I hate to admit this, because it is so trivial, but I have been feeling bad about my physical shape lately. And that pisses me off. The fact is that I had a baby and my body is going to be different afterwards. In addition, as the author of the piece I'll link to in a moment states, bodies change throughout a life anyway. That's NORMAL and healthy. What's not normal and healthy are all the messages I get from the outside world that tell me I should be trying to get my "body back," meaning that I should, as soon as possible, try to get back to the shape I was in prior to carrying a baby. Prior to bearing a baby. Prior to breastfeeding. Prior to parenthood. And, for that matter, my pre-pregnancy body probably wasn't up to snuff anyway, according to the advertisements everywhere.
To be honest, I was happiest with my body when I was pregnant. I felt radiant. I loved carrying a child in me, and I felt powerful with biology and motherhood. I felt beyond judgment. I know that's not everyone's experience, but I'm glad I had those positive feelings. Thirteen months post-partum, I feel pretty crappy.
The other day, I had a profound experience in yoga. I put my hand on my belly and hummed into my softer tummy. As I hummed at a pitch where I could feel my voice in my tummy, I started to cry. Yes, my tummy was telling me that it feels neglected and unloved by the person from whom it needs love most: me.
So, then and there, I decided to love this new softness. I've been approaching this post-partum body thing all wrong--intellectually. Intellectually, I know that the ads are bulls***. Intellectually, I know how to be cool with where my body is. But intellect doesn't cut it up against the powerful marketing telling us that we can never be thin enough, the marketing that tells us that we're even supposed to want our old bodies back, the marketing that implies there's something wrong with me if I don't want my old body back. Eff that, man. I'm done with that, and I'm setting about to love my softer, motherly belly.
Stop Telling Me I Should Focus on Getting My Old Body Back