Anyone who has had children will know:
The Mother of All Body Changes
Creator of The Style Allie
She is a blogger and Stylist
A Mum and Wife
Follow her on Instagram Here
The Beginning: Full of confidence and youth
When I met my
husband, at the tender age of 16, I had just retired from gymnastics
with a knee injury and my build was very slim and athletic. Content
in a relationship and not at the gym constantly, I filled out a bit
and felt confident with a bit more meat on my bones and a bit more
boob in my bra! Fast forward 8 years to our wedding day and I felt so
confident, I rocked tiny bikinis on our honeymoon and body hang ups
were not even on my radar.
Then Everything Changed..
I fell pregnant
just a few months after we married and I remember naively thinking I
would just ping back after. My amazing Mum has had four children and
she was back in her size 10 jeans a week later, every time. I assumed
that I would inherit this ability. By week 20, it was clear that I
was not going to carry a neat little bump and I had put on so much
weight everywhere. I felt almost freakish when people assumed I was
almost at full term and joined in by saying things such as
“definitely only one in there” or “they can probably
see me from space” to hide my upset. At least I didn’t have
stretch marks, I thought, until I went 14 days overdue and they were
literally appearing before my eyes. I ended up covered in them.
Then, after a
dramatic birth where the cleaner delivered her, my beautiful daughter
came hurtling into the world. Of course the next few weeks,
everything paled into insignificance and I basked in the newborn
glow. However, the tiredness was overwhelming, I ate terribly,
gorging on sugary snacks to give me an instant energy boost. It
wasn’t long before I began to loathe my reflection, so much so a
birthday shopping trip reduced me to tears. I began to hide away in
loose clothes and even still wore my maternity wear . I pushed these
thoughts away and threw myself into Motherhood. Violet was a toddler
when I fell pregnant again, suddenly my saggy stomach was firm again
and I actually felt amazing. My bump this time round was neat and
because I was running around after an 18 month old, I didn’t put on
extra weight. After Oscar was born, those feelings of body loathing
returned but I convinced myself that I was being stupid and it didn’t
matter. I had two healthy children and I should stop being so
Getting Back To Me
I remember the
day I realised I needed to look after myself again. I was looking at
photographs of my son’s first birthday. I was wearing a maternity
dress, I had cut and coloured my hair into what I thought was an
appropriate “mum do”. I suddenly didn’t recognise myself
anymore. I vowed to take control, I joined a Body Combat class and
started to eat healthily. I don’t personally believe in diets, as
soon as you say I can’t have something, I immediately want it all!
everything in moderation.
I began to feel good, I noticed I had more
energy and my clothes felt looser. I eventually lost 2.5 stones. This
was great but I was left with saggy, stretch marked skin which I
hated and would obsess over. I was far from the pre-pregnancy body
that I loved. I realised it wasn’t a matter of the weight, I just
didn’t feel like me anymore.
I decided to go
shopping, I had not done this for a long time, I had avoided the
shops as the carefree days of being able to wear whatever I liked
were gone. It always left me feeling frumpy and fed up. This time, I
was on a mission. I had a wedding to attend and was determined to
find something I felt good in. I tried dress after dress after dress.
My fuller boobs wouldn’t squeeze into the pretty dresses I liked and
my wobbly thighs were crying out “hide me”. I began to give
up when an amazing lady told me what a beautiful hourglass figure I
had and that I should try separates to get a better fit. She brought
me a gorgeous lace pencil skirt and a little funnel necked blouse to
try. I put the outfit on and instantly felt amazing! The pretty skirt
was snug on my small waist and showed it off perfectly, the lace
overlay skimmed over my mum tum and the beautiful blouse housed my
boobs wonderfully and showed my curves off in an elegant way I had
never dreamed possible. However, it was the smile on my face that
made the real difference, I felt amazing! Needless to say I snapped
the whole outfit up there and then.
This really was
an awakening, I began to experiment with my new body shape and found
out what worked for me. Yes, it was different but I was determined to
make clothes work for me. Fashion had always been a huge part of my
life pre pregnancy and I had missed expressing myself through
clothes. It was time to get to know myself again and over time I
mastered what worked for my new body. I can now look at an item and
instantly know if the shape will work. I have learned how to
accentuate the bits I like, for example my small waist; I’m always in
high waisted items or cinched in with a waist belt. I look for pieces
that skim over my mum tum and thighs and show off my calves, I have
even embraced my fuller bust and instead of hiding them in loose
clothing, I dress to show off my curvy shape.
Once I had mastered
dressing my figure, I found I could build on this foundation by
expressing myself through styling.
Finally, I was feeling like the
Allie I used to know, my confidence grew and I felt comfortable in my
own skin once more. I really do believe that getting to know which
body shape you are and how to dress it, is a complete game changer.
Feeling good in what you wear is so good for the soul!
I know my body is
not perfect, whatever that ridiculous notion means, but it is pretty
bloody amazing! I grew two beautiful humans inside it and it keeps me
alive to see them grow. It is so easy to fall into the trap of
looking at the “body beautiful” images we are constantly
bombarded with and feel inadequate but it is not healthy to think
that there is only one type of beauty. As women, we all come in
different shapes and sizes, this should be something to celebrate. I
want my daughter to see me embracing my shape and enjoying my
refection rather than agonising over it. I want my son to see that
beauty comes from feeling good about yourself and for him to support
the women in his life to do just that.
Here are my tips on feeling good and dressing happy
- Get to know your shape and dress for it: Once you master what suits your shape you can build on this foundation and experiment with colour and print to express your personality.
- Avoid the Practical Rut: Don’t get stuck in the habbit of dressing “Practically” for mum duties, sometimes dressing in something pretty really can lift your mood and make you feel like “you”rather than just a mummy.
- Go-To Mum-iform: On days when only practical and mum-uniform will do, have a collection of go to accessories, for example some fab earrings or a statement necklace to pop on over some stripes. You will feel like you’ve made an effort and will look super stylish in a snip of time.
some love, thanks for reading
RTH: Thanks Allie! Its been so good to hear about your journey! As a mother it is something i can definitely relate with as i went through the exact same thing.