With most pregnancies we don’t even have that gorgeous baby in our arms before we are worrying about the weight. Yup, I said it. It’s a touchy subject for most moms because there’s a ton of pressure from society to bounce back quickly and make achieving your pre-baby body look like a breeze. Turns out...it’s NOT.
When I got pregnant with my first daughter I was 23 and at the start of my military career. My body was in peak physical condition. I had a really easy pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery, so I was pleased when I was pretty close to my pre-baby weight at 6 weeks post-partum. I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Fast forward nearly a decade and it turns out that it isn’t so easy to shake the baby weight from my second blessing!
A few weeks after delivering Norah I was down 20 lbs and feeling great about shedding those extra pounds. But as the weeks turned into months the scale wouldn’t budge. My usual tricks to drop a few pounds weren’t cutting it anymore and I was plagued by the question: Is this my new normal???? My body self-image was in the dumps and it was affecting how I felt on a daily basis, which was inadvertently affecting who I was as a mom and who I was as a wife. That seemed crazy to me! Who had created this standard that told me that I must achieve my pre-baby body or resolve to being “overweight” for the rest of my life?!?!?! Turns out, it was me.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. This year I‘ve tried to be very conscious of my inner voice and the kind of self-talk rattling around upstairs. I don’t need a critic in my head telling me I’m failing at being a mom because I’m not doing it in short shorts looking like a runway model. I need a fan up there who’s like hey, mama, yes it’s been a rough day but you got this! And also you don’t need that cupcake..kk luv youuuu. When I started paying closer attention to my inner voice and listening to the positive self-talk going on up there I started feeling lighter. So, I’m not saying that being positive is the ultimate weight loss secret because let’s be real here it ain’t! But what I am saying is that the burden of negative thoughts about yourself can be HEAVY. It’s okay to put that weight down. As mothers we have enough to carry around without adding that extra layer of pressure.
So, here I am 11 months out from baby number 2. Am I at my pre-pregnancy weight? NOPE! But, I’m working on it. Not because I need to see a number on the scale to feel good about myself. I’m working on it because I love myself and I want to have a healthy body to chase my girls around and a healthy mind to love them with all I have to give. This go around it’s taking a little bit longer than I expected, but I’m older now and also more patient. I recognize that this isn’t the same body as that nubile 23 year old girl. This is the body of a woman who’s grown two human lives and been to war. It might not be the perfect body, but it sure as hell is a powerful one.
This note is to you, mama. Be kind to yourself. Love your body. Give it time to heal. Be your own fan. You deserve it.