60: Postpartum Body Shame

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Personal Body Embarrassment Stories

Let me start by telling you a personal story about my postpartum body shame. I head into a local bank it’s not the usual one I go into and the guy asks me what I do as it was my business bank account. I said I’m a personal trainer he looked me up and down and I wanted to blurt out but I just had a baby. I somehow did not and thanked him and left. That was not unfortunately the first time I felt shame over my postpartum body.

I went out to California on a mastermind retreat 6 weeks post baby. It was great the women there were amazing but I didn’t look like the me I was used to. We did a mini photo shoot the last day we were there. I felt so embarrassed over the way I looked and figured I would do my best but probably wouldn’t use any of the pictures. Everyone told me I looked great but that was my first time meeting them so they didn’t know what I previously looked and most importantly felt like.

Is it vain to want to look good?

The fitness industry has been moving away from weighing yourself, and going more on how you feel. We are not judging women by how they look or at least the marketing strategy is trying to tell us that. Is that what really happens, I’m not so convinced. I know I’m not alone in this we are told to embrace our shape when we just had a child. I get that and agree but not to the point of letting that be an excuse for developing bad habits which I think is far more common right now. I knew I personally I didn’t feel good and was embarrassed by how I looked. Probably more so since I’m in the fitness/yoga industry. Where looks are still judged.

Every experience is unique

This is a cry I hear from many postpartum moms. Some lose the weight easily and never have an issue. They breastfeed and weight falls right off them. Others like myself breastfeed and weight clings to their bodies. Well others lose weight initially just to have it come back on 6-8 months postpartum. There is no one set path or right answer. Our bodies have developed specific gut health unique to use, we had different labors and deliveries, and some breastfeed while others do not.

How do you embrace your journey?

How can each and everyone of us embrace the journey no matter if we feel embarrassed of our bodies at their current state? I also want to say that if you feel embarrassed it is okay. You don’t have to magically not feel that it is an emotion and some women feel it. Embrace that!

First give yourself time. In my head I wanted recovery and progress at the one year mark. Yes that might seem like a long time but that is realistic. You’re body can take up to a year to recovery post delivery. A year is practical not a 6 pack as you leave the hospital. Next make a plan. If you start to plan what you want your postpartum recovery to look like that will help you stay focused. Listen to your body during your workouts. Each week you will start to get stronger but listen does that plank feel good right now? Do you really feel fine after running? Notice changes that happen along the way. One thing I did mostly for motivation & content for instagram if I’m being real, was take pictures. I’m so glad I did now. I can see the difference and the women that follow me also have seen the change. That is what I enjoy its showing women there are many ways to reach your goals and feel confident that you will. I know easier said then done there were a few times I thought I was permanently stuck on the scale. I would also like to say I did use a scale to track my progress. I would do weekly sometimes twice a week check-ins. I’m back to my bi-weekly or monthly check-ins but I did need the scale as a tool. I wanted to see the progress. It is okay if you use it as motivation and not something your tying your self worth to through the process.

Wrapping it all up

Looking back when I said I was fine with my body after I had my son while still hoping to loose the last 40 pounds, I was lying. Deep down I wanted to lose those 40 pounds. I am more confident when I’m 40 pounds lighter. Again that might sound vain but I know many women feel this way. If that is something that is your goal don’t be afraid to share it and own it. When we feel good we are more confident and the more confident we are typically the happier we are as well. The happier mom is the happier the entire family is. Taking time to get your workouts in is not selfish it’s making you a happier mom in the end.

Hustle, Muscle & Flow Preview

To learn more about the upcoming Hustle, Muscle & Flow program that helped me lose 40 pounds, find myself again, and make time for myself the first year of motherhood.

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