Learning to Love My Post-Baby Body0
Healthy Choices, Healthy Attitude
When I’m pregnant, I love watching for those new bumps and curves to appear. I always believe that I’m showing long before I really am, and seeing any kind of small bump makes me proud and excited. Of course, now that I’m on the other side of the pregnancy, those bumps and curves have certainly stuck around, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about them. To complicate matters, no longer being pregnant also means that I feel great! No more throwing up, heartburn, or backaches. I feel so good that I get somewhat surprised when I glance in the mirror… and well, I just don’t look the same. There is a disconnect between how I feel and how I look, between my insides and outsides.
A few weeks ago I found myself really fretting over my new body, the fact that I was still in maternity jeans, and simultaneously downing chocolate-covered almonds like it was my job. I needed a change of attitude. I have a newborn; the last thing I want to do is look back on this time and think, “that’s when I was obsessing over my pants size.” This is the time to snuggle my newborn baby, establish new rhythms as a family of four, and celebrate new life! I decided to take a few days and come up with a plan for learning to love my post-baby body.
1. Write a health vision. At the suggestion of a friend, I wrote out some short and long term health and lifestyle goals. It included things like running a race in 2013 and I want to be an active and energetic mom. Hopefully, this vision will guide me in making healthy and conscious choices.
2. Make (and celebrate) one healthy choice at a time. I am concentrating on replacing unhealthy food choices with nourishing items. I bought a cute new water bottle to help me stay hydrated. I give myself a mental high-five when I choose a healthier snack. For me, this is an area for baby steps.
3. Choose exercises that are motivating and encouraging. I want to reconnect with my body, so I have been choosing to run early in the morning which refreshes my soul and helps me to feel active and healthy. Find ways to move your body that are refreshing and energizing. Reconnect your body and spirit. Celebrate what your body has done for you– you birthed a baby!
4. Don’t be afraid of a Mom Uniform. When I look and feel put together, I act put together. A great outfit can go a long way towards having a great day. Don’t be afraid to find a couple of staples that fit and feel comfortable during this postpartum season. My post-baby Mom Uniform includes maxi skirts (very forgiving!) and loose tanks or tees. As a nursing mom, I usually double layer my tanks (one to pull up, one to pull down) for staying covered up. This is a great time to embrace your inner, easy-breezy personality and choose scarves, long sweaters, and flowy tops. Feeling comfortable doesn’t have to mean yoga pants and sweats. Getting dressed is a great accomplishment when there’s a newborn in the family.
5. Surround yourself with people who love you. Even when the voice of my inner critic is loud, my husband’s loving voice is louder. It is so healthy to have loving people around us to tell us the truth, especially when our post-baby hormones might be running high.