my dad’s words on replay after Bender’s words,

There are no ugly women, just lazy women.

Or my other favorite memory when my mom had just finished sewing a skirt for me, pre-children and as my dad walked by the sewing room and saw the skirt he howled,

“Geez!  What fatty is that for, holy cow!”

It is not about Bender.  It is not about my dad.  It is about this bizarre belief that if I am not the right size, or if I do not have the right skin then I somehow have less worth in society.  If I am not like the women that come back from pregnancy looking better then they did before I am somehow not worthy of a seat at the table.

Maybe I am vain.

Maybe no one knows what this feels like.

I never thought I was the kind of person that got her self worth from how her clothes fit or the size the tag of the jeans she has on said. But here I am full of the negative self-talk and downplaying any success I earn because I don’t truly desire it since I am no longer the fit girl or at the very least, not the fat girl.

Meet the Guest Writer 
Stephanie is a working mom, trying to successfully navigate the corporate world, maintain a healthy and loving marriage, and keep her three daughters alive daily, while keeping her sanity in tack.
You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook and find more of her writing on her blog


  1. Thank you for being so brave and so vulnerable. Sometimes when thoughts like these cross my mind, I think of little babies breastfeeding. Sometimes their mama is really big, sometimes she is really thin, sometimes she has horrible acne (why oh why does this not stop in the teenage years), and sometimes her skin is like porcelain. But that little baby doesn’t care one bit. They are held, they are warm, they are fed, and they are loved.

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