Body Image is Everywhere

So I’m getting really personal with this post. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share this, but I figured, what the heck. Body image after baby, it’s a subject that seems to come up a lot and it’s sort of a continuation from another post I had a while back.

Before children, I felt like I was healthy and fit. I am a former dancer/athlete. I would workout 3-5 days a week. I would eat healthy, but not keep myself from having what I really wanted when I wanted it (i.e. ice cream, pizza and dark chocolate). I was able to keep up with it all. Then pregnancy came along. I tried during the pregnancy to keep up with exercise. I even signed up and joined a prenatal yoga class! But in the end, I just didn’t exercise as much as I could have. Oh well. After my first child was born, I took quite some time getting back into an exercise regime. Why you ask? I had a c-section and was nervous to work out too early. I didn’t want to hurt myself. I honestly think it took me a good year or so to really get back into it. I did – by ways of Zumba for the Wii and walking around my awesome neighborhood. Although I knew my body was different, I felt like I was healthy and getting back into “shape”.  I even thought I would try running! Well, that was challenging and definitely not something I enjoyed. But then something happened. I got pregnant again.

During the second pregnancy, I did not try to stay very active with exercise. I mean, I took the occasional walk during the middle of the work day. But I didn’t schedule in any exercise or anything. I ate as healthy as I could, but enjoyed the treats a lot more. Although, nausea and then food aversions kept me from having some things. But after my second child was born, I realized my body had changed, yet again. This time, I feel like it changed even more! I again, had a c-section, so I still felt that I needed to give my body some more time to heal.

Fast forward almost 8 months. Here I am with a body that I am not familiar with and at times, am not comfortable in. But I am happy. Or am I? I mean, c’mon. We see all these celebrities being able to get back into pre-pregnancy shape right after having a baby. Why can’t we? Seeing that, even knowing that of course they had help, doesn’t help my self-esteem. How many other mom’s feel the same way? Some women feel like they HAVE to get back to their pre-baby body.  And there are a few celebrities that don’t care, or realize that they are much happier now than they were in their pre-baby body. And to those women, I admire you. YOU inspire me.

Well, I am tired of feeling like I have some expectations of being back in my pre-baby body. Because I know for a fact, it ain’t gonna happen. But the fact that you see all those images out there, it’s damn hard. Super hard. I mean, honestly, my family and friends don’t care that I look a little different. Although it’s not really that different. It doesn’t change the person that I am. I mean, yes, I now am a mom, but  it doesn’t change my personality or anything. My family and friends are what get me through each day. They love me for who I am on the inside, not the outside. And they support me in all my decisions.

I keep telling (and will continue to keep telling) myself the following:

  1. I am no celebrity that has personal trainers and nutritionists helping me to stay fit.
  2.  Who needs them anyways?
  3.  My children are only young once, I don’t want to miss anything. Therefore, if I forgo the fitness for a bit longer, it’s OK.
  4.  I will never have my pre-baby body back. Never.
  5. Will I be strong enough, mentally and physically? Yes.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t want to be healthy. Of course I want to be healthy. I want to be healthy and strong for my boys. I mean, I need to be able to run after my boys as they, no doubt, will be like energizer bunnies.  I will incorporate an exercise regime when I’m ready.  Slowly and surely. But it’s all about staying healthy and not getting skinny. Ugh – I can’t stand that word.  And fitness to me isn’t about getting smaller. It’s about gaining the strength. It’s about the way it makes me feel.

For all you mamas that exercise on the daily – I admire you.

For all you mamas that don’t – I admire you, too.

Mama’s – Do what makes you happy and healthy; whatever that may be.