Laura Mazza is a mom of two under 2. She may not love her post-baby body, but she wants to.
The Melbourne, Australia, mom shared two photos on her blog, Mum on the Run, depicting her physique before and after kids.
“No, this isn’t a before and after shot of weight loss. But it is a victory story,” she writes. “On the left—this was my body before kids...I remember people asking me what my exercise routine was. They admired me. I admired me! I bought a whole new wardrobe. I was so proud. I showed off my body.”
Fast forward two kids later.
“On the right is me now. Stretch marks. A droopy belly button. Thicker, not many bones protruding, but more dimples that represent cellulite. People don’t want to see this photo.”
At this point in an empowering postbaby body post, we’d expect to read a glowing praise of this new body, a sort of proud tribute to all it has endured. But Mazza offers a candid assessment that perhaps more moms can relate to, one that shows that accepting and embracing an imperfect physique is a challenge and a learning process.
“I felt like people were forcing me to love my body,” Mazza writes. “‘You’ve only got one,’ [they’d say.] Well, I don’t care. I want to be skinny.”
Slowly but surely, Mazza’s been coming to a realization.
“You know what? I have achieved more with this body than I have with my old body,” she says. “I've eaten more good foods. I've lived more, I've given more, I've enjoyed more. I've made life. This body, THIS body should be celebrated and admired.”
Like anyone, Mazza faces lapses of confidence.
“I still want to look like the first photo, no doubt,” she says. “I miss that body, it makes me sad. But I want to get there in a healthy way, mentally and physically. I want to be proud and at peace with this body. And I want to like what I've got now.”
For Mazza, loving her body means accepting a hard truth—a truth that serves as the title of her post: Love makes you fat.
“The scars and stretch marks and jiggly tummy is because I made humans. I ate a little more cake, I drank a little more wine. I made mug cakes at 9 p.m. and snuggled on the couch with my husband,” she recalls.
Love makes you fat. Maybe it’s not everyone’s truth. But for the 9,000 people who’ve liked the post on Facebook, it seems like a sentiment that resonates.