A little over nine months ago, I welcomed my beautiful baby boy into this world after putting my body through hell for ten months and 36 excruciating hours of labor. After all that my body went through to create and birth another human being, it does not exactly look quite it used to or how I would like for it to.
There are more bumps and wobbly bits to conceal than I remember and it was hard to look in the mirror without scrutinizing myself. Know how I feel? Well, here are some tips on how to turn your post-baby body hate into new-body love.
1. Ditch comparing
As women, we tend to look at magazine covers and reality-TV personalities as our model for what we should look like or how long it takes to get back in shape after having a baby. Stories featuring size-two celebrities supposedly spilling the secrets on how they lost 60 pounds in two months.
Wake up, ladies! That’s not normal AND it is not healthy! It took over nine months for you to gain whatever amount you gained, it is probably going to take about that long to lose it. And besides, do you really believe they made those macro-balanced-Atkins-paleo-gluten-free meals? Heck, no! They have chefs. And trainers. And Photoshop.
2. Get moving
The first six weeks after having a baby are supposed to be spent in recovery, so get rest during that time and let your body heal. Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, start slow.
Do not go from zero to P90x. Be realistic and kind to yourself. Start with a walk then move up to a jog. Take a yoga class. Go swimming. Choose activities that will not wreck the healing your body just worked hard for.
3. Choose foods wisely
If you are like me, you just got off of a nine-month long eating pass where you were free to eat pretty much anything you wanted and lord help anyone who judged you or questioned your food combinations. Am I right?
Well, it is time to put those habits behind you until your next pregnancy. Sorry, girls. Choose foods that are high in protein and leafy green vegetables to replace your iron. Incorporate healthy fats found in nuts and avocados. Trust me, you will feel better than if you scarf down another cheeseburger with fries dipped in ranch.
4. Get accountability
Do you have friends who are new mamas with a few pounds to lose? Get them on board with you and form an accountability group. Commit to weekly walks and swap recipes or tips on how to juggle a baby and exercise (it is possible!) If you do not have anyone around you, connect with women online and follow blogs that line up with your goals. You are not in this alone.
5. Give yourself grace
Your body just performed a real-life, genuine, mind-blowing miracle. You created another human being! Inside of you! What?? Look in the mirror and show your body some dang respect for the monumental feat it just accomplished.
Give yourself time to get back to where you would like to be and grace during the process. It will not happen overnight, it will take time and dedication but so did having a baby. And man, wasn’t that worth it?