September 6, 2010

fed up!

I occasionally visit the Babycenter boards to see what moms are talking about and to comment here and there on my experiences. Today I read a question about what you would change next time you were pregnant. I was surprised to see so many women talking about how they'd work out more and eat less to gain less weight during their pregnancy!

I'm SO sick of society's pressure on women to be skinny through their pregnancies, and then bounce right back after their baby is born. It's so unrealistic and it really takes the focus off of the important things. There are about 5% of people in this world who are just little to begin with, stay small during their pregnancy and can walk out of the hospital looking like they've never had a kid. All the rest of us don't have that reality. 

Even as someone who values my fitness and likes to work out, the last thing I was thinking about in the first few months after the boys were born was how much weight I'd gained and looking like my former self. Yes, there were a few times I looked at old pictures from a time when I thought I needed to be in better shape...and then laughed at myself because I looked damn good. But I was so focused on my babies I didn't really care what people thought of my body. I just gave birth to two beautiful, healthy little boys, I'm going to have a belly for awhile! That's how it's supposed to be!

And I STILL have a belly. I don't care. I have no motivation to look like I did before I was pregnant because my body has been through a war in the past year. It has battle scars and will slowly heal itself into a new version of me. Would I like to lose some weight? Heck yes I would. I'm working on it. My main motivation to lose weight is to fit into half the clothes in my closet that I can't wear still because of the extra pounds. I don't feel like buying a whole new wardrobe. Not because I feel like I need to look a certain way.

We all need to get over this stupid image we have in our heads of what we're supposed to look like. Stop comparing ourselves to others or even our former selves. After children, you have a new body and it's your responsibility to then make it the best it can be...a new version of best, not the old version. And if you feel like staring at those skinny girls who have huge boobs and tiny waists after kids, wishing your little heart out that you could look like them, go right ahead. Chances are, they're staring at somebody else, wishing they could change something about themselves, too.

9 comments:

  1. That's all part of why we don't "do" TV in our home. 2 boys are hard enough to raise. XO! :o)

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  2. That's so crazy, yes I don't like my body AFTER but during I am just trying to feed my self the healthiest way I can for my baby. Who cares if I gain weight. I am with you though, even afterwards you don't really have time to worry about yourself, your so focused on the baby (and you have 2!) that it doesn't even dawn on you. I am JUST starting to work on my fitness and my daughter is 16 months. Women these days are so concerned with celebs and vanity it's insane.

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  3. I have to admit that I had a lot of issues with my post-baby body. It took me up until a few months ago (my son is 17 months) to really start to let it sink in that I will never be who I was again (body wise). You have to realize what a miraculous thing your body had just been through, and that things aren't always going to go back into the right places. I think it is because I was relatively young (21) when I had my son, that I was so concerned with my body and getting back to how I was. But more than the weight gain I had a problem with my stretch marks. My husband had to tell me about a million times that they don't matter, and I still wouldn't listen to him and be insecure. I would see my sister or cousin or whoever that had babies about the same time as me and had no stretch marks, and I felt bad that I did, even though it's not my fault. All women have their own insecurities, and mine don't have to do with celebs so much as my own insecurities of myself.

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  4. i completely agree, mandey. unless there's some kind of health problem associated with a person gaining too much weight while pregnant - like me, for example, with gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia - people should worry less about the weight and worry more about having a healthy baby(babies). it irritates me to no end when women are talking about "bouncing back" with their bodies after pregnancy. i hate to break it to them, but most people won't be able to bounce back! i know from my own experience with twins, that i gained approx. 70 lbs while pregnant and lost about 30 naturally in the couple of weeks after giving birth and nursing. but shocker, taking care of two babies doesn't give you a lot of time to focus on taking care of yourself and those 30 lbs crept back on. weight has always been a struggle for me so i'm not really surprised but i don't blame my babies for that. the fact is, my priorities changed and my body is simply not number 1.

    would i like to be back to my pre-baby size? yes. but that's because i just don't feel good most days. i'm starting to exercise again to feel healthier, not because of an image that society has told me is "beautiful." i just wish more women could feel the same way.

    --alex

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  5. I get the point you are trying to make and I totally agree (basically) with what you are saying BUT I know that you can also that that logic, twist it ever so slightly and take it too far. I DID! I was all about eating whatever, because I was 'supposed' to gain weight, and having babies is a good excuse for packin on the pounds, I didn't worry what I looked like...With my second baby I ended up needing an emergancy c/s at 33 weeks because because of how unhealthy I was. Now, I'm not just over weight, but obeese working my butt off trying to get back to a healty weight so that I can try to have a third child without risking their life because of how unhealthy I am. It's a pretty crapy place to be, and I think If I had seen your post on baby center, I may ave said something similar. I get that YOUR point is more about self image, but I totally think it's importaint to care (at least a little) about your weight and how you look, or you just might let yourself get a little too unhealthy.

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  6. My point here isn't really that women shouldn't care how they look. Oh I definitely care how I look. I wouldn't have given myself a makeover last week if I didn't care. I wouldn't be training to run a marathon if I didn't care. Part of the reason I signed up for this was to get back into shape, lose weight. I ate tons of sweets and didn't care at all how much weight I gained while I was pregnant and still (6 mos pp) am 20lbs up from where I started.

    But in all reality, I'm tired of society caring so much about WEIGHT. WEIGHT is not a determiner of HEALTH and POSITIVE BODY IMAGE. I used to do health screenings on ppl in college and the skinny girls would come to me for body fat testing (in front of their friends) thinking they didn't have anything to hide. That they were skinny so they were healthy and obviously had low body fat. They'd come out with like 30% body fat and be surprised.

    Eating healthy in general is important for health. Weight will be all over the board and women of the same height will have different weights. What is important to focus on is how you feel about yourself no matter what the scale says.

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  7. AMEN!!!
    HEALTHY BABY/IES and HEALTHY MOM #1 priority...
    Hey!! How would you feel about linking this post up to my Awareness Wednesday Hop on Diamond Potential tomorrow?? Check it out and I hope you link up! ;D

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  8. Agreed!

    I get the whole 'unhappy in your skin' thing, I'm there myself but I also know that my value as a person does not rely on what number the scales spit back at me.

    Looking good in tight jeans shouldn't be the most important thing to someone, especially if they are caring for a new baby, adjusting to mamahood, etc!

    Great post x

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  9. It's so awesome to see someone say this! I definatly get caught up in all of the weight issues, but sometimes i have to wonder, if no one else made it out to be such a big deal, would I? I'm thinking probably not! I agree, Great post!

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