‘I feel confident about my body after pregnancy – people celebrate my tummy’

A woman who struggled with an eating disorder said she's never loved her body more than since she's been pregnant.

Though she's battled with body image for years, her pregnancy journey has enabled her to "celebrate" the tummy she previously spent so much time criticising.

Alex Light is a body positive influencer who dedicates her time to helping women feel comfortable in their own skin. She boasts more than 540,000 Instagram followers thanks to her uplifting content.

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She recently posted a candid snap of herself wearing a black dress and proudly showing off her baby bump. Looking elegant and effortlessly chic, she showed how wonderful it is to become a mum.

The content creator, who is also the author of best selling book You Are Not A Before Picture, often posts about her eating disorder recovery and how she's worked on accepting her "imperfections". As well as this, she makes videos to show women how bodies are portrayed by the media.

More recently she turned to talking about pregnancy and how it's shifted her mindset on body image. She looked radiant as she posed for a snap and told her story.

Prior to her pregnancy she admitted she was in a very different place, but said the process has changed her. Since she's been growing new life, she said she loves how people "celebrate" her tummy.

Writing on Instagram, Alex said: "As I approach the third trimester of pregnancy, I feel more comfortable in my body than I ever have… And I want to talk about why. Pre-pregnancy, I’d worked hard to get to a place where I was at peace with my body after a lifetime of *truly* hating the skin I was in.

"I thought that getting pregnant would destabilise this, and perhaps even trigger my old eating disorder mentality. I prepared myself, because I just didn’t know how I was going to feel about a body that was changing – rapidly – outside of my control.

"But I certainly never expected to feel this total body image freedom that pregnancy has afforded me. I don’t just feel ‘at peace’ with my body, I feel overwhelmingly positive about my body.

"I’ve swapped my usual oversized outfits for tighter-fitting clothes and haven’t felt the slightest bit self-conscious. Someone in my DMs summed it up perfectly: ‘Pregnancy is the one time that you can truly relax in your entire body’.

"While this feels, obviously, incredible and liberating, I know deep down that what I’m experiencing isn’t an entirely positive reaction. Because why has this sudden body confidence only appeared while I’m pregnant? I suspect that it’s because this is the one time that it’s societally acceptable to gain weight and get bigger."

She added: "Over the past 6 years since recovering from anorexia, I’ve dealt with a lot of weight gain, and it’s rarely been met with positivity. But in pregnancy, a bigger body is not just embraced, but celebrated!

"People want to see my bump – they’re excited to see it grow and interested to touch it. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced praise for my body growing and I have to be honest and admit it feels good.

"How sad is that? That the only type of ‘acceptable’ weight gain is when there’s an excuse, like being pregnant. That we aren’t allowed to feel comfortable in our fluctuating bodies when we don’t feel like the reason is valid enough. Also that we’re not allowed to feel comfortable being anything outside of ‘thin’ if there isn’t a reason."

Since she shared the post more than 36,000 people have liked it, and several people commented too. People have said how pleased they are for her, and some women admitted to sharing similar feelings too.

One person said: "I felt this too. Post pregnancy, on the other hand, is a completely different story."

Another added: "After a lifetime of hiding my belly, when pregnant dressing to show OFF my belly was very liberating. One of the only things I liked about being pregnant."

Meanwhile, a third replied: "So perfectly written and relatable. I felt all of these things throughout my pregnancy and really grieved the loss of ‘body freedom’ when my little girl was born!"

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