There’s something that changes inside of you when you experience any aspect of infertility.
It’s almost as if you are at war with your own body. The body that was supposed to be able to help you achieve all you wanted in your life. The body that you are supposed to learn to love as you move through life. The body that is not supposed to let you down. Unfortunately, when you experience infertility you also change the way you see yourself. Now, this is not to say that everyone experiences a negative self-image of their body, but I believe that there are a lot of women (and men) out there going through these feelings quietly alone.
We have entered into our fourth year of infertility and it is no easier now than it was when we first started out. As a matter of fact, I almost think that it is harder now. I am constantly struggling with the way in which I view my body. If I am being brutally honest, most times I hate my body. I hate that it has let me down. I hate that it is something that is out of my control. I often find myself looking in the mirror and picking apart every part of me that I see as a flaw.
I am not sure what you view as your flaws, but here are a few of mine:
- Big thighs
- Double chin
- Excessive facial hair
- Chubby cheeks
- Untoned tummy
- Flabby arms
- Weight gain
- Sensitive skin
- Faulty reproductive system
When I read that list, it makes me sad.
I hate that I feel this way about myself. These feelings don’t make anything better, they just make me feel worse. We really are our own worst critics! They make me self-conscious in my relationship with my husband. He hates that I can never accept a compliment, I hate that he doesn’t tell me he loves my flaws more often. I know everyone has a list they keep to themselves, so I make an effort to be aware of his. I work to make sure he knows I love those parts of him. I like to think that I am helping him boost his confidence so he might look at himself in the same light I see him. I know what you’re thinking, you have to love yourself before someone can love you, and in some capacity, I agree with you. However, I also think that a little extra love never hurt anyone.
So, how do I plan to work on my self-image and grow to love my body again?
I am kicking the new year off by trying some of these tips:
- Wearing less make-up
- Giving myself compliments
- Accepting compliments from others
- Embracing my body, including what it is and isn’t capable of
- Doing more things that make me happy
- Allowing myself to be frustrated with myself sometimes
- Making more time for me!
I would like to encourage you to try some of the above tips to help you with your self-image. Infertility is invasive, whether you’re starting your journey, currently in treatments, or dealing with the aftermath. It is important to learn to love yourself. It is important to take time for yourself. Most importantly, it is important to be yourself. I also encourage you to share your struggles and live a life that is rawer. I hope that my candor and journey has helped even one of you to not feel so alone in your struggles.
Wishing you a new year full of body love to all my fellow ladies (and gents!) out there!