And I agree.
We should absolutely, 100% embrace our mom bods.
And you know what?
I think the women that write those posts are right. I think the women in those photos are gorgeous. I look at their photos and think they are stunning, and strong, and brave for putting themselves out there like that. I think that they are right to say that, we, as women, should erase the idealistic image of a woman’s body that has been hacked apart and photoshopped and thrust upon us in magazines and media. I think that they are right to say that we should put on a bathing suit and go to the beach and the pool with our kids. Let’s enjoy that time! Let’s not let body image get the best of us! Let’s be in the moment and have fun!
I believe all those things.
My child is 3. For the past 3 years, I have taken her to the beach, I have played at the pool, I have put on a bathing suit and gotten out there to have some fun. I’ve celebrated those moments of her childhood.
But, you know what?
I don’t like my mom bod.
I think about my mom bod every. single. day.
I want to embrace it y’all. Really I do. I have a daughter, and making sure that she develops healthy and positive feelings about her body image is a huge priority for me. We teach her to be healthy and make good food choices, but we also let her be a kid. She has no idea what fat and calories, or sugar are yet. She just knows that she eats food. Probably what sticks out most in her mind at 3, is that sometimes she gets to have M&Ms, or cookies, or cake and that is a total win in her book.
My daughter does not see a mother who stares in the mirror lamenting over how her clothes fit. My daughter sees a mother who makes healthy choices every day. My daughter sees a mother who is active and tries very hard. When I come back from a morning run and walk through the door, my daughter says “mommy! you were running? you getting some exercise?”
We are teaching her the importance of valuing her health, not her body image.
I don’t like my mom bod.
I have had 3 years of stops and starts trying to get my body back into shape after having a baby. I used to work out almost every single day, most weeks. I freely admit to being the first time mom that thought my body was just going to magically snap back into shape after I had my child because I was “in such good shape” before I had my baby.
I did everything right.
I had an incredibly healthy pregnancy. I ate (and still eat) an incredibly healthy diet. But, those babies? They are no joke. I was totally unprepared for what having a baby would actually do to my body. I have fat in places I never had fat before, and it isn’t skin. It is fat! Honestly, I feel like the more I have worked out and gotten “back into shape”, the more I notice it. Is the fat shifting? I feel like one of those creepy, squishy dolls that if you squeeze them, another part of them totally squishes out and distorts.
I hate looking at the pile of jeans in my closet and not being able to put them on. I HATE IT. Some may say that I should just move on. Get rid of those jeans that don’t fit! Who needs the negativity?
But you know what?
I want to wear my jeans again. I love my jeans y’all! I have some really nice jeans! Nothing feels better to me in the fall than putting on a pair of jeans, a comfy t-shirt and boots. It has pretty much always been my uniform of choice. Perhaps in my earlier days there were more stilettos than boots, but let’s face it, stilettos just aren’t practical for chasing a toddler.
I have tried everything.
I work out. I eat healthy. I have tried cleanses and detoxes. I have even tried the power of positive thinking. Much to my dismay, that didn’t work either.
I don’t like my mom bod. This year I am doing something about it. I am trying harder. I am training harder. I am staying focused. Recently, I tried CoolSculpting®, and I will share that story with you in another post, but I have decided that it is ok.
It is ok if I don’t like my mom bod.
I know that a lot of people might look at me and say “you look great! what are you talking about?” I have come to realize though, that when it comes to our bodies, “looking great” is a relative term. One of my very best friends is probably 2 or 3 sizes smaller than me and I think she looks amazing, but you know what? She doesn’t like her mom bod either. It is all relative.
Just like society has thrust the idea of the ideal body image on us, society is also quick to judge us if our own ideals don’t line up with theirs. I don’t compare my body to those that belong to other women. I stopped doing that years ago. I celebrate other women. I hold myself to my own standards and I know where I am comfortable with myself. I don’t want to pretend to like my mom bod and I don’t want not loving my mom bod to be confused with loving motherhood. I love being a mom. It is the single greatest thing that I have ever done. But, I want to feel good about me too. So, I will keep on trying. I will keep on being healthy. But, I have also taken some steps to do things for myself that make me feel good. I have discussed different options and alternatives with plastic surgeons. I am ok telling you that.