New Mom Real Talk: 6-month postpartum body image, dieting, working out etc. My last post on the topic of post-baby body image, etc. was written almost three months ago, so I thought it was time to revisit the topic.
Confession time. A few days ago, for the first time since my first trimester of pregnancy, I thought to myself, “I feel fat and disgusting. Maybe I shouldn’t eat as much today.” But you know what, about one second later I thought, “What a horrible way to feel. I don’t think that way anymore and I’m not going to start.” Well, that’s the short version but it’s true. My thoughts about my body changed so much when I got pregnant as did my perspective towards food. Postpartum, I’ve actually surprised myself at how little I’ve “cared” about the two subjects. And you know what? It’s liberating. I always wondered what I’d have time to worry about if I didn’t worry about my weight, calories, etc. and turns out I have time to worry about a baby and family. Seems like a pretty good trade-off to me.
The thing is, I basically let myself off the hook. After L was born, for a while it felt like it would be pretty selfish to worry about counting calories and losing the baby weight. And frankly, I didn’t have the time or the energy. Plus, I’ve been breastfeeding, so my main concern has been eating enough to make sure I can adequately feed L. Generally I eat when I’m hungry (pretty much whatever I want though I typically choose healthy foods) and every day (usually at night), I have some sort of treat. Sometimes it’s two cookies or a couple pieces of chocolate. Some days I go a bit overboard and have a bowl of ice cream too many. The amazing thing, though, is that I realize I’m a little too full and I probably shouldn’t eat so much but don’t let that feeling of guilt creep in. Like I said, liberating.
Hi, Rach! <3
Somehow I’ve been lucky enough to get back to my pre-baby size (er, well, my shape and form is a bit… different). For the last couple of weeks I’ve even been able to wear some of my long-lost and neglected jeans. There are still plenty of shirts that don’t fit and don’t expect me to wear a tight shirt with pants that button, but still, progress. If you are counting, that’s about six months to get back to my pre-baby and pre-hormone size (I gained a few pounds while trying to get pregnant). That might sound like a long time to some people, but I actually thought it would take much longer than that. Letting myself off the hook made it SO not stressful. Seriously, I think back to the days where I’d let my weight consume me and wonder how I can prevent that from happening again.
I’m not perfect and I know that there will be ups and downs in life (and weight) that may mess with my mind. There is a part of me that’s afraid for what will happen when I stop breastfeeding. Will I be able to continue to eat intuitively and maintain my weight? I certainly don’t want to go back to the days of diets, restrictions, and all-consuming body shaming thoughts.
With L on Passover