Sunday, March 28, 2010

the postpartum body

So, lately I've been watching a lot of TLC's What Not To Wear.

Yeah, we recently got cable.

Anyway, this show fascinates me. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, "Style Experts," give shopping tips and help needy fashion victims learn to dress in a way that better flatters their shape. It is, to put it concisely, a style makeover. Sometimes the show is a bit brutal, sometimes it's just fun. But for me, it's pretty much always educational.

The philosophy of the show is "embrace the body you're in." Don't plan for six months from now, when you'll have lost that pesky 20 lbs you've been trying to get rid of. Don't try to hide that 15 lbs you've gained by wearing over-sized, baggy clothing. Accept what you've got, and play up your strengths. Period.

I'm not really digging the body I've got right now.

I mean, it's alright. The shape is familiar to me - it's my shape. It's just...slightly super-sized. Me, but super-sized. Lovely.

And it's not like Elise wasn't worth it. I posted that poem a few days ago, largely because it's something that I struggle with. I was preaching to myself, mostly. I want to accept it, be cool with it. Make my peace with the changes that pregnancy and birth almost necessarily bring.

Lovely sentiment. But a bit hard to swallow when my clothes don't fit right.

The good news is, I have a mere 10 lbs to lose. The bad news? The last 10 lbs of pregnancy weight is always tough for me. I have to fight for every ounce, it seems.

Armed with ideas, I ventured out this weekend. I hoped to find some clothes that will work for my now, and not my 10 lbs from now. And unlike the last time I attempted this, I was thrilled with the results. I now have some basic staples to get me through the next few months without despairing every time I look into the closet. I still want to lose that 10 lbs, and I have little doubt that I will. But for now, getting dressed isn't quite so depressing.

I will admit that I did buy one item which I'm sure would appall the show's hosts. It's a long, dark skirt. They would say it "does nothing" for me, and that I am not doing myself a service by wearing it. But I loved it. I loved the way it felt, the way it floats around my legs. So I'm okay with committing one shopping "sin." It doesn't always have to be about fashion, at least not in my opinion.

I know; I'm such a rebel.

And speaking of rebellion, I doubt you'll ever catch me in those stunning high heels they're always talking about. I can never walk properly in heels, and they absolutely murder my feet.

Besides, with shoe wicked pointy-toed shoes? I'm sure at least one of my children would lose an eye.


Joy said...

I often commit that sin myself. At 5'4 according to the experts I shouldn't wear mid-calf length skirts and dresses, but I love how they feel and how elegant I feel wearing them that I sometime just can't resist.

I'm so glad you found some lovely stuff to wear during this particular season.

paige said...

Ah, mindy - preachin' to the choir :) i'm finding it *o so hard* to dress around the extra 10 & this ginormous cast on my leg...
Do you find too that it adds to the restrictiveness finding something that you can nurse in too? i do!

Searching for God in the everyday said...

I think you look fabulous!

Deb said...

I love this! I too was very attached to those last 10lbs! :-) I do believe they are the hardest but I know you can do it! Good for you for embracing where you are along the journey and reminding us that this “process” is so worth it. (i.e. we get a cute kid out of the deal). I love that show but still need a shopping buddy because I don’t seem to have a clue on how to dress myself! Lol!

Mindy said...

Paige, I know exactly what you mean about nursing and clothes. I'm longing for a new dress or two this spring, but finding something I can nurse in is so tricky. Guess I'll have to stick with skirts for the time being!