Change is hard. Especially when you are forced to accept it whether you like it or not. That was the biggest feat I had to overcome while I was pregnant. Things grew and it was just inevitable. My body was slowing down and I had to roll with the punches. While I had great supporters by my side assuring me it was okay to let nature take it's course, I didn't want to hear it.
I'm a busy body and it's hard to change a busy body.
For the most part, pregnancy was great for me. I didn't have any serious health complications. Just sleepless nights and an achy back some days. Oh, and nasal congestion. It could've been a million times worse. Believe me when I say that I'm thankful for how breezy it was. But, the weight gain, the waddling, and how you look can be tough to manage mentally. In some ways I embraced it. I had ice cream and sweets ALL the time. Being preggo was a fun excuse to indulge more than I was used to. But, I couldn't help but miss being on the move and being as nimble as I was pre-pregnancy.
My friends and family would tell me to slow down. While I appreciated the advice, it didn't make it any easier to sit back and relax. Nine months go by and you can't wait to have the baby. You can't wait to meet the little one you've carried for all that time. And, you just can't wait to move like you used to again. But, reality is, you don't pick up where you left off.
I exercised regularly throughout my pregnancy. It made me feel better on days I didn't. And I was fortunate enough to feel healthy enough to keep up my routine until the week before I delivered. But, it's been 7-weeks since I've done any weight training. Well, outside lifting up my newborn daily:) And, I've started to lose muscle mass. I have loose skin on my stomach from where I carried and I get a little winded from just moving too fast. So, needless to say is I have some catching up to do.
Trusting the process has been the best advice I've been given. I spent the last 6-weeks physically recovering, bonding with my daughter and adjusting to sleepless nights. I didn't even want to worry about fitting back into my pre-pregnancy jeans during this time. Honestly, I've been too tired and physically out of place where I couldn't even put on workout gear and make it work.
Trust me when I say you want to let everything heal before you jump right back into any routine.
What I've seen in the mirror the last few weeks has been somewhat admirable and somewhat not. The struggle of being a new parent is real so I'm trying to take it easy on myself but it's hard and I'm here to share with you the real ups and downs with "bouncing back".
Here's what I'm diggin' about my post baby bod:
1. I've relaxed a bit on being selfishly absorbed for a change. It's really the #1 thing that I'm surprised about. I am not crazy obsessed with getting back into the gym because I know I have some healing to do. I don't want to cause any permanent damage by being overly aggressive with getting back at it. I just want to have fun. I'm changing my focus on the task at hand, my daughter, for now and my time will follow when my doctor says I'm all clear.
2. I have that birthing line on my stomach that reminds me of what I produced. A real human being! It's my new six-pack.
3. I allow my body to rest. If I don't get in one good nap myself throughout the day you can bet my mood will suffer. Sleep deprivation is nothing to joke about. It can make you mean, delirious and miss out on the joyful things you can be experiencing with your little one. I'm listening to my body this time and the exhaustion is speaking loud and clear. I need to let my body rest before I can push it too hard.
4. I'm a true bad ass now. I say that with the least amount of arrogance possible. While I did things that gave me confidence pre-pregnancy (throw sandbags, flip monster truck tires, and piggy back teammates for strength training) I now feel like I can expand on the meaning of this title. To be able to carry and deliver a human is no small feat and my hat goes off to all women to have experienced this in their life. You are all bad asses!
So, chest out (if your breastfeeding boobs aren't already out there:)) and be proud of what you've accomplished with your body.
What I'm not digging:
1. Post baby clothes. There needs to be a postpartum clothing line because you aren't quite ready to fit back into your skinny jeans and your maternity clothes are either a bit too big or you just would rather not wear them anymore.
2. The stomach pooch. It doesn't go down right away. They say it took you 9 months to gain the baby weight and it can take just as long to lose it. While I'm not rushing into the gym to stress over it I do struggle to flaunt it since most my pre-pregnancy wardrobe was fitted. So, now I'm looking into loose fitting pants, stretchy tights and flowy shirts. It's frustrating knowing I need to invest in a new wardrobe to get me through this stage.
3. The exhausted look. With no tan, and little reason to put on make up most days, I definitely look tired. It doesn't do you any favors when you look in the mirror and realize you have bags under your eyes and you realize you also forgot to brush your teeth for the day...and it's 3pm.
4. Bed hair or wet hair. I wake up and go to bed with the same hair style every day. A top knot so it's out of my face and the baby's for night feedings and it's game time ready for a hat when we get out of the house during the day. Most days, I just have enough time to shower and maybe put on makeup if we are going somewhere but we'll run out of time and my hair will suffer. I used to be totally against going places with wet hair but these days it's all I can do.
5. Pregnancy mask. While I dealt with melasma and hyper pigmentation on my face prior to pregnancy, it just ten folded when I got pregnant. Chemical peels were my go to when I wanted to treat the damage. But, they are a no-no while breastfeeding, which, sigh....until that's over I where makeup when I'm in public. Arg.
6. Breastfeeding boobs. Most women would love the added boost you get in this region but not me. They are too noticeable and uncomfortable. No signs of them going down anytime soon so I deal with it. But they need to get some normal breastfeeding bras (regular and sports) so that I can support these babies without feeling so "maternal".
So, the ups and downs of post baby bod at it's finest. All I can do is trust the process and try to put effort towards the latter half of this list. After all, I am the only one that can control how I see myself in the end.
Leave a comment below if you can relate. The struggle is real my momma friends.