Saturday, January 14, 2012

Five Reasons Not To Hate Your Post-Baby Body

Lately, I've been struggling with how I feel about my body.  I see pictures from my wedding day, and I'm tempted to compare my body now to my body then.  I've heard a lot of other moms say the same thing.  Many of us struggle with the temptation to resent the changes that are inevitable after having a baby (or two!).  But is it OK to feel that way? I don't really think so. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Hate it all you want- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even- and nothing will improve.  In fact, if you allow yourself to be disgusted with your body, you are setting yourself up to fail. Raise your hand if you tend to eat more when you're feeling down. Most of you? I thought so. Me too. Hating your body isn't just useless. it's counter-productive.

2. If you're like me, you've been looking for an inspiration to improve your health. Look at your body, and be thankful-  you've found your inspiration. Wanting to improve your body isn't the same as hating it; it's merely seeing potential when you look in the mirror. Capitalize on that, and instead of being upset with the way you are, be motivated to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Hating your body creates complacency.

3. There are plenty of women who have the bikini body you dream of having. It's easy to compare yourself and become jealous- even bitter- when you see their flat, defined stomachs. Remember that many of them only have those bodies because they've never had a chance to carry a baby. Many of them envy YOU. Hating your body can make you jealous and ungrateful - a toxic combo, if you ask me!

4. You may be less than impressed when you look at your body. Don't plenty of women have the ability to carry a child? Sure! But when your husband sees your body, he doesn't think about the other women who successfully carry babies; he is amazed, because you didn't just carry any baby, you carried HIS. The changes he sees just remind him of that. Don't confuse him by being overly critical of your body. Hating your body can cheapen the miracle you both experienced by bringing a child into the world.

5. Finally, look at your body. Take it all in- the stretch marks. The extra skin. The wider-than-ever hips. Look at your baby- you know, the one you'd give your life for.  Was it worth it? Was allowing your body to drastically change in order to accommodate the growth of those hands and feet and dimples worth it? If so, stop. Stop hating the marks on your body that prove that for 280 days (give or take a few!), you selflessly sacrificed in order to bring a brand new baby- YOUR baby- into the world. Those marks that you've been resenting are proof of how far you'd go to provide for your baby.  They literally mark the beginning of motherhood - the sweetest journey you'll ever take. You'll make plenty of sacrifices as a momma, and most of them will be well worth it, but don't sacrifice the joy of motherhood by hating your post-baby body.  That's one sacrifice that will only cause you regret.

Sarah Claire and Luke: The two reasons that my hips - and my heart- are so full! 

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. I just had a baby girl 3 months ago. I lost all the baby weight right away but my body still looks nothing like it did before! My daughter was so worth every stretch mark though!