I want to be clear about this, I love exercise and how it makes me feel. I also know it helps me look the best MY body can possibly look. See the keyword there? MY body is not like YOUR body. YOUR body is not like HER body, yet we always find ourselves looking around at each others bodies and wishing..........
I would be lying to you if I said I've not done the same thing, maybe even yesterday. We are all searching for the validation that we are beautiful and worth having. It is unfortunate, however, such needed validations are tied to body beauty standards not achievable for the majority of women, and I would be included in this category.
Pregnancy is a funny and wonderful thing. Every woman has different responses to it, and varying degrees of body changes as a result. To those women who have elastic skin making your belly a beautifully glowing stretch mark-free globe of wonder; I am in awe, and pretty jealous! My skin never stretched gracefully around my growing baby, but it did stretch and I have the saggy stretch mark scars to prove it.
After we have our precious little stow-a-way in our arms, suddenly all of the physical changes and discomforts it required to get them here fade to the background and we are just happy to finally meet them. Within a fairly short period of time, however, we look at what pregnancy left behind and we become anxious to reclaim the body of 9 months ago. Often times we are not only out for reclamation, but an outright post partum miracle! Really what we want is the mojo back; to feel sexy, strong, and beautiful. We ALL know what beautiful looks like, right? If in doubt, check all the magazine covers as you try to soothe a fussy baby or children in the grocery store check-out line. Maybe you look like those childbearing pop culture icons on the cover, showing off an 8 week post pregnancy body we all would kill for, but maybe you don't.
If you are a mama who can wear your size 6 jeans home from the hospital two days after giving birth, (again...awe and jealousy here) you may not be relating well to this post, but I hope you read on anyway. I am here to say that you can make the most of your body, but please keep your goals realistic and specific to yourself. Try not to look around and compare your body features to that of other women. It is so easy to waste efforts and personal happiness in a discouraging pursuit of a destination that will likely be elusive.
On the other hand, don't give yourself a pass and say, since I can never have THAT body, I'm giving up on THIS body. Don't you do it! That makes as much sense as throwing in the towel, and choosing to live in poverty just because you discover you're not destined to be a millionaire. You define what success means to you, so don't be afraid to redefine it. Take care of this beautiful body you have right now. It produced the miracle to are now holding. Exercise it, demand more of it, and it will change in ways that will delight and amaze you so long as you are only comparing yourself to you.
After having my last baby nearly seven years ago, I have permanent body changes I'm not in love with. If I am ever to obtain the mid-section of my dreams, a plastic surgeon is going to have to get involved. I have some amazing abs under that excess skin and padding that would impress, if they were visible. That aspect of my body is not very changeable, but so many other areas of my body have changed. After years of thinking I was just not built to do pull-ups, I did my first unassisted full body weight pull-up a month ago. Wow was I excited! I'm now finding joy in what my body can do, not only with how it looks. Perhaps I don't LOOK like a fitness professional, and I am well aware of that. For awhile I was worried by lacking the model body society expects from someone in this profession, I would not be successful in creating this company and finding clients that would take me seriously. Maybe some women won't, but I believe most women will enjoy being instructed by someone with a more realistic body shape. I'm ready to take the gamble anyway.
In summary, I am here to say women need to take greater responsibility for their health. You owe it to yourself, and your children to live the most healthy lifestyle possible. If you exercise, eat well, and persist in the effort, your best body will follow. Mia Mama Fitness is here to help, and I hope that is just what mamas will trust us to do.