LET’S STOP SCARING WOMEN ABOUT PREGNANCY AND THEIR BODIES

pregnancy

“Your body will never be the same you know.”

Since having my son 2 months ago (and even long before he was here)… it feels like this comment has been thrown around right and left and if I’m being perfectly honest, it irks me.

Now obviously, my body WILL never be the same. It spent 9 long (actually a little longer in my case) months changing, stretching, and growing to fit this new little guest. Then, when all that was said and done, underwent the labor and delivery process. This is no easy task! It took many weeks for me to feel comfortable even just moving around and doing daily tasks. Even now, 9 weeks postpartum, I’m still feeling lingering effects. This process took its toll and I’m sure that there are many things that never will be the same. So why you ask does this comment bother me?

To be honest, it’s because of how limiting and negative it is That somehow having a baby means that your body is tainted or ruined-never to be the same again. That having a baby means that your body is no longer your own and you have no control over what happens to it. You had a baby so, may as well throw in the towel!

The stress and pressure that women already face regarding their bodies is one of the most detrimental things to our confidence and self-esteem….but now let’s throw in facing fear and negativity in pregnancy and we’ve all but lost ourselves.

Being pregnant was for me, one the most incredible, happy, and amazing experiences of my life. However, going into it I felt a lot of unnecessary fear that it would somehow mean the end of ME. That my body would just become this baby creating factory that I would no longer have control over. And yet now that it’s all said and done I know how untrue this is!

Yes, weight gain and changes accompany a healthy pregnancy, but that does not mean that your body’s best years are behind it. Yes, you heard me right….your body, changed and all, can be even better after having children!

This week, I’m sitting two months postpartum…is my body ruined? Absolutely not! I feel better today after having my son than I ever did when I was a young 22 year old (when the picture on the left was taken). In that photo, I definitely felt my worst. But it wasn’t having a baby that made me feel that way, it was my lack of knowledge about how I should workout to reach my goals and how I could change my diet to sustain the progress I wanted to make.

How to get your body “back”

One of the best ways to ensure a quick transition postpartum is to start before you have your baby. Ya, that’s right-focus on your health and fitness goals during pregnancy! This can be hard to do. Another common misconception is that you should just let go of a healthy diet or regimented training plan during this time when in reality keeping these things up is huge in your postpartum journey. Continuing to focus on your nutrition and training will make it so that you have less weight loss to focus on and will have already established healthy habits in place that will make the transition easier after pregnancy.

On the flip side, if you were to take nine full months off from both nutrition and training…imagine how hard it would be to start up again!

What if you already had your baby and didn’t focus on these things?

You STILL can change your body and lifestyle! Start slowly, allow yourself time to recover fully from the delivery of your child, but when all of that is said and done, it is a great time to jump into training and do something that is just for you!

Now that you have the responsibility of a baby and are spending the majority of your time caring for someone else, it is incredibly important to have an outlet for yourself. One of the most motivating ways to get back into the gym is with the help of a personal trainer who can either guide you through workouts or can write a training program for you. Having someone who can hold you accountable is a huge help in sticking to a program!

Whether or not you choose to work with a trainer, head back into training slowly. Focus on what your body is telling you and be aware of any movements that don’t feel good and remember to be patient with yourself!

Your nutrition will play a huge role in working towards your goals postpartum. Setting up a healthy, balanced diet will not only be a key aspect in reaching your health and fitness goals but will also benefit you and your little one for years to come. Hire a coach that you trust to guide you through the process of setting you up with nutrition that will fit your lifestyle! Again though, if this is something you choose not to do, be patient with yourself! Focus on eating a well-balanced diet of protein, carbs, and fats and begin to track your calories in an app like My Fitness Pal to get some idea of the number of calories you are currently consuming. Be aware though, that breastfeeding mammas need more calories to sustain this process.

Stop. Limiting. Yourself.

I feel like I could make a complete post just on this topic alone, but for now, I’ll try to keep it short. Ever meet someone who has an excuse for every aspect of their life and why there’s no change? It is probably one of the most frustrating situations to me when you know someone could make INCREDIBLE changes in their life if only they’d get out of their own way! Take inventory of your own life and consider…what areas am I holding myself back? What limiting beliefs do I have that are standing in the way of me getting the things that I want? Just because everyone says things like “your body will never be the same”…. that doesn’t make it true! You are capable of reaching your postpartum goals!

Let go of what your body “should” look like postpartum and show it some love!

As I said before, having a baby takes an enormous toll! The stretching, the sickness, the weird cravings, the complete aversion to food, the inability to move at times comfortably. It’s hard! BUT at the end of all of that, you have to feel some awe for the way your body was able to create a new life! That child that is now sitting your lap is here because of you! They love you no matter what you look like. It can take years to feel again after having a baby. There are ways to reach your fitness goals after children, but start today with being kind to yourself. Avoid making negative comments about your body (they don’t help anything) and instead focus on the gratitude you have for the fact that you made an amazing little babe!

 Everyone who’s said “your body will never be the same” is right. My body will never be the same, but it can be even better than it was before, and out of all of those changes, I got one amazing son. <3

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