I think it’s a thought or a desire for many women to look at the New Year as an opportunity to lose the mom bod and get fit, lose weight, bounce back, or achieve their pre-baby bod once again. And for some, it’s a straight-up mission—new gym memberships, diet plans, protein powders, and step trackers galore.
After having two kids, it’s easy for me to look at pictures of myself before and think, “Damn, who’s that girl.” Only to look in the mirror today – and see things that appear stretched, discolored, uneven, lopsided, loose, and just downright fluffy. Things that, no matter how much I work out, it’ll always stay that way because of irreversible changes made by growing humans inside my body.
While this could easily disappoint me and make me sad when recalling the “remember when’s” and the “back then’s,” and make me feel like now I am just a fugly old potato, I’m redirecting my attention to embracing my mom bod. And I want you to do this with me, too.
Let’s pick “healthy” instead of “ideal.”
Instead of trying to fall in the perfect BMI category for our height and weight, instead of obsessing about “fitting in our pre-baby jeans” again, instead of comparing before and after’s and getting frustrated when we do not see much change, let’s redirect our attention here completely. Let’s focus on “healthy” rather than the “ideal.”
I started evaluating things I was allowing in my life that made my physical body feel worse and cut them out cold turkey. Fast food – stopped eating it. It made me feel like a whale who wanted to take a 3-hour nap. Wine – quit drinking it. It made my face swell, and my body retain extra water, plus it made me extra lazy and extra hungry all the time. Sugar – only in my coffee because once I start eating it, I won’t stop.
In turn, doing these things then encouraged me to pick up something that would give me the opposite effect of the way my body used to feel. When I feel tired, I put on my Nike’s and walk a mile on the treadmill. When I feel bloated, I do a gentle cleanse. When I feel emotional, I diffuse and apply essential oils anywhere and everywhere.
Notice how the good things I picked up – they were simply a result of the things that I cut out of my life that weren’t serving me at all. When our motives change from “ideal” to “healthy,” positive things start falling into place.
Let’s find empowerment in the visible changes.
After having kids, there are so many things about our bodies that simply don’t look the same anymore.
Our stomachs? Loose-goosey wrinkly galore.
Our boobs? Deflated jiggle-bag water balloons.
Our stretch marks? Like rivers on a geographical map.
Our skin? About as bipolar as our moods can be because our hormones are freaking the hell out.
Our butt? Extra-wide cottage cheese city.
But even in looking at these so-called “flaws” in the mirror, I can’t help but turn around and see the people I love most right there in front of me – my little girl, my little boy, and my amazing husband. I love those three people way more than I’ll ever love anything else on this planet. And here’s the thing – they love me too. And this body of mine? They love it, embrace it, have fed off of it, find comfort in it.
Our stomachs? We’re an instrument to grow a baby so perfect, who also used that soft postpartum belly to cuddle on during an afternoon nap.
Our stretch marks? Visible reminders that life now is way better, happier, more fulfilling than it ever was before. Because who would ever want to imagine going back – living life for even one second – without these precious babies?
Our skin? Full of experience. Wisdom. Smile lines that have stories to tell, extra oil to prove that we are still young enough for second chances, and dryness to remind us that it’s always good to exfoliate the bad and embrace the good things in life.
And our butt? Girl, you know your hubby still stares at it. It’s sexy, perfect, and beautiful.
Let’s realize that our shape does not equal our worth.
This one is such a trap that women today fall into. So much insecurity and self-loathing and silent hate against the way they look, all because of how their body is shaped, or how it’s changed, or how it’s simply not perfect anymore.
But WHY does body image cloud our minds so much when becoming a mom has filled our hearts so much?
We have grown up, created human beings, laughed harder than we’ve ever laughed, experienced a love so deep it hurts, swelled with such pride for the awesome people our children are becoming, have found the meaning of life in being a mother to these precious babies – yet we’re all hung up on the way our BODY LOOKS? Seriously? After ALL OF THAT?
No way. Not me. I’m embracing this mom bod of mine. I’m replacing the ideal with the healthy, finding empowerment in the changes, and knowing that I am not only enough, but I am also worth celebrating – and so is this body.
Mom’s – you are straight-up queens. So next time you look in the mirror, let it be to simply center your crown. 🙂