That image you see, is a throwback photo from 2010. Don’t ask me why, but I still have those jeggings and that top. 8 years and two kids later, I definitely cannot fit into either of them. Also, as of today, I am no longer ashamed to say, I am still not back to this pre-kids figure. When I say it has been a struggle, know that I mean it! In this social media age, so many moms are sharing their pregnancy, delivery room, and post baby photos. I joined in on sharing the pregnancy photos, whenever I could remember. I opted-out of sharing delivery room photos, because that was just private to me. As for the post-baby photos, I was so unhappy with the way I looked, I opted out of sharing too many of those; especially full body. My Confession: I am one of those women that just didn’t snap back. I may have lost the weight, in number, but this baby stomach of mine has been around now for 3+ years and just won’t let me be great.
Just looking at me, you might not see my bulging stomach, because …well...high waisted pants and skin tight under-tanks hide a whole lot., haha. But the truth is, up under my wardrobe strategies, I have had this “baby fat” that has weighed on my self-esteem since the moment I realized I wasn’t going to just “snap back”. I am thinking back to all the “girl you look so good” and “you don’t even look like you just had a baby” comments. If only those people knew I was faking the funk. Of course, I no longer looked 9 months pregnant, but what onlookers didn’t know is that I could still pass for at least 4 months pregnant, even over a year after giving birth. No lie!
I share all this just to be real. The snap back is not reality for every mama. It surely wasn’t for me. I have tried to “embrace my new normal” and all that, but I was still not happy with my body. I have worked hard to get rid of this stomach and thankfully, now that I am committed to intermittent fasting (ask me about that) I am starting to see results and feel so much better about myself. However, this post is about more than just a method that is finally working for me. This post is to encourage other mamas who may be struggling with the way their post-baby body looks. I will be the first to tell you, DON’T JUST ACCEPT IT! I am positive that trying to “just accept it” is why I hit a plateau in my fitness goals and eventually started gaining more weight. I figured that I could just continue to blame the kids for not letting my body be great. Then one day I started to realize how much my physical body was emotionally affecting me. I knew I needed to get my life! The fact that I no longer want to just “accept it” has fueled me and pushed me to get back in the gym and keep at it. These tiger marks on my stomach may be here to stay (unless you know of a way to nix them), but the excess fat around my stomach (and on the rest of my body) has got to go and I will work until I am satisfied!
The thing is, yes, it’s wonderful to have encouragement from others, especially other mothers, who may tell you that you look good, but you have to feel good for yourself. You have to look in that mirror and be satisfied with what you see or do what you can to change it! The most important part is remembering the change is for you…not for anyone else. I personally have had to learn that my body is unlike any other woman or mother. I had to come to the realization that I cannot try to achieve the same body as anyone else. It was so tough to see all the other moms that have a child and are back to washboard abs the next week. I literally had to coach myself into realizing that I just wasn't going to be part of that club (not that I ever had washboard abs, but you get the point). They always say comparison is the killer to happiness and that couldn't be more true. I literally had to stop wishing I had another woman's body and start working on my own, without comparison. This honestly puts me in a much happier space because I am only "competing" against my old self. I am so thankful to finally be at this point and excited to continue in my fitness journey!