Becoming a Mom Helped This Woman Love Her Body

Lindsay Wolf shared an Instagram post about her journey to self-acceptance—and how giving birth changed the way she saw herself.

Lindsay Wolf never felt comfortable in her own body. By her own admission, Wolf saw flaws every time she looked in the mirror, put herself on diets, and couldn't find that elusive sense of self-love. 

That is, until she became a mom. Like so many women out there, Wolf saw some physical changes after she welcomed her child—but instead of begrudging them, Wolf found a way to accept those changes, and that's when she finally reached a place of body positivity.

"On the left is a 23 year old woman who literally thought she was chubby in the picture shared. She was self-conscious, critical of her physical shape, and always either on a diet or rebelling from one. She only saw flaws in the mirror," Wolf wrote alongside a side-by-side image featuring herself both before and after she became a mom. "On the right is a 33 year old woman who is learning to love her body without pressuring it to be anything other than what it is."

On the left is a 23 year old woman who literally thought she was chubby in the picture shared. She was self-conscious, critical of her physical shape, and always either on a diet or rebelling from one. She only saw flaws in the mirror. She acted happy, but there was definitely a restlessness, because she was worried about what would happen if she physically became anything other than what she was (which was not good enough for her anyway). On the right is a 33 year old woman who is learning to love her body without pressuring it to be anything other than what it is. She is trying out self-love & body positivity for a change. She is getting to the heart of why, at 23, she hated her body so much. And in the process, she is healing a lifelong struggle of never fully seeing herself for the extraordinary human being she is. (Many thanks to @allisonkimmey & @bodyposipanda for being awesome examples of body love at its best) 🌺 . . . . . . . . #bodypositivity #bodylove #plussize #postpartumbody #motherhood #mombod #loveyourself #bodylove #curves #effyourbeautystandards

A post shared by Lindsay Wolf (@thelindsaywolf) on

Wolf opened up to Fit Pregnancy about why she chose to share the photo and message. 

"I'm hoping moms everywhere who see my post will begin to realize that the very parts of them that feel the least worthy of love and appreciation deserve the most," she said. "I have stretch marks. I have extra tummy skin. I have wider hips. And I still have a line under my stretched-out belly button that’s been there since my daughter left my body. And these parts of me? I am now learning that these parts of me are nothing short of MIRACULOUS. So my hope is that moms will rally together and fall madly in love with their postpartum bodies, exactly as they are."

"Having children has changed how I viewed my body in extraordinary ways," the mom continued. "I was extremely thin for many years of my teens and early adulthood. I have gained 50 pounds since I first started yo-yo dieting, and about 40 of those pounds came during my pregnancy. I didn't expect a weight gain like this to be the catalyst for my body-love journey. But there I was, laying in the hospital bed after giving birth—the evidence of having just previously been pregnant all over my expanded tummy. And to be honest? I was blissed out with my body for the first time in my life."

That acceptance didn't come easily—Wolf admitted she struggled with body image for much of her life. She held on to a goal of fitting into a size 2—but now, at a size 14, she's finally found a way to love her body. It just goes to show, you can't measure health or happiness by your pant size. 

Becoming a mom also made Wolf realize she wanted to be a strong, body-positive role model for her daughter, which contributed to her commitment to sharing this journey. 

"This choice is 20 years in the making, and it’s a decision I wish I could have made long ago. It's also a decision I came to after seeing how miraculous my body was in growing and birthing my daughter," she said. "This is the first time in my entire life when I haven’t actively tried to change myself to be smaller.  And it made me see that maybe, just maybe, the act of birthing my daughter in 2015 inspired me to love the very body I was hating for two decades."

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