Yes, I realise the title sounds a bit extreme. I am going to explain what I mean.
My body has changed. It has carried 2 pregnancies to full term, and given me two beautiful children. I know that pregnancy changes your body, and some things will never be the same. My hips are wider, my boobs, are ahem, certainly bigger than they were post pregnancy. My feet are one size bigger, and I have stretch marks. My tummy will never be washboard flat (not that it ever was, but it is definitely a bit “squishier” – as Little Man, likes to remind me, often, than it was) and my hair went from being straight, to much thicker and curlier. These things, I am not ashamed of. I am not bothered so much that my body has bits that have changed and that I can’t do much about.
I do hate being told “well, you won’t ever get your body back” or “you’ve had babies, it’s all downhill from there” (and I have uttered these things, myself to my shame, mainly because it is kind of what is expected) and being told to “Love and appreciate” my post baby body, is not something I want to hear. I honestly think that we now have an attitude of “oh, we’ve had children, making an effort to stay in shape is hard work, it doesn’t matter, love your body” and we have got lazy. I know I have. I have eaten too much, lost my sense of portion control, decided that exercise is too much effort, and been lazy, frankly.
Please hear me, I am not saying we should all be out jogging ten miles at a week post delivery of our babies, and as someone who has dealt with, and recovered from eating disorders, I am not now going down some rabbit hole of body hate. But when I look at myself, nearly 4 years after I delivered my son, I am ashamed that I have let things slide and not made more effort to look after my body, loose weight, and keep a bit fitter. I don’t want to love my body, tell myself it’s ok to have a muffin top, and breathe in as I put on control knickers, with the excuse “I have had kids, it’s ok to let it all go”. I also know that as a mother, when you are running around after kids, or working, juggling life, often we forget to look after and maintain ourselves, we are the last in the queue, and eating comfort foods, or snacking or not being utterly exhausted and needing food to keep our energy going doesn’t help, and in reality, not all of us have the luxury of nannies, or childcare so we can go to the gym, or see a personal trainer, and get back into shape easily, and lets face it, cosmetic surgery, to repair and tighten things up, is not cheap or an option for most of us normal mortal mothers either. Celebrities don’t help, because they make it seem like a target that isn’t achievable, because they have access to these things and we don’t.
Part of the reason I want to get into better shape, and loose the weight is so that when and if we do get pregnant with Number 3, my body handles it better. Last time, I was 24lb heavier, when I got pregnant with Little Man, and it made things harder, and because I am not one of those lucky women who burns calories off and looses all the weight whilst breastfeeding, and frankly was so damn hungry until both my babies started to wean to solids, and weren’t nursing as much, that I ate a lot, and all tthe time, so put on more weight. I want to try and avoid this, next time, by being in better shape. I am not berating post partum mothers, or saying we all need to be size 8, with flat tummies and skinny thighs, that’t not realistic or sane, but I do think I need to get a grip, and get myself in better shape, personally.
This week, I have lost 1lb, so slow and steady seems to be working. I am working out meal planning, thank you to those, who left helpful comments last week, I have taken notes!
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