Day 25

Good news! I feel a little better today! I guess a 9:30 bedtime really does a body good. Still not 100%, but getting there. 

I want to get a little real for a minute. Or maybe two minutes, depending on how fast you read. 

Apparently I am the type of person who gains a lot of weight being pregnant. It just happens. For both pregnancies I felt so ashamed because of the pressures of social media and the women who don't even gain an ounce. It took me forever to realize, they are not normal. They literally are not the norm. The norm, IS weight gain. It happens because pregnancy sucks. Bad. But no one shares their soft, post-baby bodies online. Only the small, perfect few do, which makes the rest of the world think it's normal. It's not.

Because of my normal pregnancies, I had some weight to lose after my girls. Round 1 I only had 20 extra pounds to lose but ended up losing 39 lbs total. This wasn't healthy, however. Yes, I was exercising and running a lot but I was on medications that weren't the correct dosages nor were they terribly safe for me. I saw a doctor because I wasn't able to lose any weight after K, and he diagnosed me with thyroid problems and threw a bunch of medication at me and I didn't question a thing about it. After seeing an endocrinologist I was able to get everything worked out. 

After B, I had double the weight to lose; 40 freaking pounds. I've never shared this photo with anyone, but this was taken 10 days after she was born. This is a real post-baby body.  
I wasn't obese or disgusting, but I definitely had my work cut out for me. That beautiful little girl in Cory's arms was worth every horrible second of pregnancy. 

Anywho, B recently turned 13 months, so I've been trying to lose the baby weight for a year now. I've lost 35 of the 40 pounds, and after 6 months of trying for the last 5, I have decided the extra weight is because of gained muscle. I am a lot stronger now than I ever was after Kennedy. With a lot of hard work, I've come back from the norm. 

Now, why on earth am I sharing this with you? I'm sharing it because I want a real story out there of what life after a baby is like and that getting back into shape is possible and takes time. I want the 90% of moms who did gain weight during pregnancy to feel like they're not alone, and it is ok, and it happens, and that with hard work and consistency, you too can get your body back. I want people to know it took months and months to get back into shape. It didn't happen overnight or even with a few weeks. So don't give up or feel like you're "doomed." I want people to know how different our bodies can be after each baby and how the changes are good things and opportunities to grow. And most of all, I want moms to toss the feelings of shame aside. I once knew a girl who made fun of her sister in law behind her back for "still looking pregnant" a couple weeks after giving birth. This was coming from a person who had never had a baby at the time. That kind of crap is not ok. 

Embrace the post-baby body. It means you were selfless. It means you grew an entire human. It means that for a short time, you might look different, but you get to experience joy and love like you've never encountered, for a lifetime (and beyond) being a mother to the human you grew. It means you're a fighter, because pregnancy ain't easy my friends! It takes tough women to do that crap. 

Please, please, please don't let the Internet or rude, insecure people make you feel less than you are because you aren't a size 2. Who the heck cares?! If having the perfect body is a requirement to be friends with someone, then walk away! A girl can be physically gorgeous and as fit as can be, but if she's insecure and mean to others, she's not a beautiful person. You were not put on this earth to have a six-pack or a thigh gap. Nor is your self-worth based on how many other girls envy you. 

So to all you mothers out there (or anyone for that matter) who are feeling down and being hard on yourself, lift your head up high. You participated in the noblest calling on this earth; motherhood. Pregnancy is a battle, and each battle leaves its marks. But that doesn't mean you can't come back from them. It doesn't mean you'll never be in shape again. And a change on the outside certainly doesn't change who you are on the inside. That's what people notice most. I've never become friends with someone because they had a 6-pack. I became friends with others because they're caring and fun, and beautiful on the inside.

Oh, and one more thing: this is NOT healthy:
Nor is it really achievable without genetics or anorexia. 

Ok, I'd probably better stop myself right there because I could talk about this all day. Just be nice to yourself, mmmkay? 


Amy said...

This has been running through my head a lot. You made me teary. Amen! Pregnancy is not a cakewalk!

Liv said...

On a bit of the flip side, I've had a hard time explaining myself to others when they comment on how much weight I lost after my second pregnancy. I'm not actually toned up and as strong as I was before my son was born, but I weigh less.

After a year of defending myself, I've finally given up. I just smile when people comment on my size. I'm sorry I've spent over a year bouncing and holding a gigantic baby, with little sleep, which has resulted in me losing a lot of weight. I feel like it's a trade off for me- I had a horrible pregnancy full of barfing for nine months, I had a colicky baby who still doesn't sleep well, and instead keeps me awake until I feel I might die. But at least I fit into all my clothes.

Sometimes I think I'd rather sleep than look skinny ;)