A segment on the channel 7 program Sunday Night once again brought up the debate on Mothers having to lose their baby weight fast once giving birth. This one resonates with me personally at the moment having given birth to my third child only 7 weeks ago. And as a personal trainer and nutritionist myself I still find this a completely frustrating topic.
There is no doubt immense pressure on mothers to get back to that “perfect” body to fit into society and be accepted. You just need to read the latest Women’s Weekly article or celebrity social media post to see how quickly so and so got her beach body back for the next role and everyone is praising them. However, we never talk about the amazing thing many women’s bodies have been given the absolute privilege to do and that is to create a human being. To the fellow Mum’s out there, when was the last time you looked in the mirror and instead of maybe shaming yourself did you actually look at yourself and say “Far out this body made that miracle”. I still look at my children, and obviously more recently my third child and can’t get over the fact that my body made her, I provided her food and shelter for 9 months and now I am incredibly lucky to have 3 adorable children (ha not always adorable, can drive insane) in my world. Sure, as a fitness trainer I also think about how I will get back into the exercise regime for my health and the health of my children as I want them to understand that healthy living is a lifestyle choice and not a chore.
But before I do that I also understand that everyone is different and there is not one perfect body that fits all. After having my first child I will admit it was a lot easier to get my pre-baby body back. However, I had 1 child which meant I had time to run our business in between naps and exercise with her in the pram and when hubby got home I would get out for some “me” time and go for that run. I would be lying too if I didn’t If I didn’t admit to feeling the pressure of getting back into shape being a fitness trainer. My clients didn’t put this pressure on me but society did. It made me think my clients would judge me if I didn’t head back to work looking fit and healthy, perhaps head elsewhere if I didn’t look like I had it all together after having a baby. However, second time around I forgot all of this and it became harder to get back into the regime, hubby worked more, my children never slept and life got a whole lot foggier! Third time around, I expect it will be even harder but when I am ready I will up my regime, set a goal and give my self time to achieve that goal, not an unrealistic time frame and I will not measure it by the number on the scales. I won’t let anyone this time make me feel I have a time limit on these things.
As new mums and mums of many children, we also need support. First time mums definitely need this to understand what the hell they got themselves into but mums of many children need this support too! And as Mums we don’t need to be shaming each other and comparing ourselves when it comes to health and fitness, to other mums. Everyone else leads very different lives too, some many have more support than others which leads to less time for “YOU” which can really impact your road to getting back on track. I do find it hard to follow some of the mum forums that I do asking “how do I lose this baby weight?” “what diet worked for you” and the lists of names and programs that appear are endless. Funnily enough when you offer practical sustainable advice it is not as well received as that “QUICK FIX”.
We need to remember that to feel comfortable in our own skin again after having a baby takes time, patience and acceptance. Your body will always be different to what it once was but with some commitment (whatever that looks like in between sleepless nights, unsettled days and tantrums) YOU WILL GET THERE!!! But you also need to enjoy life, enjoy the little humans you’ve created, ask for help and accept that you will get there it will just take time.