I’m sure most of you mummas out there will agree that growing a baby inside your belly is one of the most spectacular experiences that a woman could ever go through. For me it was by far one of the most happiest, scariest and surreal periods of my life. I loved being pregnant, feeling the life inside me move and watching my belly grow as the weeks went by. It still blows me away that my body gained 20kg, grew a 9.5 pounder baby, carried him for 41 weeks and pushed him out through, well, MY VAGINA! I totally respect the changes that my body has gone through to get Jacob earthside and I’m in awe of how fucking amazing the female form can be…but I didn’t always see it this way.
Even though I would like this post to be EMPOWERING and POSITIVE for you mummas (we’ll get there, don’t you worry), I think that it would be wrong to mislead you to think that I haven’t had my low moments too. Even if it means taking myself to a vulnerable place then so be it. I want to be REAL and HONEST because on some level I think that many women can relate to the feelings that I have had and the more we talk about it, the more we can help eachother be at peace with our bodies. So here goes.
During the first trimester after gaining the first 10kg, I was in shock at how fast I was putting on weight. I loved how I looked and I loved my little bump, but I was also frightened of those giant numbers staring up at me on the scale. I was petrified of how much weight I would put on by the time I reached the third trimester and I could only imagine how much harder it would be to get back to my pre-baby weight. It wasn’t society, celebrities or social media that were influencing my mindset – it was ME. Yes, there were probably outside influences in my subconscious mind, but I’m not going to blame it on anyone or anything else. I’m going to take full ownership of those thoughts and feelings, because I was in full control of how I viewed my own body image and as far as I was concerned, I WAS going to bounce back to my pre-baby weight.
At around 2 months postpartum I felt like it was time to focus on my own health and well-being. I had spent the last few months putting Jacob first (as he should be) but I was starting to feel like I was losing myself. As much I tried to remind myself that I HAD JUST GIVEN BIRTH, I couldn’t help but think about all the clothes that were sitting in my wardrobe that I still couldn’t fit. I had gone from a size 8 to a 14, my hips were wider, boobs were MASSIVE, my posture had changed, booty was bigger and for the first time in my life I had swapped a flat tummy for a little pudge. So many women talk about how many kgs they’re still carrying from their pregnancies, but not once did I hear women talking about the changes to their overall body shape. I honestly don’t think I understood how different my body would be after having a baby and I felt so disconnected to it.
In all honesty if I were to close my eyes right now and imagine my new body shape, I don’t think I’d be able to do it because it still seems so foreign to me. I don’t know where my curves begin and end, or even which clothes are flattering. You might be thinking that I could just look in a mirror and voila problem solved, but its really not that easy. To take the body that you’ve known your whole entire life, the one you’ve had since that awkward puberty stage right through to the accepting (or close to) adulthood stage…and then to suddenly transform it overnight will take its toll on anyone. In the past I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with my body, but even so, I have still quietly struggled with this whole accepting-the-mumbod thang.
I have so much respect for those ladies who put it all out there, who aren’t ashamed of their bodies and who love what they look like no matter what size they are. When I see images of these beautiful women being vulnerable and baring all for the world to see with literally no fucks given, I can’t help but feel so empowered and blessed to be a woman. I am all for embracing our beautiful baby-making vessels AS THEY ARE…but I also believe that if you don’t like something about your body and if it is in your power to do so, then you should change it. Heck my push present is going to be a boob job! I have been sitting on the fence with this for a while, torn between trying to embrace my body as is OR to go on a “diet” or “lifestyle change”….but why can’t I do both? Why is it so wrong to want to “bounce back”…but in my own time and on my own terms? I’m not neglecting to love my body the way it is or trying to meet expectations set by society. This is me wanting to be happy in my own skin and I think that there is nothing wrong with that. Sean actually asked me today if I had an old photo of myself that I wanted to aim towards, but funnily enough I don’t. I’ve accepted that my body has changed and I’m not trying to reach my pre-baby weight or even fit into my old clothes. I just want to live a healthier lifestyle and enhance what I’ve got now and I believe that this is all part of the journey of embracing MY BODY.
Before I was knocked up I used to be one of those Fitness First gym bunnies who would do multiple fitness classes and strength training nearly every day of the week. The release of those endorphins and the surge of energy that flowed forth was addictive. It wasn’t necessarily about what I looked like, it was about how it made me feel and it made me feel goddamn good! I’ve always loved to exercise so I’m really just going to be reintroducing something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. I guess you could say this is me trying to find my true self amongst the piles of dirty laundry and soiled nappies. I want to learn to love my body and I know that exercise, healthy eating and positive energy will help me get there. Its not just about looking good and getting a killer 6-pack (in your dreams TJ), its about FEELING good too. I just want to FEEL healthy, because right now I feel faaaaarkin’ sluggish and it is time to make a change. I’m not a professional trainer, nutritionist or fitspo queen with thousands of followers. I’m just a regular stay-at-home mumma who has a daily ritual of binging on blocks of chocolates, packets of timtams and too much caffeine. I don’t drink enough water, I don’t eat the right foods and I’m lucky to even exercise properly once a month. I’m sharing my fitness journey because I need to be held accountable for the bad choices that I make every goddamn day. I’ve neglected my body for far too long and its time that I fuel it with the good stuff and move it on the daily.
So now that I’ve given you a bit of a backstory, you’re probably wondering what I want to ultimately achieve from this fitness journey so here are my goals:
- WEIGH AND MEASURE MYSELF ONCE A WEEK IN THE SAME OUTFIT
- DRINK MORE WATER – ATLEAST 3 LITRES A DAY
- MOVE MY BODY ATLEAST 30 MINS A DAY – HIGH INTENSITY, WEIGHT TRAINING OR YOGA. (Tone up and feel good – weight irrelevant but necessary for final comparison).
- NO CHOCOLATE (I’m going to be specific on this one because I have the worst sweet tooth).
- ONE COFFEE A DAY (I’m going to die you guys)
- EAT BALANCED MEALS
- RUN THE MELBOURNE MARATHON 10K – 15TH OCT 2017
- BE KIND TO MYSELF
I’ve kept my goals as simple as possible because I know that it will be a huge adjustment (especially with a baby) and I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. First off I want to lay a good foundation where I can master the basics (like not binging on chocolate lol) and from there I will start working on more muscle-group focussed exercises. I haven’t sussed out the finer details of my exercise routine, but once I figure it out I will share it with you either on the blog or on insta as I move through my journey. I also haven’t written specific goals food-wise because on a stay-at-home mummas budget I can’t afford all those trendy superfoods that all the #fitspo queens are eating. At this point I won’t be cutting out the naughty foods, but I will try to look for healthier options and maintain smaller portions (because lets be honest I eat like a man).
Initially I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to share my bodyshots with you all because I didn’t think that they were “bad enough” to be BEFORE photos. I maintained a fit pregnancy right through to the end, so I probably recovered better than those that did not. I have lots of stretchmarks, but they’re barely visible on camera. I have a little mumtum, but only in comparison to what I usually know. I don’t even know what size I am, but I am probably still smaller than the size of an average woman. Whether or not I wanted to lose 30kg or 3kg, it doesn’t matter, because I only want you to connect with my journey of EMBRACING my body and if you haven’t yet done so, maybe one day you can find your own pathway to peace too. x