I have heard this so many times. I just want my body back. If only I could get my body back. I looked so much better before I had a baby. I used to be so thin in high school. I want my skinny jeans to fit again.
First. You didn’t lose your body. Nobody stole your body. You don’t need to “get it back.”
I remember when I had my first kid. I was soooo young. Holy cow. I was 22. I remember everything I had always heard was you should be back into your “normal” clothes at your six week post baby checkup. WTF?? The pressure was crazy. I mean, who fucking made up that rule? The comments were crazy. It was the “you better lose that baby weight.” “You don’t want to get pregnant again before you’ve had a chance to lose that baby weight.” “It’s not hard, just put your mind to it.” First of all, what new mom has a damn mind? We don’t have time to think about anything, except taking care of a newborn baby. We are fighting with lack of sleep, hormones going crazy, giant boobs, bleeding and sore vaginas and wondering why the hell we decided to have kids in the first place.
At the hospital it’s all cool and nice. Then you get home and it’s like, now what? I remember feeling so overwhelmed. My child ate every two hours. I couldn’t nurse. Another thing that new moms are shamed for. I felt so guilty. I felt like I was short-changing my baby. But then the selfish emotions came knocking. I felt good, because I wanted to lose that weight and I didn’t want to eat. So there was that negotiating going on inside me. Then realization comes knocking reeeaaalllly loud. Realization tells you the straight up in your face truth–this is going to really hard. When we are pregnant we tell ourselves and we tell our friends how we can’t wait to wear normal clothes again. Then after we get there and it all sinks in, we think, well shit, maybe being pregnant wasn’t so bad. It’s all fun and games until even our fat pants don’t fit. LOL
Then when a person actually does come back to their pre-pregnancy weight, you hear things like, “Look how fast she bounced back.” “Wow, she looks amazing.” “I wish I could look like that.” And there we have the constant comments on our bodies and the constant comparison of bodies. It’s no wonder so many women have body image issues, self-esteem issues, disordered eating and shitty relationships with food.
I have four kids and I distinctly remember thinking this 6 week thing was a hard and fast rule I had to follow. Why??????
When we are focusing on changing our bodies after having babies, we are taking away from the process of being in the moment with our babies. It’s normal! What happens to our bodies is normal. Take the time to enjoy your baby and take the time to do what you want to do with your body. It’s your process. Trying to go back to somewhere in the past is absurd. This whole glamorizing of women who after 6 or 8 weeks out from having a baby are back to normal, needs to stop. Let these new moms enjoy their baby time. There is no reason to rush. Women are badasses. Plain and simple.
Look at the process of how the body changes even just in those nine months of being pregnant. Give the body time to recover. It’s okay to want to look a certain way and it’s okay to want to change. I always say do what you want. It’s your life and they are your reasons. Change how you want. Don’t change because someone tells you that you need to or that you should. Don’t change because society thinks getting back into your skinny jeans 6 weeks after having a baby is the be all end all goal. Fuck that.
Our bodies are constantly changing. We can never go back to what we were. We go through puberty, we get our periods, we get pregnant and then we go through peri-menopause and menopause. Nothing is linear. And nothing is “normal.” Every single one of us is going to be different. Everything about each of those experiences is going to be different for all of us. No two women will have the same experience. That is what is so great about us. And that is why we don’t need to conform to those outdated ridiculous standards that someone put in place to make us feel like crap about ourselves. Every stage of your life is an opportunity to get in there and learn about yourself. Love yourself, love your body and live each stage of change.
Life goes by fast enough. Children grow up fast enough. Use your timeline to make the changes you want to make. Stop trying to be somewhere else in your life. Get in the present and live every day.