When I received my free massage last week, my massage therapist gave me a tremendous compliment. We were talking about exercise and I mentioned to her that while I’m usually good about having healthy eating habits, my exercise routine has been non-existent since my pregnancy before my daughter’s birth. As a work-from-home mother of two young children, who also home schools, it has been incredibly difficult for me to get exercise back into my new routine.
My massage therapist sweetly replied to my confession that it’s not noticeable. All women know that while it may be true that our bodies don’t necessarily scream that we aren’t exercising regularly anymore, we know exactly how our bodies are different from what they were like pre-pregnancy.
There is no doubt about it, pregnancy and childbirth changes our bodies. I remember when the Dutchess Kate Middleton had her first baby and there was so much talk in the media about her routine following the birth to get back in shape. I absolutely hate the focus of the media on a woman’s physical appearance. It’s an obsession … and one that is completely unhealthy for our society.
Our young girls are having a hard time developing a healthy self-esteem and body image with so much focus in our culture on a woman’s appearance. 80% of all 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
We’ve got to do something about this, and I believe it starts with us as mamas. We have great influence over the kinds of messages our young children are exposed to, particularly in their earliest years. And they watch us closely and learn from our example.
I was particularly aware of this during a recent experience with my daughter. My sister took me shopping for an outfit for a special occasion. When I am by myself clothes shopping with the kids, it’s not hard to refrain from “This makes me look fat” comments. And I have made a conscious effort to refrain from “fat talk” around my young 4-year-old daughter, because I’ve heard so many young girls make these kinds of comments. And it has really disturbed me at how young girls begin becoming self-conscious about their weight or outward appearance.
But while clothes shopping with another female, let me tell you it was much harder. And that day, I failed. I determined that it is probably best in the future, if at all possible, to go clothes shopping with my sister sans kids.
I was so happy to see on Facebook recently that a celebrity mama had addressed this sensitive topic recently:
And thank you to the men who are supporting their wives in this by not having unrealistic expectations of them post-baby.
I’m grateful to have one!
Having babies is an experience that brings with it many changes, as anyone who has become a parent knows. Sometimes the added responsibilities and stresses make it challenging, to say the least, to make progress with weight loss. But if a mama can focus on healthy rather than skinny, that’s what is most important anyway.
For me, that was enough to help lose the weight, although, some of the lose skin is still apparent, especially when I bend over. I know that it isn’t necessarily as simple for some women.