Let’s Talk About Post Pregnancy Body Image: Please Be Kind to Yourself!
Ever since having my third baby, I’ve developed some serious body issues.
I'm not exactly sure what it was that I didn't like about my body, but, I was determined to change it all. I felt sick when I looked in the mirror… and I'm fairly sure that's not a healthy way of looking at yourself...
So, I Took Action!
I started going to the gym for an hour each morning, five days a week. I was absolutely loving it. It made me feel amazing!
I started seeing results after a few short weeks and it wasn't long before my hours increased. It started to consume me.
I started with an hour each morning, six days a week. Then, I added an hour each evening, five days a week. That’s not even counting the walking and boxing at home.
The Results Weren’t What I Expected
My body was changing. I was fit and strong. I also had so much more energy. But, I still wasn't happy when I looked in the mirror.
A few things were eating at me. Even though I was training hard and eating right, I still had a big bum, solid thighs and flabby skin covering my triceps!
Something in my head was not letting me be happy. I started thinking… do all women look at themselves in a negative light as often as I do? Aren't we supposed to love who we are in order for us to be loved?
This whole being a woman thing is so complicated! I realised what I was wanting was just to be happy, genuinely happy. That’s when I knew my mindset needed to change.
Forth Time’s a Charm!
Fast forward to when I was pregnant with my fourth baby. As my bump grew so did my love and appreciation for my body.
I began to realise how amazing it was, how strong it was and how much pressure it had gone through, especially given the fact that I was on my fourth pregnancy.
Then it hit me. Who cares if I had flabby arms? Who cares if my thighs wobbled and on hot days I have cankles (calf/ankles)? Who cares?
My Body Has Carried Four Babies
I birthed two of my children naturally. The other two were delivered by cesarean sections. And, I've breastfed all four.
Yes, I still have down days where I stand in front of the mirror grabbing my tummy, wondering if it will ever be flat again. What I won't do though is dwell on it. All the stretch marks and scars remind me of how lucky and truly blessed I am to be a mother of four beautiful children. Now, I can honestly say that I love that about me!
My little tricks for feeling good about my body (most days) are simple.
First, I appreciate what my body has gone through in order to have the four little boys. They are my life.
Second, if there is a part of my body that I'm liking a little less, I find something positive to focus on. Right at this very moment, I feel that my cellulite is at an all-time high on my thighs - standard feature for most woman, I know. Everything on our body has a purpose… but, cellulite is just mean).
To take my mind off of the negative, I find a positive. In the last few months, my hair has grown at a rapid rate. It is the longest it has ever been and is so healthy.
The bottom line is this. We need to stop criticizing our bodies. If we didn't have these amazing bodies with these battle scars then we wouldn't have these beautiful little people surrounding us.
Be kind to yourself and your body.
Have you ever had any concerns about the way that your body looked after giving birth? How did you stay positive and keep things in perspective? Let’s have a chat and support each other here or on the Medela Australia Facebook page.