We have all seen the magazine headlines, “Get your pre-baby body back in X amount of weeks”. We bought the products, joined the exercise programs and watched the influencers posing in their bikinis just 10 days after giving birth. All of it hinging on this concept that we have lost, and must somehow re-capture, our pre-baby body.
Don’t get me wrong, I get it! Who hasn’t looked at a photograph of their 20 year old, childless self and noted the perkier boobs, the flatter stomach and the fresh, faced glow. With the toll that carrying, birthing and caring for children can have on a Mummas body, it is easy to see why this pre-baby body bullshit can play on insecurities and sell products!
So what can you do if you find yourself constantly making comparisons to what you once looked like? Here are a few tips to help you embrace your body now just as it is and some tips for working on the healthiest, happiest version of you!
1. Accept the changes.
Easier said than done but when you come to terms with the fact our bodies will and do change, this acceptance can be very freeing. By taking some of the emotion out of it, you can decide if you can or want to do something about whatever has changed or whether you are just going to live with it. Maybe you have stretch marks? When you realise an estimated 50-90% of women also have them, maybe they don’t seem so drastic. Or what if your body feels less toned after having a baby, can you start working out with weights to build yourself a stronger body? Accept it or change it (if you can) but don’t let it make you feel sad or inadequate.
2. Focus on what your body can do!
Instead of working out to look better (the number one answer when I ask Mums why they train) set yourself some workout goals. Always wanted to be able to do a full push up, run 5km without stopping, compete in a triathlon? By aiming to achieve something that is meaningful to you, you will be less inclined to obsess over body parts and marvel at what your body can do!
3. Check your tribe.
The people we surround ourselves with can have a big impact on our thoughts and feelings about our body. If your friend group or your social media stream, is a constant thread of diet plans, exercise regimes, “pre-baby body bounce back” dribble, then no wonder you can feel like you have failed. Gravitate towards those who are kind to themselves, who set goals but realise there is more to life than fitting in your pre-baby jeans.