Dear New Mom,
I am going to fly in the face of every instructor who has told you to fight yourself to earn back your body.
First of all, this is not a battle.
Secondly, we are not destined to regress to our old selves, but to move forward.
Self Worth, love, care and grace
So I want you to think about 3 things as you contemplate your new life and working on your self.
- You will only achieve true life and body fitness through self love, self worth and not self loathing.
- You must give yourself Grace, and lots of it.
- Your focus is on self care, not a race to someone else’s idea of who you’re supposed to be.
I was that mom on a race. I was in the fitness industry, so I added pressure on myself to “get back” to my previous body. I quickly realized that I was no longer that old body, and the more I fought, the more unhappy I got. And unhappiness solved nothing.
Instead, what I now tell my postpartum clients is that everything has to come from a place of love and care, just like it is for your new baby.
Love yourself back into movement.
Those first movements might just be for self sanity. It might be a mom and me class, postpartum yoga, or a walk in the park. The idea is to do something to raise your personal vibration and to raise your conscious awareness of your mind, body, and spirit.
Appreciate your new body
Most women that I teach are completely shocked when they see their postpartum bodies. They look so completely different from what they imagined themselves to be. With this trauma comes a complete disconnect from mind to body, which means that forcing the body into submission is a fruitless effort. This is why mind has to reconnect to the body. You have to love and care for it enough to make this reconnection.
Keep Yourself Safe
Once you have found a way to bring the blood back to the body and mind, and you start feeling and seeing yourself as a lovable and beautiful giver of life (which you are, Queen), then you can start amping up your fitness level. Always get a doctor’s approval before beginning, and always start with a postnatal specific class or trainer.
Even then, many classes and trainers are labeled “postpartum” but actually are not specific to the needs of a postpartum mother. If they are not addressing issues like pelvic floor, diastasis recti, posture, breastfeeding, hormones, and mind-spirit shifts, then it is not a true postpartum class. Ask for guidance from area birth professionals (midwives, doulas, postpartum chiropractors, and postpartum physical therapists) if you don’t know where to turn.
On the matter of Grace
Some days, you will feel like you need extra rest or extra space in your day. Some days, baby is not going to cooperate with your personal schedule. Give yourself Grace on these days to do what you can and what your body feels good in doing. Always stop before you have sent your body and mind over into overwhelm and exhaustion. Doing what feels right for you and baby right now IS the ultimate goal, not how many baby-weight pounds you can lose this week. The more Grace you have, I find, the more the body feels its way forward.
Your Self Worth depends on YOU!
Your body is different now, and that is a wonderful and beautiful thing. Don’t let anyone tell you that you “should” be something or someone different. Working for being your best self in your current state is the goal, and no one else’s goal matters. At the same time, remember that sometimes what you need is movement, because movement increases blood flow, oxygen levels, and happiness. So even if it’s not your crazy fun HIIT class today, it can still be very effective.
Trust your gut. Believe in yourself and your self worth. Give yourself Grace. Love the body you are in. And remember that in order to care for tiny humans, you must first care for yourself.