My son is nine months old today and a lot of women consider this a landmark time in terms of losing baby weight. “It takes nine months to get there, give yourself nine months to get back.” I’ve heard this from many well-meaning trainers and other mothers.
The picture on the left is me just a few hours before I went into labour. The picture of me on the right is this morning, nine months later.
I’ll be honest, with my first two children I was at my pre-pregnancy weight within 4-6 months. With my third baby it’s taken me a full nine months and then some. I still have a few centimeters to go before I’ll be completely comfortable in my jeans. And as you all know I don’t own a scale anymore so I couldn’t tell you if I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight or not!
But that’s ok. In fact, it feels AMAZING that I had the patience to watch my body change so slowly. The difference between my first two pregnancies and this one is that losing my baby weight wasn’t my first priority. Breastfeeding, sleeping, taking care of my two older children were all higher up on the scale. I was pretty lucky with my first two babies in regards to sleep. My third was up every two hours for the first four months. Having a baby that doesn’t sleep well has been a very humbling experience for me. I “get it” now… When a new Mom tells me she isn’t getting any sleep I just want to wrap her in my arms and say “I know…”
The day Maria Kang’s “what’s your excuse” photo went viral on the the internet was a day I’ll remember forever because I CRACKED. I had a two month old baby, a one year old and a four year old and I was STRUGGLING. If she had been standing in the room asking me what my excuse was I would have beat her to a pulp. (And honestly, I’m NOT a violent person!!) Her photo represented all the pressure that I had been feeling for the last four years since becoming a Mom: to be perfect. Or at least appear perfect. Perfect children, perfect house, perfect marriage, perfect meals, perfect body. Who is actually able to hold this together while maintaining their sanity??? Not me. And I decided I wouldn’t be keeping up appearances anymore either. How freeing. #thanksforthatmaria #endrant
These past nine months have been a great lesson for me in learning what I really value and what I need in my life to be sane. The simple answer is moderation and balance. The woman you see in the “after” picture isn’t super lean or muscular but she IS a woman who is happy with herself. I was kind. I was gentle. I ate well, I exercised to take care of my body not punish it. I made goals based on pushing my body to it’s limits of strength, not it’s limits of leanness. I had a huge feeling of accomplishment last week as I lifted the most I ever have on an overhead press and a hip thrust. So empowering! A few years ago my “personal bests” were how low I could get the scale to read. Now the results I achieve are without using any extremes whatsoever. On my best week I manage to fit in three 40 minute workouts and no cardio outside of walking and playing with my children. No diet pills, no low calorie/low carb diets, no cleanses or fasts. When I found myself feeling negative about my body I’d quickly follow up with three things that I LOVE about my body. #winning
It doesn’t matter if it takes you nine months or nine years, the point is to make progress. Balance and moderation are hard concepts to adopt after spending years believing you must be “hard core” or feeling guilty for every spoonful of ice cream that passes your lips. When you are kind to yourself, when you appreciate your body for what it’s given you, when you get out there and enjoy your LIFE! – I believe that anyone can get there.
If you made it to the end of this post – thanks for hanging in there! Last but not least… Thanks Mamas, for all your support on this journey I’ve been on. I couldn’t have done it without you!!