I have seen a few things on social media recently from Mums who have just given birth or even those who’ve had a child six years ago, all worried about their weight and body image. This has inspired me to write a blog, just in time for all the yummy Christmas day food, we will all enjoy.
This is not an inspirational blog, unfortunately you will not finish reading this and be motivated to head to the gym, have a green smoothie and drop 5kg. However, I hope you feel a little less alone, a little less pressured and just be a little bit easier on yourself.
So here goes…
I hated pregnancy; yep, I said it. I don’t care what anyone says, it is not an enjoyable experience. It is approximately nine months of sweaty, nauseous, crampy mess. The part I hated most was the loss of control, I am a control freak (SURPRISE!) so when that was taken away from me, I found it very hard to enjoy.
Every day I would wake up and something would be different about my body; my boobs would be a little bigger, my hips a little wider, my cankles a little fatter and so on. I also lacked the energy for exercise; by the time I hit my second trimester and felt well enough to exercise I was told to ‘rest’ due to high blood pressure (developing pre-eclampsia). So I ‘rested’ and if you look up ‘rest’ in the dictionary, I am pretty sure it means EAT; and, boy, did I eat! I wasn’t eating out of boredom; I swear I was actually starving all the time. Fast forward eight months and I had gained 25kg and was a waddling little whale.
After my little man arrived due to a C-section birth I was advised: no exercise for six weeks and after that six weeks walking only. I bounced from diet, to fad, to weight-loss shake, to hardcore boot camp, to Nutella and back again; nothing stuck or worked. I lost 8kg, naturally, but still weigh a good 15kg more than I want to be.
About two weeks ago I looked myself in the mirror and thought ENOUGH. I looked at that pouch of skin, where my baby used to be, and realised without that little pouch I would never have got my most miraculous gift. I swore to stop pressuring myself to get up at 5am and exercise, to stop crying in the bathroom before a social gathering because nothing fits and to stop dieting (…because it always results in a binge session). Instead I decided to be kinder to myself, to be proud of what my body has achieved and to completely change my mindset:
I am the absolute best Mum that I believe I can be.
I am striving to be the best wife that I believe I can be.
And, I hope to be the best friend, daughter and sister that I can be.
This is me, the first picture is two weeks post partum. I have cabbage leaves in my bra to help dry up my milk and ease the pain of mastitis, I have a huge bruise on my arm from one of the many needles given to me in the hospital and I have some nice fresh stretch marks.
I choose to have the best relationship with food that I can have. Regardless of the food I eat I simply will ask myself to make better choices for ME. Me and only me.
To all those stunning Mummies out there, whether you reach your pre-baby weight or not, it does not matter as long as you are proud of who you are, that is all that matters. With vomit in your hair, bags under your eyes and yesterday’s clothes – we are all beautiful.
And to that little bundle of joy, you are the most beautiful person they have ever seen.