I feel like women’s body image is something that repeats coming into the media and social media feeds constantly. It’s always there whether we see it or not. It does not go away. And for some reason, I feel like it’s worse for women after they have children. So many moms feel bigger, fatter, not like themselves and like they don’t know their bodies. I didn’t fully recognize my body. I didn’t like it for quite some time. Heck, sometimes I still don’t like it. But I keep reminding myself to be kind to myself. I gave birth to two beautiful children. My body is an amazing. I also wrote about this in a previous post here.
I see so many women, after having children, trying to get back to their pre-pregnancy body and weight. If that’s what some of them want and wish to do, good for them. But it bothers me. Our bodies are the most incredible … thing. Personally, I know that my body will never be the same as before children. We all are difference shapes and sizes, and at different points in our lives. We can learn from them. And if we are uncomfortable with ourselves, we can make that choice to change it. But let’s not let social media or TV try to do it. Do it for yourself, or don’t do it for yourself.
My Story: I realize that when I see certain images (i.e. moms showing their weight loss stories) it triggers me. When I say that, I mean that I get upset that women feel the need to be skinny. (I don’t like that word). Whether they fully realize how their message comes across to others or not, it comes across that way to me. It gets me angry. I don’t understand why, as mothers, we feel the need to be skinny. Well, I can, thanks to celebrities with their personal trainers. There is a difference between skinny and fit. But can we please stop this? We don’t have personal trainers. We don’t need to be skinny. We need to be healthy, fit and strong for our families. But that doesn’t have to mean skinny.
My thoughts are this: MY body has done amazing things since being pregnant and giving birth. I have had two Cesarean births. My stomach will never be the same. I will always have a bit more of a soft spot on my belly from being pregnant. My boys will always ask me if I’m going to have another baby. (yes, they have asked me multiple times, and asked for a sister specifically). My body will never be the same as it was before having children. It has taken me a while to be able to say that it’s OK to be this way. So here me say it out loud right now – I’m OK with my body! There’s only so much that I can do and so much that I want to do. I’m choosing to want to be healthy and strong for my family. However that pans out for me, it’s up to me and I’m not going to let any social media or TV images get to me.
There’s no desire to be skinny. There’s a desire to be fit.
I want to be strong.
I want to be healthy.
All bodies are beautiful.
Healthy means different things to different people. And while I’m all for fitness, it’s also about eating the best things for my body and how things fit into the lifestyle that will work for you. Results for fitness are not immediate, nor should they be. The numbers on the scale are just that, numbers. And each number looks different on every body. It doesn’t define you. If you are eating healthy and getting some movement into each day, that’s great! You have to be patient with yourself. You aren’t going to change overnight. Changing your lifestyle takes time and no one is perfect. We have to choose what’s best for us.
Please, mama (or even if you’re not a mama), be kind to yourself. Be kind to your body. Be patient. Whatever you choose for you to feel healthy, to be healthy, please give yourself time. Be gentle with yourself. Small habits = small changes. Small changes add up and then become a big change.