When I look in the mirror before I get in the shower (even though I try not to), my eyes go straight to what I lovingly call “the shelf.” My c-section scar has caused my extra calories to pile themselves on top like a little shelf pushing up all the extra baby-carrying skin that comes from being stretched out like a balloon. It doesn’t seem to matter how much weight I lose, or how many sit-ups I do, the shelf remains.
And the next place my eyes land are generally my arms. Some women carry babies like little basketballs right in the front and after giving birth go back to the body they had pre-balloon-stretching. I, on the other hand, seemed to carry my babies in my arms. And my butt, which shall never be the same.
Maybe that should be part of your marriage vows: “And do you, Seth, take Maggie to be your lawfully wedded wife? Will you love her and cherish her, even though after giving birth to your children she will never again look like she did on your wedding night?”
I remember feeling sexy when we dated. I remember feeling sexy when we were newlyweds. But somewhere along the way I lost my mojo. Babies and exhaustion sucked the life out of me—in a good way, of course; I love my babies, really—and I stopped seeing the sexy woman in the mirror that I knew my husband used to see.
But the thing is, he still does. I think of it in past tense, but he doesn’t. Neither does yours. For some reason we think he still remembers exactly what we looked like pre-baby, but I suspect if we gave him a line-up to look at he couldn’t pick out the right one. (I am NOT suggesting you do this. Don’t.) Because he has grown with you, he loves your body as you are RIGHT NOW. For real. Ask him. I’ll wait.
That sexy feeling is almost ALL about mindset. It’s not having a Victoria’s Secret runway body, or just the right lingerie, or losing those last 10 pounds. It’s the way you perceive yourself. Change your mindset, change your sex life. It’s that simple. And that complicated. Sigh.
It’s not going to happen overnight. But you can start doing little things here and there that will lead down the road you want to go. How did I do it? I stopped hating on the body I saw in the mirror and started noticing the good things. I started taking better care of myself and honoring my body for what it can do. I linger a little longer over the goodbye kiss in the morning. I brush against him more than I used to. I flirt. Remember flirting? It still works.
Maybe it’s time to take an honest estimate of why it is that you don’t feel sexy. It’s easy for women to blame it on others or outside things, but maybe it’s really about you. I know in my case it was.
Take it from a recovered body-hater, you owe it to yourself and to your husband to bring back that lovin’ feeling.