Whenever I find myself talking about my postpartum body and style, I find myself getting (reasonably) dramatic. "I am a blimp," I have found myself saying to my husband. "I am a planet with a gravitational pull!" I cry to my mom group on Facebook. What is wrong with me? I think privately. Why can't I just diet?
It's the question the world seems to pose to pregnant women. When you're pregnant, no matter how big or small you are, the world loves your body: you have another human you're taking care of! Eat the ice cream, the Oreos, the Taco Bell! However, it doesn't take long after birth to realize the cold, hard truth: you are now expected to just go back to normal, as if nothing spectacular happened to your body at all.
I remember the empty feeling immediately after I had Forrest. And in the six days I spent in the hospital, I found myself feeling like a shell, merely a vehicle for this baby. I felt like the nurses treated me like I was nothing more than a delivery service, my needs and wants were secondary, and I was merely a food source, a fleshy cafeteria.
This feeling is perpetuated at every turn: your baby is your number 1 priority, but it's also everyone else's. No one wanted to know about how foreign I felt in my own body, about how I ached, about how lonely and sad I felt. No one wants to hear about how I struggle to diet now (because, being an exclusive pumper, I know exactly what my supply is... and when I diet, I can see it shrink, the ounces diminishing); no one wants to hear about how tired I am, too tired to exercise. They just want me to do it and/or stop complaining about my body.
I used to think that way. Really, I did! I thought new moms were lazy. How can you not have time to exercise? I thought, 22 and not a mom. How can you not focus on what you eat? I was a bitch, that's for sure. I'm eating my words now.
Over the weekend, I decided enough was enough: I was tired of making myself feel bad and I was tired of standing in front of a bulging closet and knowing that nothing fit. I took out every single item that no longer fit and put it in a bag. Part of it made me sad: I find it difficult to say goodbye to things I love, but can no longer wear. That being said, I've decided if it makes me feel bad, I'm not going to deal with it.
I now have the saddest collection of items in my closet imaginable: four dresses (two maternity maxis); 2 pairs of jeans; 3 pairs of leggings; a smattering of topics (mostly maternity tunics); and sweaters, some of which are a touch too small, but fine for now.
I decided the thing to do would be to create a capsule wardrobe.
If I'm going to be starting from scratch, I should probably start from scratch the right way. I still have lots of stuff to clean out (I have drawers full of t-shirts I will never wear), but it's never too early to get started.
My plan is to invest in pieces to make my body look great now--and rotate them out as I lose weight. As I'm working on my capsule wardrobe, I'll be sharing what I decide to keep and what I decide to buy here. If you'd like to see what I'm pinning along the way, you can follow my Capsule Wardrobe board on Pinterest.