I decided to try on my old (and I mean old) dress pants from my pre-pregnancy teaching days. Not a good idea. Sure, I was able to zip them up, but they definitely don’t fit the way they used to. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. That was depressing.
I immediately began to feel bad about myself. My daughter is over a year old and I am not back to my original size and shape. I am sad that I have piles of clothes that still fit, but really don’t fit me anymore. How long will I beat myself up for this? How many times does my husband need to tell me that I look amazing?
Prior to becoming pregnant and throughout my pregnancy, I was at the gym four to six times a week working out. I did indoor cycling classes, other forms of cardio and free weights. I also had a heck of a lot more free time. I was in pretty amazing shape and was confident that it would be a breeze to return to my original size. I had no idea the challenges I would face trying to find time and energy for me to exercise, to hit the gym, to go to yoga or even go for a jog.
What I need to realize is that my expectations must change. My life is different now and so is my post-baby body. I am a busy, dedicated mom, running my own business. I cannot go to the gym every day for hours at a time and my body may never be the way it was. Is that really so horrible? I need to accept who I am now, body and all.
After mentally kicking my own butt last night I was thinking, “What kind of message am I sending to my daughter?” I tell her all the time how strong, smart, funny, kind, and beautiful she is. She needs to know that I feel the same way about myself and that my size and shape do not define who I am. I eat well and have become much stronger than before through Hot Flow classes at Yogalife. I even made a breakthrough yesterday and am now able to flow properly through Chaturanga Dandasana!!!
Moms are busy. We have more on our plates than ever before. What is important is not that we fit into our old skinny jeans or tight tanks, but that we are taking excellent care of ourselves. Are you taking time for just you to go for a run, walk, bike or to the gym or a yoga class? Do you go for regular massages and have your hair done? We work so incredibly hard every day, we need and deserve time for ourselves.
So let’s take a pledge. I pledge to be the best role model that I can for my daughter. I will not make negative remarks about my body. I will model healthy eating and a healthy active lifestyle. I will show her that I am a strong confident woman. After all, she loves me just the way I am.
Be gentle with yourself. For through your child’s eyes, you are perfect.