Episode #3: Mom Bod
Aired April 12, 2018
In this episode, I tackle a major hot button issue: loving your post baby body.
I was inspired to record this episode for a couple of reasons. The first is that as I was starting the podcast and writing a list of potential topics this one came up almost immediately. It had been weighing on my mind at that time because we were just about to go on our first family vacation.
In preparation for the episode besides just thinking about my own thoughts and feelings on this subject, I did a quick little Pinterest search. My keywords were “loving my post baby body”. The results I received were so sad and depressing: “Get rid of back fat and love handles”, “How to hit weight loss goals postpartum”, “how to get your body back after baby”.
I didn’t search for postpartum weight loss tips so the results I received are irrelevant and none of these pins are about health necessarily. Childbirth, and pregnancy, are traumatic events. Who even said I want my pre baby body?
In general I find that the messages I receive around my mom body aren’t so different from messages women receive regularly. I feel bombarded by 'perfect pregnancy' pictures on Instagram. Like most other women, I felt the pressure to be back in my prebaby clothes minutes after giving birth. I'm still not in my pre baby clothes almost a year later.
I really had to censor the media that I chose to take in, especially in my early postpartum days. Between hormones and my already fragile sense of self worth and confidence, it was really important to me to keep away from accounts that made me feel worse about myself.
I definitely struggled a bit with accepting my post baby body. That is true, in the very, very beginning I was concerned. I remember hearing ‘you’ll still look several months pregnant right after’ but I didn't know what they would mean for me. This is actually a good memory but the reason why I remember so vividly how jiggly and full my belly still was is that in our first few weeks we laughed SO much. I remember having to hold my belly down to laugh because I was recovering from a c-section and it kind of hurt but also because it made me feel weird feeling it wiggling all around. So I’ll admit in those first few weeks, I was a bit uncomfortable with how I looked.
However, here is the kind of surprising part. I actually love my body right now. I have never been more confident or actually felt sexier and that is a really uncomfortable thing for me to admit.
Prior to getting pregnant I weighed the most I'd ever weighed in my life. Long story short, I was in grad school, bartending, holding down a day job, and generally not resting, eating right or getting enough exercise.
I’m back to my pre baby weight but everything is quite different, as you know. But here’s why I feel uncomfortable. I’ve said on the blog before that Fred and I have found it so important to continue to work on our marriage and maintain the strength of our relationship because we’re not the only two who depend on it anymore. And my husband is so ridiculously sweet. He would never in a million years ever comment negatively on my appearance. But the reason why I feel uncomfortable admitting this is because I’m still the biggest size I’ve ever been and I’m not quite tight and toned as I used to be and I worry that maybe he looks at me think “Where is this confidence coming from?” I don’t want him to think my contentment with my appearance is unwarranted. I’ve broached this subject lightly with him and he has given me no indication that he feels this way that my paranoia is convincing me he might. And of course I brought it up with my friends and I got two great pieces of feedback from them.
The reason I feel this way is because: This person loves you for who you are and ignites something in you that says “I should love me too”. And the second part of that is that your priorities just change so much and while I do spend time on myself, running, not as frequently as before by dressing up, doing my hair, doing the things that make me feel attractive. I think I’m just so happy now that we’ve finally become parents that that has actually physically manifested and I think you can actually see it on my face and this has actually changed the way I look to myself.
Your parner didn’t marry your looks. He’s seeing a new side of me and maybe in the same way it’s given me such confidence It’s apparent to him as well.
All that being said, here are some real tips for loving your post baby body:
Be grateful - Think of the amazing journey your body just went through and the incredible pay out you received at the end. It truly is incredible!
Speak to yourself like you would speak to a friend. You would never tell your BFF to dial back her confidence. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you're her biggest hype man! Be your own hype man!
Do things that make your body feel good. Move, be creative, whatever it is, choose an activity that makes you feel alive, fired up, and attractive. You (& your partner!) will definitely take notice!
Clean up your social media. Only follow accounts that make you feel good. If you scroll past an image that puts that creepy crawly feeling in your gut, click unfollow!