Self-Confidence: Loving Your Post-Baby Body

Before I became pregnant with my son, I had sort of let myself go. My husband and I had moved around, were far from our families and food was always a familiar source of comfort. I've always hated exercising, but loved walking. Except you can't walk very far in the cold and long Alberta winters. Winter. Yet another reason to indulge in warm cookies and hot chocolate. But you get the idea. I had never had a very positive body image and struggled with eating disorders as a teenager. Then I got pregnant and was so focused on doing what was right for my baby that I ate healthier than ever. I enjoyed it. I wasn't thinking of my body in a negative way anymore. For the first time in my life, I actually loved my body, for what it was able to do. I made peace with it. I didn't love the water weight and the cellulite, but I couldn't hate it anymore. I loved my round stomach and felt good

Then I had my baby and was still completely at peace with my body. I wanted to give it time to get back to normal. Except I didn't really know what normal was anymore. Nevertheless, I had no goal in mind. My whole being was consumed with motherhood and taking care of my son. It's all I cared about and my body was the least of my concerns. The weight came off fast. Within the first 2 weeks I had lost all the pregnancy weight. I still felt flabby and not pretty, since nothing fit and my new shape was unfamiliar. Feeling beautiful is not easy when you wear leggings and breastfeeding tops everyday. 

But as time went by, and without even trying, the weight continued to come off. I was breastfeeding, and I suppose that may have helped. But mostly I was busier, more active, and happier. 

I am now almost two years post-partum, and my weight has stabilized. I gained a few pounds back when I stopped breastfeeding after a year, but nothing major. My weight still fluctuates a little and the insecurities and bad thoughts sometimes come back when I indulge (I can't say no. Ever.). But I am still busier, happier and thus, thinner. 

Loving your body after having a baby is not just about losing the extra pounds or the flab. It's a process. Yes, it helps if the weight comes off. Of course. No woman I know likes extra, unnecessary jiggle. And if they do, more power to them! But it's also about reclaiming your body as yours.  For nine months, you have the responsibility of another life inside of you. And then comes the breastfeeding, if you choose to do it, which, while wonderful, basically makes you a feeding machine. Getting your body back doesn't just happen at the gym. It happens in your head,  in your skin, in your bed with your partner. Those new hips, veiny breasts, saggy tummy, toned arms. They are yours. They are your new body, and getting acquainted will take time. You will mourn your old body. And it will continue to change, but slowly, you will start to recognize it in the mirror again. 

Here are a few tips I'd give any new mama when it comes to loving their bodies. 

✦ Take time for yourself: take a bath, pamper yourself, shave your legs, use a nice and luxurious body  cream

✦ Take care of yourself: try and eat healthy as much as possible, go to the dentist, get a checkup a the doctor's (notice the mole and the scar on my shoulder? one mole was removed earlier this year and the bigger mole will be removed by a plastic surgeon in December. Taking care of yourself also means making sure you take care of your health)

✦ Stay active: whether you take a walk with the stroller, go for a bike ride or do yoga in your basement, keeping active will make your mind and body feel better - as long as you know when to rest, too

✦ Don't hide: don't hide under baggy clothes or run in the closet to remove your clothes before bed. You shouldn't be ashamed of your body. You gave birth, there is so much to be proud of

✦ Treat yourself: while I don't recommend buying a whole new wardrobe until your weight has stabilized a bit, buying a few items that make you feel good is important. New underwear can make you feel sexy and comfortable. For this occasion, I am giving away a Wonderbra bra & matching underwear to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below with your email address. For more chances to win, head over to my Instagram and Facebook page. 

I chose not to edit the photos, because this is about self-confidence after all. Also, never would I have ever thought I would one day post pictures of myself in a bra on the internet. Please, be kind)


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