This week's blog is brought to you by Samantha Laycock, a "Hello Life Facilitator" with Hello Life. Working with Hello Life Samantha is improving the lives of new moms (and women) everywhere by ditching the dreaded diet, and instead teaching healthy living and the art of self love. Something most women have not mastered! She'd love to chat with you more about your challenges and goals when it comes to healthy living. You can reach her by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Doula In The Wild
I am a mother of 2 children and if you would of told me 7 years ago that I would love my body after children, I probably would of laughed at you. During my pregnancies I didn't gain any weight. I was sick and miserable and threw up on every street corner. After I gave birth, I was at a lower weight than before I became pregnant and I was ecstatic. This new body of mine was great.
Well it didn't last long.
After all, a new baby is a 24 hour job with food that you eat on the go and as little sleep as possible. I gained weight and I gained weight without really noticing it. I was too busy focusing on the newest little bundle of joy to really notice what I was doing to myself.
It was then however, that I soon came to hate my body. I hated how I looked in any piece of clothing that I put on. I hated how I now had these stretch marks on my stomach. I hated how my boobs hurt all of the time and didn't feel like a sexual object anymore. I hated how tired I looked, how my hair looked, how I was too tired to even put on a bit of foundation. (Not that it really did anything to make me feel better about myself.)
I went through year after year trying diets and never getting far. I then got pregnant for the 2nd time when Quinton was 2. I vowed this time it would be different. I would lose the baby weight and feel great about myself. After Anneleise turned 3, I realized that nothing had changed. I still felt miserable. I still felt like a fat version of myself. I felt as if no one could see any beauty in me. I even wondered how my husband could say that I looked beautiful.
Everything changed for me in 2014. I moved to Airdrie. I began to look back at the last 7 years of my life and realize that I was thinking about everything all wrong. I realized that my body is beautiful the way it is. Now this didn't come overnight. This has taken me a year to get to this point. It has taken hard long looks in the mirror at my naked body. It has taken me having to really hear my husband when he tells me I am beautiful.
I remember when I was pregnant with Quinton and taking all of those prenatal classes. There were so many classes on how to prepare for the baby and how to take care of the baby. There wasn't a single class on how to LOVE YOUR BODY AFTER A BABY!!! This is such a huge change for most ladies. SEXY is not a word that will normally be used by a new mother to describe herself. I want to change that.
I want women to realize that their bodies after babies are better than before. Those new curves are sexy. Those stretch marks show the strength it takes to carry a baby inside for 40 weeks. The stomach that isn't so flat anymore reminds you of all the kicks and rolls that you felt those 40 weeks. It is time to embrace our bodies. Love the imperfectly perfect bodies that we have after children.
I would love to give you a few steps to do that helped me get through the negative self image that I had of myself for so long.
STEP 1: This is going to be the hardest for most. It was and sometimes still is the hardest for me. STAND IN FRONT OF A MIRROR NAKED AND TELL YOURSELF YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Like I said above, we hear our husbands say it and it usually goes in one ear and out the other.
There are days that I still struggle with my body image and that is alright. I am human after all. This process is a journey. A journey that you take 1 step at a time. You will get there. You will learn to love your body and yourself. Being a new mom is hard enough with all the confidence in the world, don't make it harder by doubting yourself and what your body can do.
STEP 2: THROW AWAY THE SCALE!!
This step may be hard for some of you but I want to let you in on a little secret. It is just a number. That scale holds no value of you in anyway. This is society's way of telling you that you are not skinny enough, not beautiful enough, not perfect. BUT I am telling you that YOU ARE PERFECT!!!! The way you are right now is BEAUTIFUL!!! Learning to love yourself is the first step!!
STEP 3: GET RID OF ALL THE NEGATIVES!
We always hear talk about bullies in school. Well most of the time, the biggest bully of all is the bully we are to ourselves. We are constantly saying we are not good enough for many reasons either weight related or not. Replace those thoughts with positive ones. Start small!! Make a list of the things you love about yourself. It may be only 1 or 2 items to start with. Remember this is a journey to fall in love with yourself. This will not be an overnight change and that is okay! Remember that small steps will lead to huge changes and outcomes. This is YOUR chance!!! Come and fall in love with yourself again!!! You owe it to yourself and your baby!!!!
By: Doula Sonja
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