Hey Coffey –
I’m a new mother. I hate the body I have now, and I’ll do anything to get my pre-baby body back. Can you help me?
Hey there, Mama –
Every time you lift that baby, every time you wear her in a carrier and go for a walk, every time you cradle her in your arms and do the special “Sleep now, PLEASE” Mommy shuffle – every time you move with your baby in the world, you’re lifting weights. Lifting weights is how we build muscle, and building muscle is the only thing besides having skin removed that creates tone, so the good news is you’ve already started getting your body as toned as it can be.
And here’s the bad news: We young mothers have been lied to, and those lies are keeping us from enjoying ourselves and our babies. Let me explain.
There’s this idea that we should be able to look the same after birth as we did before we got pregnant. Not gonna happen. We’ve just gone through humanity’s single most intense physical experience, and we’ll always carry evidence of that experience. Some of us will be rounder. Some will have slightly bigger feet. Some will have differently-shaped boobs. Some will have miles and miles of stretch marks, or different hair, or darker skin. This is all normal, and natural, and there’s nothing wrong with any of it. What’s WRONG is this notion that these changes are problems to be solved. New-Mommy magazines make bank on the idea that our new-mommy-bodies are problems to be solved.
Your body was a wonderland before you had that baby. And now that you’ve grown and given birth to a baby, your body is an other-worldy miracle machine. Much like you can’t turn a pickle back into a cucumber, you can’t turn a life-creating celestial being back into the human equivalent of an amusement park.
For better or worse, we’re stuck with all that evidence of strength and miracles, so let’s try to wear it proudly. Let’s smile at those stretch marks. Let’s love and care for our bigger feet. Let’s walk with our heads high and our shoulders back, proud of our amazing bodies.
We will never look exactly like we did before we got pregnant, no matter what line of bullshit anyone tries to sell us. But we CAN do things every day that make us as tight, toned, and strong as we can be on this side of the birth of our babies.
My Pleasure Principles e-course isn’t an exercise program. It’s not a diet. It’s a set of guidelines that help women like us make the strongest choices we can in service to our health. Then, once we’ve made those choices, the Principles give us the tools we need to makes those healthier choices day after day.
I know first hand how impossible it feels to get motivated when there’s a little baby (or two!) that needs us all day every day. It’s hard to feel like we’re doing enough when we’re hardly able to do anything. The Principles help us make the strongest choices we can with life as it is, taking everything – the baby, the limited time, the budget, the fatigue, the emotions, and the new body – into consideration.
I know you’re tired. I know you’re unsure. I know you’re feeling overwhelemd. I promise you it gets easier. The best thing you can do today is take the best possible care of yourself that you can. The Principles will help you do that with things just as they are.
Give your little miracle a smooch for me. I’m in the car, driving home from a weekend trip. The older of my two miracles is in the backseat, singing her 100th verse of “Do you know the muffin man?” We still have 325 miles to go. Pray for me.
Take good care of you.