If you’ve read me previous blog posts, you’ll know that although I may seem pretty confident in myself, it’s actually taken me a LONG time to get here. And I can honestly say that since becoming a mum, I’ve never loved my body more. Or to look at it in more realistic terms, I think about how much I dislike my body drastically less now.
Prior to having Jacob, my body image issues spanned about 7 years. I was lucky enough to be naturally slim as a teenager and body image just wasn’t really an issue. It wasn’t until I hit 21 and gained a few extra pounds as my metabolism slowed down that I really started to feel let down by my body. It’s been a long journey. It’s involved diets that didn’t work, failed ’12 week plans’, weekend binges, self-hate, punishing workouts, exercising until the point of exhaustion, anxiety about weight gain, anxiety about missing workouts. Looking back, it makes me sad how much I missed out on because of my body image issues. And I would never want Jacob to go through what I went through.
I really started to love my body during pregnancy. I felt like I could finally let go knowing that no matter how hard I tried, I was going to gain weight anyway. And I was going to be massively rewarded for it with a healthy baby. I was too excited to even notice the numbers on the scale creeping up. I knew that doing an Abs workout wasn’t going to get me a six pack, so I started to exercise purely for my health and mental state. Which I had never done before. My body just amazed me, it became so much more than what I looked like and I was in awe of how much it was growing and achieving every day. It blew my mind that I was capable of growing and carrying a baby. And that it was strong enough to birth it.
Now, at 5 months post partum I can honestly say.. I LOVE MY BODY. I don’t know how it happened, I thought after having a baby you were supposed to hate your body. I still have those days, like any woman. Where I question how many biscuits I’ve eaten that day, or poked at my tummy rolls and felt gutted when I’ve tried on pre-pregnancy clothes that are now too tight. But I have more good days now than bad. I guess what it comes down to now is that I just don’t have the headspace to worry about how I look anymore. Just like when I was pregnant and was too busy being excited and planning the nursery. I’m too happy with how amazing my life has become since being a mum. I’m too pre-occupied with worrying about Jacob being happy rather than how I look in my jeans. I barely even spend any time in the mirror now.
I just want to finish my saying that in my opinion, you can love your body and still want to improve it too. Don’t feel guilty if you work on accepting your postpartum body but secretly would love to lose the extra baby weight. I definitely still have health and fitness goals that I want to achieve over the next year. I would love to be as fit as I used to be, and tone up some of my jiggle. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I still love my body no matter what form it takes now. What’s important is that you’re kind to yourself, you put your health first and you don’t pressure yourself into anything just because you feel that you should look a certain way. If you want to lose a few extra pounds that’s fine too, as long as it comes from a place of love and respect for your body rather than hate.
We are mums, no matter how we look our bodies have done incredible things. Every single person no matter what their size has their own insecurities, never judge their journey.