I never felt like I was one to struggle with my weight. I had my ups and downs in weight like many people. Those few extra college pounds. The time I broke up with a boyfriend and lost 25 lbs by eating cheerios and drinking water. Everyone told me I looked good and lost weight. But really didn’t even know I was “big.” I always had body image issues where I would “suck it in” to make me look thinner. I wore size XS and S and rarely had to try things on to see how they would fit. I had small boobs and tone arms. I could rock heels and short shorts. I could wear a crop top and a tulle skirt. I had Beyonce’s waistline (24″).
There is so much pressure on new moms. I didn’t realize. I used to look at people and wonder why they didn’t care to lose the baby weight. I would say, I will always want to put on makeup. Even right before him, all I thought about was losing the weight. I’m a hypocrite. Momming is hard. For months, I’ve flat out called myself fat. I shame myself and say, “I’m fat now.” Why so negative when I have this precious baby boy? I’m horrible to myself. I want to be better. I need to take my time and work on a better lifestyle. I need to be positive. Why should I feel the pressure? Why do we judge and tear each other down instead of building each other up? We women need to change this! It’s hard enough as it is.
Fast forward to 5 months postpartum. I have a good reason to be up a few lbs. I know it’s worth it. I love that little guy more than life itself. But, it’s hard seeing yourself become something you swore you wouldn’t be (fat, hair a mess, no makeup ever). I was 127 pre pregnancy. At the time I gave birth to Wilder, I was around 186. Now, I’m sitting between 160-166. I’ve been pretty hard on myself the last few months. I rarely take pictures with me and Wilder because I hate how I look. And looking through my photos, I already wish we had more together.
So, what happened? I used to be fit. I used to feel great. Over the past few months, I’ve started to really dig into my beliefs in body image.
During pregnancy, the doctors suggested no heavy lifting and working out for 10 weeks. No sex even until 12 or more weeks. Not that I was a big fan of working out, and didn’t really work out, I was just scared to do anything. I wanted the embryos to stick. I wanted to be pregnant. So, I just relaxed and chilled out for a while. It didn’t help that I was super tired like most first trimester preggos.
I tried not to limit myself and just do what I would normally do. I did try to watch what I ate, but ultimately, my cravings for DQ Cookie Dough extra Cookie Dough blizzard and McChickens got the best of me. At about 20 weeks or so, I started having horrible leg pain. Not sciatica pain. I had burning numbing pain in my thighs. I could barely stand and walk. It kept getting worse and worse. By my third trimester, I had horrible shin splints non stop. I couldn’t take the dog on walks anymore. Walking around the house and the shop was super painful. I talked to my doctor and they recommended PT. I hate PT, so I didn’t try it. I just hate doing that when we don’t even know what the pain is.
I did my wake surfing and could really only surf for about 5 minutes at a time which was usually only once when we went. The pain was awful. But, when I was out on the lake, it felt so good to be doing something I loved. It was a way for me to relieve some stress.
Excuse No. 1: I had a rough pregnancy and I just had a baby.
During the end or pregnancy and labor, I was so swollen from the heat and being pregnant. I also got an epidural, and my legs blew up. Jake describes it that I was so stretched out, if you were to pop me, I’d explode and if you cut my leg, blood would just squirt out. There was no more room for me to keep stretching.
During the pushing phase of labor, I broke my tailbone. I heard this big crack. And I said, “oh my back just cracked.” If you know me, I crack everything, so didn’t think much about it. Until I couldn’t get out of bed. I was hunched over and needed help. It was painful. I had a hard time sitting down, moving, walking. This probably hurt worse than healing.
Of course, your body needs to heal before you can start to work out.
Excuse No. 2: I broke my tailbone (not that it’s an excuse because that shit hurt, but I might have used it as a crutch to not workout longer).
I thought breastfeeding would help me drop some weight. So when Wilder latched on and it was super easy, we did it. But I wasn’t seeing a big change.
Excuse No. 3: Breastfeeding
I swear I’m holding onto calories because I’m starving all the time. I could eat and eat and eat. Maybe I’m bigger because my body needs me to be to feed my baby.
So, it comes down to now. What am I gonna do about it? Self Love. Damnit, women are strong AF. I grew and birthed a human being.
“Strong enough to bear the children
Then get back to business” – Beyonce
It is going to take some time to get back to where I was. I have to stop comparing myself to celebrities and other new moms. I have to stop self shaming. Of course, on social media, you only see what I want you to see. I didn’t post these pics because all I see is how awful my body looks:
I posted this:
[b&w to make me look thinner and hide that I’m not wearing makeup]
[no makeup, not showered, hair not done, yoga pants]
Thankfully the holidays are over because I can’t resist some holiday treats and cookies. Jake and I have always tried to be healthy eaters, but now I’m definitely limiting myself on the treats. I’m not accepting my weight, I’m just going to stop being so god damned hard on myself. I also joined a work out class at a place called The Aviary. They specialize in Aerial Arts Fitness. It’s hard and my tailbone hurts. The other night, I did cry because my legs are weak. I thought I couldn’t do this and was really upset with my body. But I’m not a quitter. I’m determined to be strong again. New classes, Fit Board, Treadmill, better eating. I also do squats and hold him. I can do this. Cuz I slay. I’m determined to not let myself get down because I’m overweight. I’m trying not to get sad that my beautiful clothes don’t fit me anymore. It’s time to do this. It’s not a New Years Resolution, it’s a lifestyle change. I just had a baby! And that baby is the world to me. So, I’m going to sit here and play with him and not worry so much about the fact that he cries when I’m on the treadmill. I’m going to enjoy this time when he’s little because I’m fortunate to be able to. He’s only little this once. So, I’ll just wait until daddy gets home to work out.
I’m owning my mom bod. I’m taking control. And I’m confident.
So moms out there, repeat this:
I’M STRONG AF
[I couldn’t do the first move the first day. I thought this might not be for me. But, I slayed. And owned it. Day 2 and look what you can achieve.]
[this adorable son of mine]