The Truth About Bouncing Back
Beautiful Mama, you don’t have to bounce, you are not a ball.
You are a creator of life, a partner in crime, a friend. You are so kind, sometimes to your detriment and that smile, man that smile is out of control!
Before you even finished primary school, you were exposed to what your body ‘should’ look like. Maybe form your mum and her own insecurities, maybe from TV, maybe form those kids that taunted you at school.
Those names cut deep, even now, 10, 20 maybe even 30 years later, you may still hold those names close to your chest.
I remember in year two, Cameron Shephard taunting me every morning with the nickname Fatty Miller.
I still remember to this day how that felt. I remember where I was standing, I remember the embarrassed looks form my friends who weren’t sure exactly what to say or do. I remember trying to stand up for myself until eventually I gave up on it. Those nicknames became my truth and even as a 30-year-old woman looking at my post-partum body in the mirror, Fatty Miller still stung like a bee.
It was like that was my identity. I was fat as a kid and now I am fat again, as an adult. Every time I looked in the mirror I felt those words, that came from a punk kid, they were now branding me.
Looking back on it now, it feels quite surreal. Then though 4 years ago, when I was in it, it was painfully real. I was in this awful place of feeling so ungrateful. How could I hate this body that had just grown & birthed healthy children?
But I did, I despised what I saw looking back at me.
You know what though. What I have learnt on my journey of body acceptance & then body love…. It was never my body that was the problem.
It wasn’t the way I looked that made me hate myself so much, it was the way I saw myself.
When everything that you base your worth on relates back to your body and what it looks like, you are never going to feel satisfied. As a mamma of a not quite 2-year-old & a newborn, I didn’t really know who I was, I certainly didn’t look like I used to. I was finding my feet in this crazy new world and didn’t feel like I was doing a great job of much of it.
We are bombarded with images of what we should look like. What we should aspire to and how to fit in to the mould. When you’re already feeling down on that body, just look left or right and you can feel insta-worse!
Next time you pick up a magazine with an incredibly attractive cover model most likely with visible abs showing, check for me if there is a way to ‘get these abs’ or ‘lose the winter pouch’ or ‘get bikini ready’ on page 36.
The psychology is,
‘Hey you, yes you mamma with your post-partum body… check out this chick that you don’t look like (she doesn’t even look like that before photo shop & even though her body is incredible, she has it picked apart & questions it’s worth like the rest of us mere mortals) …..oh and we have the solution to your problem….ok buy my magazine’.
So, when you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder where the *&%$ did my abs go or when did I develop that extra lump or bump I want you to remember that you are not defined by the way your body looks. It is such a minuscule part of what you magical.
What would you hope your children would say about you at your 50th Birthday Party? That you managed to lose 10kg in 10 weeks, even though you were so consumed by your diet you couldn’t focus on anything else? Or that you role modelled to them that good health was key, that looking after your body needs to come from place of love & respect. That sometimes it’s more important to go out for ice cream than worry about the calories in it.
I don’t want my babies to hate their bodies the way I hated mine. Hating our bodies is now the norm for women (& men) across the globe. Why on earth would you look after something that you despise? I know it’s not me telling them their body is perfect that will make the difference. I need to role model that my body deserves to be looked after like the warrior that it is. It deserves love & demands respect.
What really matters to you? Deep down if tomorrow was your last day on this planet, how would you spend the time? I bet ‘bouncing back’ gets pushed down a few notches.
The journey to body love is long. It’s long and it’s bumpy but I can tell you, as a reformed body loather and yo-yo dieter it is possible and boy is it refreshing.
Once I started accepting & eventually loving my body some incredible things happened, I finally stopped battling my weight, emotionally and physically and I actually, started, living. My weight and my body doesn’t keep me on the sidelines anymore.
Just remember the next time you wonder what happened to that pre-baby body….
That pre-baby body has no idea what’s coming to her. She will discover a new superpower of growing life. If she has a few extra jiggly bits and a soft tummy, all the more fun for belly dancing and snuggles with your loves.
It’s not her body that is the problem. It’s the way we see her.
So beautiful lady, next time you go hating on yourself remember that that body of yours, that wicked vessel that takes you through life is so much more than how it looks. Make a choice to love the body you are in right now, as you are today and watch the magic happen.
You have tried hating yourself for years, how’s it working out for you? Maybe time to try something different.
If you would like an easy way to get off the diet wagon and start healing your relationship with food and your body get yourself a copy of my new FREE e-book The Wonder Woman's Guide to Diet Freedom.
Article originally published for Mama Tribe which you can find here.