Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dealing With Body Changes

Everyone's body changes as they get older. That's just a fact. Some women have babies, some lose or gain weight, some might have their body changed by illness or injury, and we all start to see the effects of time as the years go by It's not always easy to deal with these changes and maintain your confidence, especially when it's a relatively sudden change. There are ways to regain your confidence, though. If you want to feel sexy and stylish again, you don't have to get your old body back. You can learn to love and live with your new one.

My Changing Body Story
I started Primadonna Style shortly after getting married in 2012. My husband, who was and still is my biggest fan, encouraged me to try blogging and became my photographer.

 For several a few months leading up to our wedding I had a rigorous workout schedule, and a very strict diet because I wanted to make sure I had the perfect small waist and flat tummy in our wedding photos.  Prior to engagement I was a size six, but as I approached our wedding I was down to 125lbs and a size 2. I was so focused on my fat tummy goals, I didn't realize how much weight I'd lost.

 The months after our wedding I stopped counting calories, and I didn't hit the gym as often. After awhile, I eased into a size 4 and my weight would fluctuate between 128-130lbs. I still worked out a few times a week, and tried not to keep any junk food in our home.  I'm sure I spent time obsessing over having a flat stomach, and those five vanity pounds, but overall I was happy with the way my clothes fit.

In 2015 I suffered a miscarriage and soon after got pregnant with our son. My body was struggling to catch up with these rapid changes.  I had zero energy, and  I didn't have much of an appetite at the beginning of the second pregnancy, so I didn't gain any weight. As my pregnancy progressed, multiple fibroids kept me in pain, and caused me to have a high risk pregnancy, so working out was out of the question.  Seven months into the pregnancy, it seemed like everything changed, and I started gaining weight pretty quickly. Suddenly I was hungry all the time. By month nine I was 174 pounds with the typical sausage fingers, swollen ankles, and swollen feet to match my big belly. Pregnancy had caused the five fibroids I had to grow even bigger. My doctor told me that even after having the baby  I would always have an enlarged tummy due to the size of the fibroids.  It's funny how suddenly my weight gain didn't matter. Loosing a baby made me only focus on making sure my baby boy made it here safe and sound.

Months after delivering, I had tried to workout a bit, but I was exhausted all the time. My body had gone through so much in a short time.  Five large fibroids sapped my energy on a daily basis and caring for my infant son took the remainder of the energy I had.  It also seemed like I still had my pregnancy appetite because I was hungry all the time. Working out became a distant memory as I tried to work, take care of my little family, and simply make it though each day.  I was 148 lbs.  I wasn't happy with my body at all. The doctor was right, the large fibroids made me look around three months pregnant, and I was now in a size 8.  Everyone around me told me I looked great, but I felt terrible physically, and I now had a closet full of stylish clothes that I couldn't fit.

In February 2017 I made the decision to look into having the fibroids removed. I found a specialist, and my husband and I decided that I should schedule a laparoscopic myomectomy for summer of 2017.  I was nervous, but looking forward to feeling better and having more energy.
  After the procedure was complete, the doctor said everything went well.  I stayed overnight in the hospital, and went home the next day.  For three weeks I stayed home recuperating, but something wasn't right. I could barely eat, I could barely use the restroom, and I just didn't feel well.  My weight started to drop.  Though I was loosing weight, I could see I looked frail and sickly. Three weeks later,  I told my husband to call an ambulance. I was in severe pain and couldn't keep anything down. They  rushed me to the emergency room where after multiple tests they figured out that my intestines were twisted as a result of my previous surgery! Eary the next morning they rushed me into emergency surgery to unkink my intestines.  The tummy that I was so concerned about being flat, now had nine scars from two surgeries in less than a month.

It has taken some time to recover, but I've gotten stronger, and my energy has increased within the last few months. After those two surgeries I lost a total of about eleven pounds, but my focus had shifted, and I was more concerned about my health, and being around to raise my son.  The things I had gone through over the last couple of years had changed my perspective, and I wanted to share my story and what I learned with all of you.

Focus on Health

Photo Source

I spent so much time in years past focused on perfecting a specific part of my body.  Once my body started to change I realized the most important thing to focus on FIRST was my health.  Gaining weight may have stopped me from wearing my size four wardrobe, but health problems caused me miss out on time with my family, time from work, and an overall good quality of life.  If you notice a change in your body, energy levels, or just instinctively feel like something isn't right, go see a doctor!  Being healthy is the foundation we all need to having a better more productive life.

Get to Know (and Love) Your New Body

When your body changes, whether you've had a baby or had surgery, it can be difficult to adjust to it. Your body can feel strange and unfamiliar, and you might feel like it doesn't really belong to you. If you want to feel more comfortable in your skin, you need to spend some time working on accepting and loving your body. Instead of looking for the flaws, or mourning what used to be, focus on the things you like about your new body.

Learn to Work with the Changes

Now that you've identified the positives, seek out ways to emphasize the things you love. Wear a certain color to emphasize your eyes, or wear a fitted skirt to show off your hips. Also consider investing in good shapewear. No matter what size you are, shapewear adds firmness and gives a bit of lift that can definitely give you a boost in confidence if you've gone through any body changes.

Sometimes the changes in your body could be something you've chosen, like body sculpting or having gummy bear implants for cosmetic reasons or after a mastectomy. This can still require you to rethink your wardrobe and learn to dress for your body and in a way that helps you feel confident. You might decide to dress more modestly or maybe be a little more daring. 

Experiment with New Things

If you're working on accepting changes to your body, it's an ideal time to try out some new things. When you become an adult, you start to think that your experiments with fashion are over. But there's still plenty of time to explore different styles as you age and your body goes through different changes. You might enjoy trying out a bold new color wearing some different silhouettes than you would not normally choose.

Wear What's Comfortable

Don't forget to make sure that you're comfortable with what you're wearing. As well as feeling physically comfortable, you don't want to wear clothes that will make you feel self-conscious. If you feel like something you're wearing isn't really "you", you're not going to be at your most comfortable. Make sure your clothes fit you well and don't annoy you, on top of choosing clothes that make you feel good and raise your confidence.

You won't always feel comfortable with changes in your body right away. Working on accepting the changes and perhaps loving them too can help you feel happier and more confident.

Thanks for reading!

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