We all worry about how our body is going to change when we have children. I was one of these women who had a flat stomach and was never really “big”, until I had my daughter.
Everyone has a different perspective on what their body should be for their confidence and what constitutes as “big” or “small” for ourselves. For me my perfect weight was where I was just before falling pregnant with my baby, and the size I reached after having her which lasted for just over a year.
Situations change and therefore our eating habits and exercise habits differ aswell. This can cause weight changes, along with hormones and the like. I went onto a different kind of contraception which really helped me out with my periods (I suffered really bad), but with the pros came the cons, and whilst at the time I didn’t think much of it I have noticed a huge change in my weight.
As someone who has always been quite conscious of my weight and body seeing myself put weight on has been incredibly hard for me. What doesn’t really help is others noticing and talking to me about it.
I’ve had people asking me if I’m pregnant, to which the answer is NO, and that really hurts. I have spent time in my life looking at women wondering if they are pregnant or not, and not wanting to ask them through fear of upsetting them, and yet some people are brazen enough to actually ask without thinking about how it might affect someone.
Hearing your own family and friends talking about your weight gain is incredibly hard. You see the way they look and judge you, and you see the way they are whispering in the corner as they don’t want to talk to you about their speculations.
I’m not very happy with my weight gain, but that doesn’t mean that I need to do something about it. When I look at old photos of myself and how I used to be I can see that I didn’t look very healthy at all. This weight gain is a good thing for me. I am at a point now where I am not putting anymore on, and it doesn’t seem to be fluctuating which means it must be a healthy weight for me.
I don’t weigh myself.
If I was to jump on the bathroom scales and weigh myself I know that I would go over the top to reduce my weight. I would rather be healthy and slightly larger (no matter how long it takes me to embrace and like my body) than being under weight and looking unwell.
When I was at my smallest I barely ate. In all honesty I was exercising heavily and eating very little. This is the worst thing you can do to survive, it’s not a good way to diet and lose weight, and it certainly isn’t healthy. This is why I refuse to weigh myself, as I do not want to go back to a time when I had hardly any energy, and was over working my body.
Mum Bod Changes
When I was pregnant with my daughter I was bordering onto a UK size 8, by the time she was born I was fitting into size 12/14 clothes. My stomach is covered in stretch marks and bumps from where it was stretched so much by my baby, and I have never really liked it since.
As the stretch marks begin to fade I have been becoming more accustomed to my new tummy, there has always been a little bit of a “mum pouch” since giving birth, and I guess it will always be there. You can’t have a child without sacrificing something. For me it was my stomach.
My breasts have enlarged massively, I breast fed my daughter and whilst I was breastfeeding they were huge. Since weening little one off they have never gone back to their original size, and with the hormones I am on, it looks like I’ve had a boob job! This is a part of my Mom Bod which I absolutely love, I have never really had big breasts so this is one change that I really am embracing.
How I am remaining Healthy
This bit is the challenge that I face everyday. When I am at work it is very easy to skip a meal or eat something that I really shouldn’t (I work in a corner shop so temptations are everywhere). I have had to make sure that when I go to work I don’t bring any money with me at all. I have not linked my bankcard to my phone for this reason, as I cannot risk me buying sweets, chocolate and crisps just because of boredom or feeling a little peckish.
Instead I have a cooked meal before my afternoon-evening shift, and I will bring some fruit with me for the early morning shift, and use my 20min break to go home and get something more substantial for my breakfast. I will have Lunch after my shift has finished.
I attempt to work out each morning for at least 10-15mins a day. I usually do a Pilates or Barre work out alternating, this keeps my mind sharp and my body buff.
We go for a daily walk no matter what the weather. I will take my little one out for a little walk to the woods which is just behind our house, or round by the river for something a bit different. We explore our surroundings to keep us from going stir-crazy and from cabin fever kicking in. These walks are a bit of a mental refresh for me, I can clear my mind of everything and just enjoy nature with my little one. At this time of year we collect leaves, sticks, Conkers, Pinecones, Acorns and anything else we can find.
Plus the woods just look wonderful at this time of the year, and are so inspirational for the writer within me.
Healthy eating is also very important for me, I create meal plans for each week and stick to them. This allows me to keep the cost of food down and to ensure that we are having healthy, nutritional meals every day. I get Isabelle to help me choose our meals for the week by showing her pictures from my recipe books or giving her a choice of meals she knows well. Plus with her helping me choose for the week she is guaranteed to eat her dinner.
Learning to love yourself
Every mum has had a new body since having their children. Whether you are a mum of 1, 2, 3 or 20 your body will never look the same as it did before children.
We will all have things that we absolutely love and things which we absolutely hate as our bodies change. And the number 1 thing we all need to remember is that our bodies are constantly changing. They are different year to year, whether it is through weight gain, weight loss, childbirth, or anything else, our bodies show everything that we have been through, and that’s what makes us extra special.
It is down to us to learn to love our bodies as they change, as without our own personal love it will be hard for others to love you. Cliched I know. But it is very true. It takes time and a little work for us to get there but when you do your confidence will radiate and you will look and feel so much better for it.
Stay strong ladies we are all in this together, our bodies change but that doesn’t have to change who we are.