The Post-Baby Body

I often wonder where the question “do you plan on getting your body back?” for post-partum women came from.  It just sounds a little ridiculous.  When I hear it, I think to myself Where did my body go?  It makes it sounds like growing and giving birth to a child meant the death of my body, when in fact, it was more like an empowerment to my body.

Honestly, I get what people are trying to say.  It was developed to be a less harsh version (if that’s even possible) of “Are you going to figure out a way to get your body to look like it did pre-pregnancy?”

For me, there is no such thing as “getting your body back” after pregnancy.  My body will never look and function like it did pre-pregnancy.  The way I see it, it just doesn’t work that way.  If you inflate a balloon the largest it can inflate, it’s not going to look exactly the same after you deflate it no matter what you do (well, short of surgery, anyway).  Funny thing is, I don’t even have a problem with it.  A freakin’ miracle happened in this body, and I am damn proud.The reality here is not whether or not I should aim to “get my body back,” but whether or not I’m going to take care of my body after pregnancy.  Let’s face it.  The extra weight is not meant to stay there.  What I believe I – and all women – can do, is continue to empower ourselves and move forward by getting our bodies in the best possible shape for our health, and therefore, our new family.  Maybe the more appropriate thing is not a question at all, but more of a statement of “Make sure to make time to take care of yourself.”  I know I would appreciate that sentiment significantly more than “Do you plan to get your body back?”

I’ve always been petite and at a healthy weight.  Before pregnancy, I was able to do decent push-ups and maintained some core strength.  I ran here and there.  I just got myself to the point of what I felt was “enough” for me at the time.  I knew it wasn’t the best I could be, but it was enough.

Life after baby has got me thinking a lot.  I now want to be even healthier than I was pre-pregnancy to offer the best for my boys.  I’ve tried to start working out regularly over and over again, but with so much more to maintain in the home and work being so overwhelming, I found myself not working out for months.  Every month that passed, I continued to feel the guilt.  I continued to feel more tired and less efficient.  By chance, after a day of finally working out, I bumped into the IG account of the beautiful Katrina.  I casually commented on how a post of her working out was inspiring to me, and a few days later she invited anyone interested to be a part of an accountability group.  My introvert self was scared to death of joining a group of strangers and letting them see my fitness journey, but that quote of “Do something every day that scares you” ran through my head.  So, I messaged her.  Doing this on my own wasn’t working, so I had to try.It’s only been about 2 weeks of more consistent workouts now, and I feel healthier.  I feel more energetic.  I feel stronger.  I feel like the list of things to-do in my head are a bit clearer now (albeit, I hardly ever get through everything on the list when I want to).  Most of all, I feel more empowered.  There is something oddly amazing when you take just 30 minutes to take care of yourself – separating yourself from everything in the world that has been stressing you out – and just maintaining your own personal health.  It even has me eating healthier again like I did when I was still breastfeeding (I went down a slippery slope of eating junk afterwards, but that’s another story).  This accountability group of amazingly diverse and supportive women has made such a difference.  I’m excited to see where this all takes us long-term.

So, no.  I don’t plan on getting my body back (seriously, did it run off somewhere?).  I want to be healthier than I was before I had a child. Why?  I want the strength and the energy to keep up… and then some. I want to do everything I want to do for my family and still have energy to do everything I want to do for me.   So, that’s just what I’m going to do.

Do what it takes to get you where you need to be with your health, and find no excuses to wait for tomorrow. Health truly is wealth.

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. – Joyce Meyer
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