Be patient with yourself
Do you miss your old body?
Countless amount of times I've been asked this question and the answer is, " yes, actually, I do."
Can I ever have that body back? NO. So, moving on.. what can I do to improve this "new me?."
First, I would like to say that all of our bodies are different, they are individual, just like our personalities, and our experiences..its one of the many things that sets us apart and makes us unique. All body shapes & sizes are beautiful as long as you feel confident, nothing else matters. Self love is the most important thing.
In my experience as a young mom, I was not careful with my pregnancy. At this point I can say, I wasn't educated enough. I thought this was the time to eat what I want, and I was so wrong. Knowing what I know now, YES I would do it differently the next time around, but thats the beauty of experience, although we cannot change our past... we can learn from it.
I started my pregnancy at roughly 120 pounds. I ate whatever I wanted, I ate even more than what I wanted. I craved cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and every other fattening food in the book. A "normal" weight gain in a pregnancy is about 25-35 pounds. My total weight gain was 45 pounds (ouch). The third trimester was when I started to notice that my nutrition choices weren't the best fitting for an easy post-partum recovery. I finished with an above average belly size + stretch marks & more stretch marks. Matthew was a solid 9 pounds 14 ounces at 39 weeks 4 days. I couldn't deliver naturally, and my c section took an extra toll on my body due to recovery time, bed rest (swelling) excruciating pain and all that comes along with an invasive surgery.
Feeling like I would never be "myself" again was a difficult feeling to endure. Losing your sense of self can take a toll on anyones self esteem. Its like you go through all the stages of grief until you reach acceptance of your new body and then I said.. its true. I was never going to be the old me again, instead I would be better. +1
If you just had your baby and you're feeling like your body is far from perfect, all I can say to you is you will not receive instant gratification, so don't expect it.. it will take time. Anyone can have a $beautiful body$ but a healthy baby? Thats priceless.
Part of making your post-partum recovery easier is maintaining a healthy diet during your pregnancy, so if you can do that, start now. But if thats not an option, like it wasn't for me, then as soon as you are able to get up on your feet after delivering the baby, start making changes.
Start your mindset by knowing this post baby body is only temporary while your work on it. All good things take time. It took you 9 months to create a beautiful baby and its probably going to take you that much more to get back in shape.
Most importantly, give it time.. The color of your stretch marks WILL fade and in many parts they will even disappear (shocking). Your skill WILL tighten, and with a little work everything will start going back to place. You need to help your body help itself, strengthen your mindset first, feed it beautiful thoughts and then focus on improving your body. Don't give up, don't think it doesn't matter anymore, because it does matter, you do matter, and feeling good about yourself is the most important thing. Nobody will put the work in for you, only one person can give you everything you desire, and that person is you.
When speaking to other moms I always encounter that they aren't happy with their bodies but they won't work on it because
- Nobody to take care of the baby while you work out (an alternative to this can be working out with the baby at home. Lay the baby in bassinet/crib/playpen and follow a work out routine. Take the baby for long walks, jog with the stroller)
- Too tired to leave your house or workout (Ive found that working out has actually helped me have more energy throughout the day. If you have the will to just start the workout with this mindset you will thank yourself later)
- No way in hell you're leaving your baby in the gym daycare ( because germs! and I understand. We all view germs differently and some want our children exposed and some of us don't)
- No time to cook so eating fast food is easy ( Healthy food prep times are usually short. With time, eating healthy will become a habit, but you have to start somewhere.. find the healthy foods you do like and focus on those, looking on websites that gave me ideas of healthy meals made me more excited about eating healthy and I was able to get creative)
Ultimately, where there is a will there is way.
Every journey is different, it took me about a year to get back to "normal" with mediocre effort ( gym here and there, eating healthy here and there, sometimes more than others) but I never gave up, I tried and I tried. At this point, 2 years post-partum I am closer to where I want to be then I was back then. Just recently Ive had more energy and time to focus on my body. I am not a fitness expert, I do not enjoy working out, I will not take any supplement and my favorite food is far from healthy ( I've grown to love it and sometimes even crave it) . At this point, I am so much better than I was back then because now I have something beautiful to show for it. My body went through an amazing transformation and although at first it was difficult, the ending result has been unimaginably rewarding.
- Accept the changes. Don't dwell on the "why".
- Eat healthy as much as you can ( for some its easier than others..)
- Set up and routine and follow it (or try to follow it)
- Keep yourself busy and active
- Inspire yourself with those who have been able to do it.
" Your body can stand pretty much anything, its your mind you have to convince"
Thank you for reading and feel free to message me with advice, experiences and future topics you would like to hear about.