I wrote this article in 2015, about 2 weeks after I gave birth to my daughter. I wanted to share it with you all because body shaming is so ingrained in the fabric of our culture without awareness that it is in fact body shaming. People think it is okay to make negative comments on weight and appearance without provocation or concern about what effect it may have on a person’s psyche. It’s just small talk to them.
March 12, 2015
10 days after the birth of my daughter I was called a fatty. It was said in jest but it sent me into a hormonal tailspin. A million instantaneous thoughts crowded my mind. Among them: “how dare she say that”, “I’m hideously huge”, “she’s a woman, she should know how hurtful that word is”, “where is the sisterhood”, “I can’t show my face or big bum in public”. To be honest I just nervously giggled and looked at her in amazement. I had no comeback at the time as she had mortified me in my most fragile post pregnancy state.
I think the part that hurt the most is that the person that said this to me was a female who has had children of her own. Granted she’s an older “Tita” but how can you ever forget that negative words associated with weight really sting, particularly when you have just birthed a child. I posted my experience on Facebook and was met with countless similar stories from women as well as a truckload of indignation and support for me. What I really want to know is why we women are so judgmental about other women’s weight in general, but even after childbirth when it is definitely the time to be cutting your fellow sisters some slack.
As I sit here six weeks post birth, I feel the pressure to lose the weight and this should not be my reality. As you know I gain a substantial amount during pregnancy. This third pregnancy saw me put on a little over 50 lbs. Now the pressure is on because I lost the pregnancy pounds quickly after both my first and second pregnancy. People are constantly commenting, “don’t worry, you lose it so fast” and “you’ll be back to your sexy self in no time” . Well meaning comments but pressure-inducing nonetheless. I always tell people that just because I shed the weight relatively quickly, it doesn’t mean it is easy for me. In fact it is quite the opposite. It takes a lot of work and discipline and help. And I do it for my health, not what I look like. Of course getting in shape helps you mentally as well as physically because you just feel better about yourself when you’re in shape. For me personally, I need to get some of the weight off quickly so that I can be active and get back into my healthy lifestyle. It’s a personal choice and a commitment. I will be writing about my post baby weight loss journey more in the coming weeks as I know there are many of you out there in the same boat.
My main point is that we shouldn’t comment EVER on someone’s weight post pregnancy because it is a violation . Each woman’s baby journey is different. Some women put on weight, others don’t put on much. Some women lose it all, others change body shape. Some women take years to lose their baby fat and others lose it in months. There should be no judgment. There should only be support for our fellow sisters because we have all been through the wonderful adventure of pregnancy and childbirth and our focus should be on our precious little ones and our health.