“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
There has been an incredible shift in the fitness industry; gone are the days of the never-ending pursuit of perfection. It’s all about love for our bodies these days, and I dig it. There is one idea that I can’t get behind though; the idea that we need to accept our flaws. Let me elaborate.
I was in the best shape of my life when I discovered I was pregnant; 163 lb, 15% body fat, lifting 5-6x/wk, cardio twice a day, everyday, nothing but chicken, veggies, and brown rice.
Looking back, my body was rockin, but it was exhausting. I can’t say I hated my body, but I always sought to improve it; if only my abs showed a little more, if only my saddlebags were a little smaller, and it was never enough. Then I got pregnant.
During my pregnancy I was lucky, I was able to stay very active. My workouts did change throughout my pregnancy, but I was able to go hard up until I delivered. I lifted 4-5x/wk and would walk or hike every day. Obviously looking good was no longer a priority, but I wanted to stay strong, for the pregnancy, for labor, and to hopefully recover with a bit more ease.
I was 183 lbs when I went into labor, 20 lbs heavier, and I told my husband, "Give me 3 months and I'll be in better shape than before."
Enter Jameson; my daughter, my world.
My body has changed.
At my last doctor appointment I was 140 lb, body fat percentage; who freaking knows. I get little home workouts in, 15-20 min, whenever I can. Jameson and I try to go for a walk every day, but being that it’s winter here in Santa Fe, some days are just too cold.
As mommas, it can be hard to embrace our new form. There are marks, saggy skin, maybe a completely new shape. Some might see these as flaws, but not this momma. My body has changed, without a doubt, but it has changed in the best possible way. I look at my body now and I am in awe. I am forever grateful for this incredible body of mine; it protected and nourished my daughter for 9 months, it pushed her out into the world so I could finally see her, snuggle her, smell her, and watch her grow.
My stomach is squishy, and the skin has clearly been stretched. I didn’t have a lot on top to begin with, so I thought I would be immune to the post-breastfeeding boob sag, but alas, my tiny tatas hang low. And the stretch marks I have across my breasts, as a result of producing the sustenance my little girl needs to builds her immune system and aid in her growth, they are my hard earned tiger stripes, and I wear them with pride. And momma, you should too.
“Your problem is you’re… too busy holding onto your unworthiness.”
- Ram Dass
I think the miracle that is childbirth has been lost on the masses, because we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time, but momma, you brought another human being into the world. You are a freaking rock star. You are more than marks. You are more than squishy skin and saggy breasts. And you are so much more than the number on the scale.
My favorite part of this new mom bod? I love my biceps. When my clients ask how to get sleek arms, I always suggest carrying a baby around all day.
I will always love lifting and feeling strong, and I will always seek self-improvement (in all areas, not just fitness), but I will never look at my body with the same critical eye I once had.
This is my best body; marks and squish included, and I couldn’t be more proud.