“Body confidence doesn’t come from trying to achieve the perfect body, it comes from embracing the one you’ve already got.”-livingly.com
So many things change in your life when you have a baby. From the amount of sleep that you get, or the lack thereof, to being in charge of a tiny human being, your life will never be the same again after having a baby.
Do you know what else may never look the same? Your body.
Oh yeah. “Mom bod” is a real thing my friends.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I gained 50 pounds. And I gained it everywhere. Not just in my belly or in my face. No, I gained it in my arms, legs, belly, back and face. Accompanying the weight came stretch marks all over my stomach, sides, boobs and thighs.
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I remember looking in the mirror when I was pregnant and for about a year after giving birth and not even recognizing the body that was looking back at me. The way my belly stuck out with extra skin. The dimples on my thighs. The stretch marks all over that had never been there before.
And guess what. None of those lovely additions to my body have gone away.
But with all of the hours I logged in front of the mirror, critiquing my body, there was one very important thing I forgot: this body grew a child.
This body, now riddled with marks and curves, carried my little girl for 9 months. It pushed her out and into the world. It made it possible for her to grow and thrive while in my belly.
This body made that beautiful miracle that I get to call mine for the rest of my life. It made me a mom.
Mama, your body may look different now than it did before you entered motherhood but try and remember what amazing things that body of yours has done.
Over the years, I have been able to embrace not every single inch of my body but at least most of it. (It’s definitely a work in progress!)
If you are having a difficult time accepting the way way your body looks now, like I was, I want to share with you four things I have done to begin loving my body again!
1. Write down a mantra.
One thing that has helped me through so many difficult moments in my life, including learning to see beauty when I look in the mirror, is to write down a mantra where I can see it. Putting the mantra on my vanity mirror, fridge or book I am reading are three of my favorite places.
Your mantra can be whatever it is that will make your soul smile and feel more at peace. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
“I love my new body.”
“My body is beautiful.”
“These curves are a part of me.”
“My body does not define me.”
“I am more than what is on the outside.”
Once you have picked the mantra that speaks to you and you have written it down, say it everyday. Every morning, evening and any time in between. Repeat it to yourself three times, close your eyes and let the words soak in. When you are ready, write down another mantra and use that one!
2. Pull affirmation cards each morning.
Affirmation cards are something I recently have started to get into and I am excited about their effect on my mindset and spirituality. There are so many card decks to choose from but I want to share with you a few that I have found that have wonderful messages.
Each morning, before you begin your day, sit down with your cards and shuffle them. Pull one or two cards, or as many as you would like to, and read what it says. Take a few minutes with the message, really embracing what it says and what it is telling you. This will help you center yourself and have a more positive attitude with the season of life you are in, including your mom body!
3. Move your body.
Get moving! Whether it is walking, yoga, running or dancing, move that beautiful body of yours. What I noticed when I started to become more active and move my body in different ways was that I almost immediately felt better.
Get up in the middle of the room and dance with your toddler. Take a walk in the woods. Try something new at the gym. Buy a new yoga DVD and spend 20 minutes a day learning the poses.
Learn what your body can do and how far you can push it. I wish I had done this sooner after having my daughter. It has made me appreciate the new parts of my mom body and embrace all the parts I am still learning about!
4. Pick 1 or 2 goals for your body and crush them.
Last but 100% not least, work on your body. Pick one or two goals, tiny or huge, and make them happen!
For me, my two goals are to lose weight that I have been keeping on since my daughter was born and wear a real pair of jeans shorts. (Which by the way I haven’t worn in eight years!) I wrote these goals down and came up with a plan to accomplish them. I signed up for an app on my phone where I track my food, I am watching my carbs and am becoming more aware of what I put into my body.
These goals aren’t monumental but they will make a huge difference in the relationship with my body. Make the goals attainable and go for it!
Mama, you are beautiful. One day, I hope you will be able to say that you love yourself and your body! Imperfections and all! XOXO