We are going to talk about bouncing back after baby. But we are not talking about bouncing back to work – we are talking about your body.
There’s this thing, it’s WORLDWIDE, in every culture and every language I have personally encountered – the obsession with getting that pre-baby body back immediately. And that obsession is coming right, left and centre from your spouse, your mother, your mother in law, other mothers, from friends who aren’t yet mothers or have no desire to be, and most of all – FROM YOURSELF!
You get in your head and start thinking awful things about yourself, that you’re too soft now and too squishy and you lament that it’s been a couple months and you’re breastfeeding and only eating heads of lettuce for lunch and you’re still not able to fit into those pre-baby jeans. You’re hopping on the scale day after day watching it stall stagnant or only creep down one or two pounds a month and you are in a panic that you will be “fat” forever.
My friend, you need to stop that!
Some women are damn lucky and genetically blessed. It’s been a couple months, the world looks at you and your baby and girl, you look hawt! No one can tell you just gave birth. Sure, you know, but to the rest of us, you look amazing.
Some of us (ME, just so you know, you are not alone), are not so lucky and seeing as though it is maternal mental health week, let’s talk about some of the numbers that matter, not the numbers on the scale.
The number 1. One healthy bouncy baby and one mother who birthed it. The fact and miracle of birth is pretty awesome and women all over the world do it.
The number 2. Hopefully you and your baby have two arms, two legs, two bum cheeks, you catch my drift… it’s all encompassing as part of your body. Make it all healthy. Nourish every part of your body with the nutrition that keeps you going. Cheat every so often if that makes you feel happy and feeds your soul.
The number 6. Six weeks post partum, once you have your doctor’s permission, which is around the six week post-baby point – that is the earliest you should be worrying about working out. Your body is still healing from the trauma of childbirth. Face it, giving birth is trauma. Give yourself time to heal from that before you force yourself into activity to change it.
The number 12. Marilyn Monroe is rumoured to have worn a size twelve and she was gorgeous and sexy. Really beautiful. Considered to be the most attractive in Hollywood in her time. I don’t have her same dimensions, but I wear that size.
The number 90. That’s how many pounds I can bench press at the gym.
The number 100. That’s the weight in pounds that I can squat. Why am I giving you this number? I think my strength is pretty damn beautiful and sexy.
The number that does not matter is the number of what you weigh.
I know, you hear this all the time, but I’m going to tell you that according to every chart, I’m overweight. I’m also leaving you with these pictures of me that show me celebrating my body. That I am healthy, that I feel gorgeous, that I am a mother of two and I could not care if someone sees me as fat and that I work hard to lift heavy weights. That having a post-partum body has not stopped me from doing anything I want to do or be what I want to be. Sure, I have a belly, I have stretch marks. I also love them and they do not make me less of a person.
I’m not saying you need to do this, I’m saying that this is what is feeding my soul. Blue corn nachos and sour cream are my go to snack right now. Having a glass of red wine is a pleasure. Eating just a head of lettuce for lunch is not and it doesn’t make me happy and it’s not healthy or sustainable.
Please Moms… be healthy for your children. Get your “body flaws” after giving birth out of your head. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not beautiful. Celebrate you! Celebrate that stretch mark, that love handle you now have. You’re so lucky to have it! Simply by being – you have bounced back.