Post-Pregnancy Body Image: Keepin' It Real

I wasn't sure I was ready to write about this because we'll, it's one of those topics that makes you feel vulnerable, which isn't usually very fun (and heaven forbid I would be misunderstood or taken out of context!) but here we are...

In an effort to stay real, what better way than to talk about something you still struggle with.

So before you roll your eyes at me and tell me I'm silly to struggle with this because, "Hey, aren't you a health coach? And haven't you already lost your baby weight?" Allow me to be honest and tell you...

I often struggle with loving my post-pregnancy body. (All of you who have got this whole loving your squishy parts and scars figured out I applaud you, so PLEASE DON'T JUDGE ME!)

I often get complimented that I look great for just having had a baby (I am in NO way bragging) but no matter how many times I've heard it I stilllll have a lot of negative self-talk when it comes to my body.

Sure, I lost the weight but everyone knows how their body looks naked, without high-wasted jeans and a flowy top to keep things "together," y'know what I mean?

So if I'm being honest I don't always feel like myself and I don't always love that feeling.

I still feel my squisher stomach and any over indulgent meal makes me feel a few months pregnant (anyone else??).

Even as I write this I feel the sting of how vain, pathetic, and totally overly self-indulgent this might sound - there are so many more important things to care about!!

My hubby (lovingly) jokes with me I don't want to be that skinny girl in a weight watchers group like on This Is Us 😝 (please, may we all never be THAT girl).

But I recently watched Embrace, a documentary about body image and embracing your figure and the unique beauty we all have, and I found it relates to so many of us - no matter what age or size or shape we are.

I was surprised (and not) to hear even supermodels talk about what they wish they could change about their bodies and older retired anorexic models, crying and wishing they could stop the mental bondage of their obsession with being thin. It was tragic and heartbreaking how much life it has sucked out of them.

I saw just how much the media around us creates ideals that none of us can match - photoshopping models, lingerie billboards in every major city square, the over sexualization of the female body - and it's no wonder so many of us have body image issues.

I used to follow fitness accounts by the dozens and idolize many "fitness gurus".

BUT I've found a huge disconnect (whether they mean it or not) between the message of loving your body, while simultaneously sharing bikini closeups.

We're all being fed a mixed message and left wondering why we're not satisfied.

We want to love our bodies but we also hope to look like them in 8 weeks.

It's like they know marketing "how to look hot like us" doesn't sell as well as "love your body."

I may not be full there yet myself, but I want us to fight to shift our focus away from weight on into more important body ideas, like how we FEEL.

I don't want to worry about the perfect six-pack and whether or not clients will want to hire me if I don't have the "perfect post-pregnancy body" all the time - I want to focus on if I have enough energy and whether or not my body is strong enough to do the things I want to do with my boys, like hiking.

It's not an excuse to not be in shape, but it is a fight to admire the beautiful process pregnancy took my body through.

You can love your body and simultaneously have goals; my beautiful friend & Certified Fitness Nutritionist, Melanie Giesbrecht often reminds me of this and I fully resonate with that balanced mentality.

I also admire women like fitness coach Alexa Jean, who freely shared a photo of her post pregnant body, with a beautifully squishy belly.  I can't tell you how freeing that was to see her as a fitness coach, not feeling the need to prove she was back in shape only a few weeks later.

Or Chrissy Teigan (John Legend's wife) and the way she candidly shares motherhood, stretch marks and all.

We need more of that, we need more realness than what mainstream media provides, and I want to join in that fight.

If this resonates at all with you, will you please comment. I'd love to hear your story with pregnant and body image!

 

/// Also, I've recently been nominated as one of Vancouver Mom's Top 30 Bloggers and I am so honoured! If you have a minute (and want to!) would you mind swinging by and voting for me? You can vote daily from now until May 26th. Vote, here. Thank you so much!! 

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