I've got a winter baby, and I remember thinking at some point: "By summer, I'll have my body back." But wait a minute, my body didn't go anywhere, right? It was different, thanks to the simple fact that it was growing my beautiful baby girl for 41 weeks+5 days. So why would I want to have my pre-baby body back in the first place?
I've always had body image issues since my late teen years that lead to eating disorders until my mid-twenties. I was "big hips and butt" when I was dancing, and years later, I was "the skinny" when I went into fitness. Never "fitting in" apparently. All that history didn't help by the time my baby was a few months, and it was summer season again. It didn't help either, scrolling on social media and seeing these lovely new mummas, looking smoking hot only after one month of having their babies. I don't know how they did it, and frankly, it doesn't matter anymore. My hips and waist got wider, my cellulite multiplied like mosquitos after a rainy week, my tummy was covered in loose skin that I'd hate so much for so long and my back also widen to match my new size of hips. This last change I don't complain about though, but I felt like what I was seeing in the mirror, wasn't me. Or at least it wasn't what I wanted to see.
Well...it turns out that Mums change at a cellular level. Yes, you've read that right. We are not exactly the same after having children. Researches show that baby's cells can remain in our bodies for almost 40 years and they don't just stay in the uterus but move throughout our bodies, having an impact even to our brains Read article here So again, it needs to be asked; why would we want our pre-baby body if we are not the same at a deeper level? It took me a long time to understand with lots of work on myself, hours of positive self-talk, more and more reading and heaps of learning about post-baby bodies to finally love me, this new me, again.
Let me say something about myself that I haven't mentioned; I used to freaking love myself, a bit too much for some people. And there I was after having a baby, a healthy and happy baby, without finding beautiful things to say and see about my body.
About two years ago, I was sitting in the bathroom doing my little girl's hair and she noticed my tummy skin. She was fascinated; pulling it up and down, from side to side. It was all laughs and giggles for her. I wasn't happy at all! As a matter of fact, I asked her at some point to please look awayso I could finish drying her hair; all an excuse, so she stopped playing with my loose skin. It took a while, but now when she plays with my skin, we both laugh. That skin is my reminder of how magical my body is. It was capable of growing my baby girl!
After all that reading, thinking, and my own motherhood journey, I noticed that it is not about how I look, it is about what my body can do. Yes, my hips are wider, and my waist not that small, but I'm stronger, healthier and I have a little girl that looks up to me. I want to teach her that a Mumma's body is a beautiful thing and not something to be ashamed of. If you've got this far, thank you!
Please take this as a friendly reminder to love your body at every stage of your motherhood journey.. it will constantly evolve and change and i know this is something I have to appreciate also.
If you've been following our #nomoreprebabybody campaign that the Body Beyond Baby Affiliate Team is running, you'd know we can't do this alone; we need YOU!
So today - we are asking fellow mums to support this push-back, to join our mission:
Take a photograph of YOURSELF in BRIGHTLY coloured activewear, swimwear or underwear with the #nomoreprebabybody hashtag written on you, your clothing or the image, tag Body Beyond Baby and share with us so YOU can be represented too and so more and more women can see that no one size fits all and we are all BRAVE and STRONG and we are ENOUGH.
We are all in this together, and together we can create real change.
My squishy tummy gave me a game to play with my little girl.