husband and wife

If Your Husband Can’t Accept Your Body, Throw The Whole Husband Out

Lindsay Wolf wants you to know that your body is magnificent – no matter what it’s size or shape. The person you’re with should accept your body.

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The body-positivity activist from Concord, New Hampshire, is not afraid to bare it all – and is gaining a lot of attention because of it. Her main message?“A fabulous body…is a body that’s attached to a human being” [1].

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A Journey to Body Acceptance and Self-Love

Wolf wasn’t always the skin-bearing, confident woman she is today. She struggled with disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and self-hate for the better part of two decades, even though her size-4 frame was enviable by many of her peers.

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Two kids later, she had gained 75 pounds. No matter what she did she could not force her body to return to its pre-baby size.

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She grappled with the reality of her new body for a long time, until one day she asked herself one question: why was she so set on pressuring herself to be thin? In that moment, she decided to stop trying to lose weight and before she knew it, she was actually happy again.

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She admits she has her husband, Matt, to thank for her new-found chutzpah. He told her how much he loved her new, bigger body, and thought she was more beautiful than ever.

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Sadly, not all husbands are as supportive as Matt, and Wolf receives countless messages from other women whose husbands are not on board with their changing bodies. She has now become an outspoken support person for women who are trying to get to a place of self-acceptance [1].

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How Do Women’s Bodies Change As They Age?

The reality is, our bodies change as we get older. To think that we can keep our teenage or twenty-year-old shapes and sizes forever is highly unrealistic.

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The human body is made up of fat, lean tissue (muscles and organs), bones, and water. After age thirty, most people start to lose some of their lean tissue through a process called atrophy. Bones begin to lose some of their density, and all of this tissue loss results in a reduction of water in your body [2].

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Age thirty is when body fat starts to increase as well, and older people tend to have one-third more fat on their bodies compared to their younger selves [2].

Women’s Bodies After Pregnancy

Your body undergoes massive changes during pregnancy, and while some of those changes revert to normal after you’ve given birth, some of them are here to stay. Your feet might get bigger, your breasts could change size or shape, your hair might get thicker, you probably have a few stretch marks – you might even lose a few teeth [3,4].

Of course, for many women, the most noticeable change is the number on the scale. Doctors recommend that for the average woman, weight gain during pregnancy of 25 to 35 pounds is healthy, and necessary [5]. What many women don’t realize, however, is that not all of that weight is going to come off right away- if ever.

Postpartum weight retention does not receive much attention in the media, but it is very normal. Most women will remain two to five pounds heavier than their pre-baby weight, and 15 to 20 percent of women will remain ten pounds heavier or more [6,7].

The reason for this is a little thing called prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that is important in breastfeeding, and also stimulates our appetites [8]. This was necessary for our ancestors, who lived during times when food was more scarce, but with our modern-day surplus of food it usually just results in us eating more [8].

The older you are and the more babies you’ve had makes taking the weight off even more difficult, especially when you’re over thirty [8].

The Pressure to Be Thin

The pressure for women to be thin and to have perfect bodies is everywhere. You can’t turn on the t.v or walk down the street without seeing an ad featuring a thin woman with giant eyes, large breasts, and a tiny waist. These images are affecting women of all ages, in countries all over the world [9].

And while so-called “dad bods” having started taking over the internet, women who don’t fit the skinny, ideal body type have not received the same amount of recognition. Yes, more and more “plus-size” influencers are speaking up, more brands are featuring diverse body types, and singers like Lizzo are taking the stage, but for every body-positive image, there are ten more about rock-hard abs, big butts and cinched waistlines [10].

In the realm of body acceptance, women are still fighting an uphill battle. And as Wolf has discovered, many women are fighting that battle against the one person who should always be in their corner… their husbands [1].

Wolf’s Message to Husbands

Lindsay Wolf has one thing to say to any husband who doesn’t love his wife’s changing body:

If you’re not going to keep your mojo running for your wife because she’s larger than when you met her in college, I’m more than happy to step in and tell her what an extraordinary body she has. Because no one should be made to feel that they are unlovable or undesirable simply because they’ve physically changed over the years.” [1]

She emphasizes to women that our bodies are meant to change and that we should be celebrating every stage our bodies go through because it is physical evidence of our great, big lives.

To all the amazing wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters out there, she has one more thing to say:

You deserve to be loved, adored, and desired at any size. I mean it. You are worthy of love from the moment you entered this world. The diet and beauty industries have done a number on our collective self-esteem. Let’s not allow our partners to make it even harder to love ourselves.” [1]

Sources

  1. ‘If Your Husband Can’t Accept Your Body, Throw The Whole Husband Out’ Scary Mommy Lindsay Wolf. Published November 20, 2019 
  2. ‘Aging changes in body shape’ Medline Plus
  3. ‘Exploring Potential Pathways Between Parity and Tooth Loss Among American Women’ AJPH Published July 2008.
  4. ‘Weight Gain During PregnancyACOG. Published January 2013.
  5. ‘Gestational weight gain and postpartum behaviors associated with weight change from early pregnancy to 1 y postpartum’ Pubmed C M Olson. Published January 2003.
  6. Childbearing and Obesity in Women: Weight Before, During, and After Pregnancy Pubmed Erica P. Gunderson, PhD. Published August 31, 2010.
  7. ‘Postpartum Weight Retention is a Thing. And It’s Totally Normal’ Bloom Life
  8. ‘Why Do Women Feel Pressure to Be Thin? Study Examines Internalization of Appearance Ideals Across Cultures’ Cleveland Clinic
  9. ‘Perception of beauty in women might be changing, but the pressure is still relentless’ ABC Rebecca Huntley.
Brittany Hambleton
Freelance Contributor
Brittany is a freelance writer and editor with a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition and a writer’s certificate from the University of Western Ontario. She enjoyed a stint as a personal trainer and is an avid runner. Brittany loves to combine running and traveling, and has run numerous races across North America and Europe. She also loves chocolate more than anything else… the darker, the better!
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