What’s your post-natal body perception?

Saggy skin. Belly pooch. Stretch Marks. Leaking.
Did any of you moms just shudder? Cringe? I feel you.

Why do so many of us want to erase the marks of a pregnancy? I know I struggled with it. I have stretchmarks where I didn’t before. I have a little belly now that I never did before. My bellybutton even looks weird, for crying out loud!

Where does this warped perception come from? We’re surrounded by this celeb or that who have melted away the pounds. Other postnatal moms who have 4 perfect kids, cook 3 course meals from scratch every day, have impeccably kept houses, and look like models. Or people in our lives who expect us to get back to how we looked before.

And to be honest, many of us will never get there.

Let me clarify something first. I’m NOT saying you won’t ever be able to get a flat stomach back. I am NOT saying you can’t make fitness a central part of your life. I’m NOT saying you can’t get to a healthy weight, and build muscle. I’m NOT saying you can’t love yourself.

What I AM saying, is you need to take a look at yourself, and realize that you are TRULY and THOROUGHLY BEAUTIFUL.

If you’re a mom who has struggled to fully believe that sentence, hop on into my boat. Let’s float and talk about some mental shifts that I know were crucial for me to shift my perceptions.

1. Pokemon had some things right

Do you remember/have you heard of Pokemon? It’s an awesome game/TV show that was a big part of the 90’s generation, and still is! One of the concepts of Pokemon is the evolution from a beginner Pokemon to a more powerful one.
You’ll have a pretty awesome little Pokemon that goes through an incredible transformation, and becomes something even more INCREDIBLE!

That’s what our bodies have done! You have gone from being awesome, to evolving into something more!
You, 2.0. Still you, and yet more powerful. So celebrate your changes!

2.You have superpowers.

#mompower #joinedtheclub

Your body has gone through incredible transformations to GROW. A. HUMAN. BEING.

That is something that every mom should be incredibly proud of. It is something that still holds medical mysteries, and yet the most natural things our bodies were designed for.

 

3. Where does your beauty lie?

Photo: Jade Beall

Perceptions develop beliefs. Beliefs grow into attitude, and attitude into ACTION!

When you work to perceive yourself as beautiful, not for the beauty some beauty product CEO wants you to want, but true beauty, celebrating who you are and the life you have grown, you will start to believe in your own beauty. That, in turn, will affect your attitude, and your motivations for taking steps to be fit, active, and be the best you you can possibly be. You’re incredibly human, who has scars and marks with stories to tell.

Why does all this matter you may ask? (and you should be asking)

Research has shown that people who have low self-worth (i.e., self-doubt, insecure, negative self talk) and poor body image are more likely to drop out of an exercise program they start (regardless of how psyched and motivated they were to start!) (Huberty et al., 2008).

I wanted to make sure we cover the most important thing before delving into the nitty gritty of post-natal rehab and fitness. Your belief in yourself.

So where do we go from here?

  1. If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to comment below! What are some things you’ve struggled with? What has been one of the biggest paradigm shifts you went through after your bundle of joy entered the world?
  2. If you’re interested in learning more about post-pregnancy fitness (for any and all moms), join us here at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. for our mom’s fitness program! If you missed the start of our recent one, we’ll be running another one as soon as that one is done! There’s awesome content, fantastic moms, some delicious snacks (and recipes!) at the weekly mom coffee time, and exercise!
  3. Give us a shout if you have any questions or want to know more!

So take the time, fellow mom, to know that you are stunning, and that your journey of getting active and healthy (physically and mentally) begins with you.

Until next time!

*Disclaimer: Please, if you have medical issues such a diastasis recti, prolapse, or incontinence, consult a medical professional (your family doctor, midwife/doula, or pelvic floor specialist) to get treatment.

Huberty, J.L., et al. (2008). Explaining long-term exercise adherence in women who complete a structured exercise program. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79(3), 374-384.

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