Before I had my first baby I was a size 8/10. Quite hard to imagine now, two babies and two dress sizes later. Since then I have tried (albeit quite feebly) to get some of what I had before: a tighter, less lumpy, less bumpy body.
I know I’m not alone, that mums have a baby and weeks later join Slimming World. That some mums get fixated on ‘getting their bodies back’ like a stranger had previously ran off with it. I’ve done that too.
I’ve read other mummy blogs from mum’s who chart their weight loss as a way of inspiring other mums. They don’t inspire me. Those who do inspire me are mums who accept and love their bodies after giving birth. People like Taryn Brumfitt who wants to change women’s attitudes towards their bodies.
I don’t want to change my body, but I do want to change how I view it. Therefore I don’t really need a baby weight loss program. Instead I need a plan which allows me to embrace my body. Here goes:
First off I need to accept that I have changed. My body was simply different before but it wasn’t necessarily better. When you grow a baby in your tummy and then give birth, how on earth do we expect it to spring back to the way it was?!
I need to accept that just as I have changed since being a mum, so my body shape – and some of its functions – have also changed.
It’s also important for me to take responsibility for choices I made during pregnancy (to enjoy pregnancy I made a conscious decision to eat whatever I liked, which at the time seemed like a really fun idea). Plus, I continue to make the same choices two years on only now I don’t use being pregnant as an excuse. Yep, I still eat whatever I like but I justify it by saying such things as: “Well I don’t go out much, so I may as well enjoy my food”.
Trusting the hubby
My other half is many things, but a liar he is not. When he tells me he loves me I need to trust that he loves me instead of asking in my head “how could you love this?” When he grabs my bottom I need to start trusting it’s because he can’t keep his hands off me, rather than assuming he must need a big stress ball. And when he gives me those ‘come to bed eyes’ I need to trust that he’s looking right at me and not picturing some size 8 bombshell. He loves me as I am, not as I was.
Remember I am loved
How I look is unimportant. What’s important is remembering that no matter how many bumps I have, I am still loved. I am not loved for my body, just simply for being me.
I don’t want my girls to know that their body size and shape matters. Because it really doesn’t. Not for them, not for me, not for you. Each body is different: Nobody has a body like theirs, nor mine, nor yours.
And above all else, what matters is that whether we are underweight, overweight or practically perfect, we can look in the mirror and see someone worthy of love. We were worthy before babies and we are worthy after. Worthy whether thin or fat.
So here’s my challenge to you if you see
Don’t make a weight loss target. Make your target to accept your body as it is. Let’s not change our bodies but change our minds.
Think of the impact this will have on our children.
(If you are unable to look in the mirror and feel worthy of love then please read a copy of Real Love which has helped me and my family beyond almost anything else).