HA HA HA TRAPPED YAAAAAA!!!
If you clicked this, then you're like me - struggling to make sense of your "mom bod". (Doesn't have the same appeal as dad bod huh?!) Anyway, it's that time of year we’re thinking about our goals for the New Year and body goals are at the top of that list! (Maybe not number 1 but for sure top 3)
If you're like me then you've probably struggled with your self-esteem throughout your life. I’m the oldest child/grandchild - a high-functioning/achieving black girl, so naturally, when I became a new mom my "snap back goals” were ever present in my mind. My pre-pregnancy body (minus the new boobs) has been on my vision board since BEFORE my daughter even let out her first breath! Within a week of delivery, Janelle was accompanying me on my outdoor walks. I mean she needed fresh air too, right?!
I was pumped! I'd been cleared by my pelvic floor therapist (Yes, you need one because no, you shouldn't be leaking - at all - under any circumstance). I was even back working out at OrangeTheory. Everything was on track until I stepped on the scale. I was so frustrated. I talked to my therapist and told her how post-partum depression was weighing on me BUT (in my true over-achieving way) I was determined! I told her about my new trainer and the calorie deficit/intermittent fasting that awaited me. I kept waiting for her face to light up and when she finally spoke, she said:
“It's a lot easier to change something from a place of love
than a place of hate.”
Did I hate my body?! WHAT??? NO - that’s not true. I racked my brain for ways to debunk what she’d said but couldn’t. Was I ashamed of how I looked? I ran through all the ways I showed my body hate:
Wearing all black every day
Sucking in my stomach in every picture (seriously bad for you)
Pinching and prodding all the love handles
The thoughts in my head
Bonus points for being annoyed/upset about the tiger stripes on my stomach and pelvis
*GUT PUNCH* Damn! She earned her money with that one.
And of course, when I asked for the answer, she said “It’s the way you talk to yourself…” all that school she went to, and it’s the same answer she’d been giving me for years. But I did the homework and asked myself, “How can I show my body I love it?”
Enters my good sis in her GIF. While I love to laugh and roll my eyes at this meme every year - as a mom, the negativity you should leave behind is negative self-talk about you and your body.
Y'all know I love tips, so I’m sharing some to help you with negative self-talk:
Start a gratitude practice: How do you show your body you love it? For me, I would say thank you to each part of my body for what it did that day. “Thank you to my back for helping me pick my child up and down all day. Thank you to my eyes for reading that book. Thank you to my feet for allowing me to run errands.” I know it seems cheesy, but it helps!
Affirmations: I know, I know, I know. They’re right. When you give yourself mini mantras, it helps! So here are some I used for myself. Feel free to create your own. Think... "What do I need to remind myself of?"
Get outside: Whether you’re still on maternity leave, a stay-at-home mom, or in an office all day - the fresh air helps. Yes sis, even in the COLD (wear a jacket lol).
Buy the new workout set (and shoes): At first, I refused to buy anything new. Then, after a few in-growns from my too-small shoes - I got new clothes! Honestly, once I purchased new clothes for my size, I was excited to get in the gym. Taking my little “workout complete” boomerangs in my Old Navy leggings gave me a confidence boost. Try some retail therapy!!!
Get a therapist, seriously: Many of us (read: all of us) have complicated relationships with our bodies. As Black women, we are often imitated and duplicated but never truly appreciated. *cue snaps* I struggled with gaining weight because I realized so much of my self-esteem was tied to being "conventionally attractive". (YIKESSSS) NOT TO MENTION, the fake expectation of "snap back culture". (HINT: They're getting 5'figure mommy makeovers!) There are trained professionals who can help you work out your self-image issues.
So technically, my title wasn't all a lie. These tips aren't easy but they are life-changing. If you take nothing else from this article - know this, your body loves you and is doing her very best. You should do your best to be thankful for her, right now, just as she is. After all, she did give you the greatest gift... (YOUR CHILDREN). HA HA HA, if you thought wine I’m screaming (and you need to call me for happy hour ASAP)!