Body After Baby: Your Mindset Matters

body-after-baby-585Body after baby is possibly the touchiest subject for most mamas. It’s no secret that we gain weight during pregnancy; our bodies change and things shift. You know what I’m talking about. Body parts are seemingly no longer located in the domain they used to be in! Our bodies don’t feel like they belong to us; they become almost foreign — particularly during pregnancy and during the early postpartum days. It can be easy to fall into a rut of losing your identify — we become so-and-so’s mom rather than who we are.

My weight has been as evolving as a roller coaster at Great America. It’s had its ups, downs, turns and dips. I’ve tried every fad diet, weight-loss pill and have read every book that promises a quick fix. Through it all, I’ve learned that there’s no secret and no trick to weight-loss. After I had Evan, I quickly realized weight-loss doesn’t have to be difficult; you just have to be patient. What works for some doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s important is to focus on your emotional health while eating foods your body needs, not foods your body wants. Yes, there is a difference. You need healthy protein; you want a bag of Doritos. You need water to hydrate; you want that Diet Coke. You need healthy fat from avocado, but you want that cheesy hamburger. You see? Need versus want. It is of the utmost importance to have your mind in tune with your habits. Yes, we know our body has changed. But what we don’t realize is we tend to disconnect from ourselves as we put our everything into focusing on our new bundle.

Weight-loss is not easy. You’ve heard the saying, “It took nine months to gain the weight…” We focus so much on diet and exercise that much of our emotional health is neglected. I learned that once I learned to love me and focus on what my body did, I started to respect it more and my eating choices fell into place. I stopped pointing out my warrior marks (What? You call them stretch marks?) and started praising my body for its strength. For nine months, my body did more for me than I’ve ever done for it. Each day, actually, each minute, I built something amazing. Whether I was growing a limb or a major artery, my body was working overtime. It’s hard to acknowledge the work being done because at that time, it’s not tangible. We cannot see it working — there’s little proof on a daily basis. But oh my, when you hear that heart beat, you realize — I did that! I made that. My body worked every muscle, even ones I didn’t know it had, to give life to an innocent human. I created something no one else on this earth can. I made my little mister, and who can top that? Not one person in the world can make the boy I did. So the next time you look in the mirror with dismay, smile back at yourself and know that no one could bring your unique baby into the world except for you. The weight will come off once you smile and say, “Look what I did.”

Do you take the time to appreciate what you did? —Jennifer

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