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Franglaise MummyHi, I'm Sophie, a francophile Brit, living in London after 12 years on the French Riviera, wife to a Frenchman, mum to two half-English/half-French daughters. A former language teacher, marketing/PR professional and bilingual PA, I now split my time between running my Franglaise childcare business and writing this blog. I write about my life which covers all sorts of parenting and lifestyle shizzle, usually with a Franglaise take.
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PostHeaderIcon Getting over body image issues

I was going to link up to Transatlantic Blonde’s “What I wore Wednesday” blog post yesterday. I had a photo taken of me this weekend when I went out with Hubs on a date night, and it was all ready to go, then I looked at the photo, and all I could see were my chubby knees and chunky legs and I just couldn’t post it.

It’s ridiculous. I’ve never had body issues as such, but equally I’ve never thought I had an amazing figure, I’ve just kind of accepted what I’ve got as my lot in life and been a bit “c’est la vie” about it all. But I’ve noticed that post-pregnancy this time round it is much harder to accept my new body shape.

Ever since I was about 12 I have had an hourglass figure – big boobs, big bum, small waist, but also relatively short legs which are pretty chunky. My general shape hasn’t changed much since then. After L’s birth in 2006 I was 31 and my body pretty much went back to how it was pre-pregnancy, the same flat tummy, the same breast size (just floppier!). L had been so tiny and my bump so small that I had no excess skin, no stretch marks and no mum tum.

In fact whenever I do put on weight the last place it goes in general is on my tummy and my waist – I’ll get a bigger bum, chunkier hips and thighs, bingo wings, a rounded face, bigger boobs, but my waist and tummy stay pretty much the same. It was one of the things that consoled me whenever I did put on weight.

But this time round things are different. I’m 37 not 31. It’s my second pregnancy. C was bigger, as was my bump. Whilst I didn’t get stretch marks (I think that’s down to genes really), I now have this mum tum which won’t seem to go, no matter how much weight I lose through breastfeeding.

I’m now 55kg (8 stone 9lbs) for a height of about 162cm (a bit under 5 foot 4), and it’s ridiculous as I’m the lightest now that I’ve been since breastfeeding last time, and before then since a bad break-up. But all I can see now is this big belly, love handles and chunky legs.

Which makes me wonder where this body image issue comes from, it’s certainly not from my mum nor from Hubs, I can’t think of any nasty comments from anyone, so all I can think of is the subconscious media images of super slim/skinny women of my age.

The thing is I know it’s only going to get worse, as I can’t keep up this kind of weight once I stop breastfeeding unless I go on a crazy diet/exercise kick, which I’m not prepared to do. I’ll have to face up to these issues soon though as we’re going on a beach holiday in a few weeks’ time! Eek!

So how do you get over these body issues? How do you feel now you’ve had babies? Will I ever feel comfortable in my own skin again?

Here is the photo that brought about this blog post – my “What I wore Wednesday” photo:

Me and my chunky knees and legs

Me and my chunky knees and legs

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16 Responses to “Getting over body image issues”

  • Lulu G says:

    You could have been describing me! I spend a lot of time in Italy and feel like a useless blob next to the tiny Italian women I see! : ) Vive la difference!

  • Melaina25 says:

    First of all you look AMAZING! I’m the same height as you but a good few stone heavier PLUS a c-section overhang. I don’t see chunky legs or love handles. I just see a beautiful woman xoxo

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thank you hun, I think a lot of is a head thing that I need to get round xx

  • Swazi says:

    Having seen you up close I can vouch for the fact that you’re absolutely gorgeous !!
    We all feel crappy sometimes & it’s perfectly normal.
    Xxx

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks Swazi! I think it’s just a case of getting my head round the changes. xx

  • Hannah Ruth says:

    Please don’t feel like this – you are gorgeous. Not to mention very slim and nothing ‘chunky’ in sight. I’ve just started taking part in WIWW and it’s so fun to get involved. I hope you’ll go for it next week. Hannah x

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks Hannah! I don’t have any pics for this week, but I’m out tonight so maybe I’ll try and get a nice pic for next week…

  • Ahhh S I would never have imagined you had body hangups. You are in awesome shape post baby or actually just generally. I was admiring you at Britmums as you look great..

    Also your legs looked very lovely to me and I saw them up close so believe it.

    Seriously you don’t look 37 – I will be extremely happy to be in a similar shape to you in a years time (post baby obvs) let alone in 7yrs time.

    You are fabulous. Xxx

  • You have an amazing figure! So sorry you feel like this, but it just goes to show people have body image worries whatever their size. After I has my eldest, I felt too thin – I went from a 12 to a 10. After my younger son, born in 2003, I went from a 10 to an 8 and have been an 8 ever since! I am very skinny on top, with no boobs and bones sticking out. I have a slightly flabby belly (that’s three kids for you!) and muscular legs with a bit of cellulite. So I have a bit of everything, but I’m happy with my figure. I know that women half my age would envy it – and so would women half your age. You’ve got a beautiful face too! X

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks Sarah. It just goes to show how being a mum messes with you (head and body)! I’m sure I’ll get used to it as time goes by, but I suppose I’m just gutted that I’m not going to get the post-pregnancy body I managed to get after L was born. I know I’m very lucky in so many aspects, and this feels very navel-gazing, hence my huge hesitation before posting, but this is my blog, about me, and that’s what’s going on in my head at the moment. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Kara says:

    You look stunning and I’m very envious!!
    I think we all have a crisis of confidence after a baby and our body shape does change forever – mine has never been the same, although it was baby 3 for me – I was always a size 8-10 before him but am now a 12-14 (I once crept up to a 16).
    The part of my body I hate is my tummy – I always carry weight there and nothing I do ever shifts it. I think we have to learn to dress differently, hiding the bits we don’t like and showing off the bits we do! These celebs have personal trainers, strict diet plans and air brushing – how can we compete?

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks Kara. Very true – if I had a personal trainer, dietician and all the rest I’m sure I’d look like that too ;-) But I think I like life too much to be bothered really.

  • Kelly Finn says:

    Oh wow you look fantastic!
    I this most if us go though this :-/ I’m currently sad with my own reflection.
    I was, like you an hour shape. I have been since I hit puberty.
    I hate how I look now, everything’s wrong. I’m a different shape.
    Good job these babies are worth it!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Just as well these babies are worth it! Since I posted this so many other mums have come forward on Twitter to say they feel the same way, but don’t dare talk about it, so I’m glad I dared to write this.

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