Thursday, December 4, 2014

{On Loving My Post-Partum Body}

As crazy as it is to believe, this Saturday I will be eight weeks post-partum with our sweet Julia. Truth be told, this is such a hard stage for me, I mean I feel great, life has gone back to business as usual and we're slowly finding our new groove as a family of four. But despite feeling like myself physically, my jeans do not want to button, most of my wardrobe is still snug and I still have almost twenty pounds to lose. I seriously wonder how that is possible, given that I have got to be burning a million calories a day just keeping up with my little ones milk demands! But alas, the scale doesn't lie. Being that this isn't my first rodeo, I know that with time, a good diet and some hard work, I will get back into my old jeans, but in the meantime I am working on loving my body right now, during the process. So I decided to put some of my thoughts in writing, to serve as a reminder to myself on the inevitable hard days ahead when I need a little pep talk.

While getting ready today I hopped on the scale, only to be disappointed at this seemingly slow process of getting back to my pre-baby weight. But as she usually is, my three year old shadow was not far away, serving as a reminder to keep my negative thoughts about my body to myself. It's funny isn't it, how kids make us so aware of the words that come out of our mouths?! Instead of what I wanted to say, which was something about my tummy still being soft, I looked at Claire, who was watching me and delights in the fact that our bodies are so alike, and said, "Isn't Mommy's body beautiful?!" Of course, she excitedly agreed and added, "Mine is, too!". In our short conversation I went on to tell her that not only were our bodies beautiful, but they were strong and capable and that Mommy was so grateful for the way my body had carried and nurtured her and her sister. I believe there is power in the whole "Fake it 'til you make it" because I can honestly say that just that few moments of gratitude toward my body and what it's blessed me with, gave me new grace toward myself in that moment.

This got me thinking about what a little mini-me Claire has become. She is certainly an independent little girl with her own ideas and opinions, yet it amazes me how many times a day I hear her repeat the things I say. All I have to do is watch her play mommy to her baby dolls for a few minutes and it's clear that she's taking her cues from me. Given that I will be one of the most influential people in their lives for the next several years, I am faced with the responsibility to set a positive example of the qualities I desire my daughters to possess. And what I want is to raise strong, confident, gracious young women with a healthy body image.

So going forward, I will be more gracious to myself, remembering that my body allowed me to grow and birth two beautiful baby girls! I will be more patient and not expect to lose all of the baby weight in an unrealistic time frame. It will take time and hard work, but I will get there. I will remember to eat for nourishment and exercise for enjoyment. And lastly, I will continue striving to be a strong, healthy example to my girls, remembering that the scale doesn't give the whole picture.

These sweet babies will my motivation!

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