I have thought about sharing my thoughts on this subject for a while now but honestly, I wasn’t quite sure just what I wanted to say. This can be such a touchy topic and over the last seven months, I have had differing opinions on it concerning my own body even.
All of my thoughts in this post are how I feel about ME and MY body. I have not, am not and will not be judging other mothers for the body that they have, now or ever!
During my pregnancy, it was important for me to stay healthy. For me, that meant exercising consistently, eating fairly healthy and keeping my weight gain to a minimum. Staying healthy during my pregnancies has meant that I am able to “pop back” much more quickly than if I had allowed myself to pile on the pounds. Because trust me, there were days and weeks that I just wanted(and did) to shove alllll the foods in my face and sit on my butt.
When I say “pop back”, I think I need to explain what that meant for me. It wasn’t about having six pack abs(I’ve never had those anyway) or donning a bikini 6 weeks later but I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope for those things. Okay, maybe I knew it wouldn’t happen within six weeks but six months certainly seemed reasonable.
|13 days postpartum|
I gained 25 pounds this last pregnancy so I thought surely, it would all fall off and I would be working my way into bikini shape long before Summer came. I mean, I was able to lose all but about five of those pregnancy pounds really quickly. Plus, I had done it twice before and you know what they say, third time is a charm. I figured it would be easy peasy.
And then, reality hit home. Those last five pounds did not want to budge. I was breastfeeding(everyone knows how many extra calories that burns), I exercised regularly and I ate mostly healthy foods. I was doing everything right but I was not seeing the physical results I was expecting.
I finally came to the conclusion that it was the breastfeeding that was causing me to hold onto the extra weight. I tried to breastfeed with my other two kiddos but after about 6-8 weeks, I gave up(for multiple reasons) and formula fed exclusively. With Lane, I have breastfed him almost exclusively and that is the only difference I can see. Well, that and I am also an “older” mom now at 37 years old.
For about two seconds, I thought about letting my body get me down but then I decided to hell with that! My body ROCKS!! My body has given my baby 95% of his nutrition over the last seven months. My body carried him for nine months(plus two other babies!!!) and was able to deliver him via VBAC after TWO C-Sections. My body allows me to play with my three children daily. My body can run, dance, jump, lift heavy things and recover nicely. Why would I want to hate on something that does all of that?!
Does that mean that I’ve stopped trying for a bikini body? Nope, I’m still working on it daily. I’m just not beating myself up in the process. The truth is, while I can look better and do strive to make physical gains in my appearance, I still kind of like myself just the way I am. Saggy boobs and all.
While I went into my pregnancy with a preconceived idea of what “body after baby” meant to me, I’ve come to realize that it has taken on a whole new meaning. For me, it really has been about acceptance. Accepting that right now my body still belongs to a little baby. That even though I may be carrying around a few extra pounds, my body is healthy, capable and even sexy! Or so my husband says!
I’ve learned not to compare myself to others which is waaaay too easy to do these days. There were moments where I found myself on blogs and other social media outlets wondering why all the other new mommas were getting results and I wasn’t! I am glad I was able to take a step back and realize that their journey was not my journey. Their body was not my body. I also knew there were moms who were probably looking at me and thinking the exact same thing.
It feels good to finally be in a place where I can work on bettering my body while still practicing self love for the body I currently have. There is no better, “body after baby” than that!