Thursday, October 9, 2014

liking your body after baby

My body and I have been through a lot together. There have been times when I don't really like it, a few times I've loved it, but for the most part I have learned to accept it. The times I loved my body? When I actually worked on it [you know, went to the gym, ran, exercised regularly] and when I was pregnant [maybe I'm alone on that one, but I really loved my baby belly]. One of my fears or worries about having a baby was the post baby part. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to loose all of the baby weight and fit into my old clothes. Thankfully that fear didn't keep me from having a baby. 
After I had a baby, it was pretty amazing to see how suddenly my belly shrank [I'm talking from right before the baby was born to right after he was born]. But that little pooch stuck around for a lot longer than I would have liked it to. I decided that I wanted to start exercising again after the babe was born, but I've never liked exercising. Throw a baby in the mix and it makes it all the more challenging. I went to work out several times, but every time I left Emerson would scream the entire time I was gone. Landon was so good, sweet, and encouraging, saying I could go, he'd be fine. But each time I came back home, it was to a flustered daddy and a very distraught baby. I probably should have kept going, but I hated that they were both miserable, so I stayed home. Which, honestly I didn't mind too much because well, I just love exercising that much. 
I went on daily walks [weather permitting], kept breastfeeding [which was supposed to help me loose the weight?], and watched what I ate. Eventually the extra baby weight started to slowly melt away. Eventually I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight, able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. By the time Emerson was eight or nine months old I really started to notice a difference in my belly, it wasn't as flat as it had once been, but it was looking much better. If I cared more I could have done crunches and such ... but I really didn't care [plus, I figured I might hopefully have another baby sometime in the next few years so why put all that work into it if I was just going to have to do it all over again in x amount of time].

During the months after having a baby and before being able to fit back into my own clothes comfortably I went out and bought a few new tops that were more flattering to my body. I didn't want to wake up every morning and become frustrated with myself over the way my clothes were [or weren't] fitting when getting dressed. I wanted to feel good about myself and how I looked. When I felt good about myself, and pretty or cute, I had more motivation to keep working to get back into my old clothes. The tops lasted me a while and then I got rid of them, they were worn out and were making me feel frumpy when I wore them. 
Occasionally I'll find myself comparing myself to my sister, that friend, or this one girl I know... how they have tiny little bodies after having their babies and they didn't do a thing but breastfeed or walk .... But that's when I reminded myself, everyone is different. No one has your same body. What I put into the whole weight-loss thing is what I'll get out of it. For me that's work [real work if I really want to see a drastic change].
Yes, I still have a little bit of a belly [it's not as flat as it once was], and yes I have a big scar on my lower abdomen that will forever be there -but it reminds me of the day Emerson was born which was a very happy day. My body is the body of a mama now, which is something to be proud of.  
My body may not be "perfect" by media's standards, but it is perfect for me. I am happy with my size and with how I was able to go back to my pre-pregnancy clothes. I still think about how I ought to work out and do more for my body than I do [which is just walking] but that's about as far as I get. One day I hope I get back to the gym or have the motivation to start running again or get a Pilates dvd or something... but until that day happens, I'm content in my own skin, for now. Which is what matters most. 
I think the important thing to remember is that you get what you put into it and that as long as you feel comfortable in your skin and feel like you look good, that's what matters. Get some clothes that flatter your body type. Don't worry about what worked before and what works now; get what is good for the now, and enjoy it. Your baby loves you regardless of what you look like, your hubby loves you even more [I mean, you made and delivered a baby!], and it doesn't matter what other people 'might' think. Just be happy being you. 

Have you learned to love your post-pregnancy body?  Check out the other mama's blogs for their stories.  And be sure to link up with us below if you also have a post on this topic. 

In the difficulty of motherhood, it's so important to find other mamas to relate to.  Toddlers can be a handful and leave you wondering what to do next.  This series is here to help you navigate through toddlerhood while being able to relate to other mamas going through the same thing.  We may not always know what we are doing but we give it our best shot anyway.  Come back each week to check out our new topic and read along with the other hosts of our One Year and Beyond series!
Oct 2:     Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials 
Oct 9:     Learning to love your post-pregnancy body
Oct 16:   Busy Toddler Activities
Oct 23:   Keeping in Shape While Caring for a Toddler
Oct 30:   Sick Day Tips
Nov 6:    How to Not Lose Your Patience with your Toddler
Nov 13:  Favorite Toddler Outings


Susannah said...

Thanks for this great reminder that it's ok to buy temporary clothes for the season after Caleb's here. I'm sure that will help me out so much emotionally when I'm not quite back to my before baby weight.

Kelly Mock said...

What an adorable baby bump picture! Transitional clothes are so helpful!

Alisha said...

LOVE that picture of your bumb, sweet girl!

What a great way to look at post-pregnancy bodies! Great post sweet friend!

Courtney B said...

I love your point that it's not up to "media's standards" who put them in charge of deciding what the standard is anyway? You are beautiful and if you feel comfortable in your own skin? That's all that matters!!