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Not only do you transition into being a mom, which can be a challenge, you also have to start loving your new “mom bod”.
That, in itself, is a process, isn’t it?
But, you’re probably going to have your mom bod at least for a few months.
I know, I KNOW.
Funny, mom bod doesn’t seem to have the same ring as ‘dad bod’ – the latter became a widely popular way to describe male bodies that were not obese, but not toned either.
Some ladies even proclaim the ‘dad bod’ sexy.
Generally, the term is seen as a body positive declaration and men are praised for having a dad bod.
(Read all about ‘dad bod’ if you haven’t heard about it or understood what it is here.)
It seems ‘mom bod’ hasn’t quite caught on in the same way for women.
And, so, we’re left feeling inadequate if we don’t shed the baby weight before we leave the hospital.
Doesn’t that idea seem ridiculous to you?
It does to me too.
Unfortunately, there are numerous links to articles reporting how this star lost the weight in two weeks or that model already has a flat tummy right after delivering.
Don’t worry, I’ll spare you.
You’ve seen enough of that.
Talk about pressure!
Even though we know how laughable losing baby weight quickly is we still want it, don’t we?
Pregnancy doesn’t mean you will never get your body back – you can definitely lose weight and tone, but your body will probably never quite be the same.
In my case, I gained WAY too much weight when I was pregnant with baby girl.
We’re talking about 70lbs plus (I stopped looking at the scale when my doc would weigh me, it was THAT bad).
Hey, if I didn’t see the number it didn’t make it as bad, right?
(That’s me in the photo – third trimester pregnant during the stifling HOT summer of 2016. I’m days from delivery in this photo – sorry for the terrible quality, it’s the only photo I have to show you how much weight I gained).
The thing is, I have mirrors in my house.
And, I couldn’t help myself – I looked. Constantly. A lot. All the time.
You get the picture.
The mirror doesn’t lie.
I could tell I gained too much weight.
I felt it.
I saw it.
I was well above the recommended 25lbs weight gain.
Can you relate?
And now us ladies who gained too much weight are in for a battle to get rid of our mom bods.
We’ll deal with mommy tummy, diastis reci, the overall weight gain, how to get rid of it and so much more.
All while figuring out this whole new mommy thing.
I wasn’t going to be one of those amazing stories of fast baby weight loss.
My hips are wider (and still are!), my stomach has a small pouch and I earned my tiger stripes too. Heck, even my arms have changed.
How Do You Embrace Your Mom Bod?
It took me a LONG time to accept my new mom bod.
To fully realize, it’ll never be the same as it was before pregnancy and THAT fact in itself is actually OK.
My husband is the most patient man I know.
He put up with HOURS of conversation revolving around my changed body.
His biggest stance was that I was more beautiful than I was before having baby girl and that I needed to quit comparing myself to an unrealistic body standard.
High five to THAT!
He even stated the ideal female body that you see all over the media is actually sought after mostly by women.
It’s actually targeted to women in order to sell an idea and products.
He maintains that most men don’t actually like really skinny women.
I realize he can’t speak for every man, but his point resonated with me.
I realize now that my body is beautiful just the way it is, changes and all.
My stomach pouch represents me carrying my daughter safely into this world.
My stretch marks mean my body did what it was supposed to do to make sure my daughter was healthy.
I learned that you really shouldn’t gain a lot of weight while pregnant, but hey, I’m human and we learn from our mistakes.
If you’re struggling to accept your ‘mom bod’, I want to help you see just how beautiful your body is.
The following are 3 things I kept in mind as I went through my journey of accepting my mom bod.
You Gave Life With That Body
I’m sure you’ve heard many reassure moms with the line ‘You gave life with that body and that’s the greatest gift of all’.
And while it may not be new advice, here’s the thing – it’s TRUE.
So, let’s put it into context.
You did give life to another.
You grew a little human from nothing. You entered the mom club proudly. You unselfishly gave your body to what is now likely the love of your life.
When you find yourself feeling down about your body, change your focus to just how magical your body really is.
It’s a miraculous thing to be able to give life to another.
AND your body does so without help.
It just knows what to do – WOW.
If you really think about it, how can us women expect such a marvelous miracle to happen and have NO changes what so ever in our bodies?
Your body may not be exactly the same, but I’m willing to bet it’s even more beautiful 🙂
Stop The Comparison Game
I choose to live in a world where women aren’t shamed for having a ‘mom bod’.
Does that make me a dreamer?
But I got SO tired of comparing and trying to live up to the “perfect female body”.
Aren’t you tired of it too?
Not comparing myself to other women is probably the most important step I took on my journey to accepting my mom bod.
Just stop the comparing.
I know I’m making it sound easier than it is, but once you stop comparing yourself, you have a new level of freedom.
And, it’s that freedom that leads you to embrace how you look.
Think of it this way – are you eating healthy?
Are you getting some exercise a few times a week?
Do you have social visits throughout the month?
If you answer yes to any of my questions then you’re already winning.
Who cares what model lost the baby weight in a week.
They have to or they lose their job.
They also feed into the fast baby weight loss story in order to get media attention.
Again, this helps them in what they do for a living.
I always wonder if those models and actresses are just secretly wearing shapewear underneath their clothes.
Now THAT would be funny. And even more reason to not compare yourself!
We are moms.
We don’t have nutritionists, personal trainers or nannies available at our beck and call.
We don’t have clothing designers ready to make something flattering for our body shapes.
(You know you have that one dress you look killer in, it fits you in all the right places 🙂 )
Don’t think for a minute, these women aren’t opting to wear clothing favorable to their body.
And that brings me to my next point for NOT playing the comparison game.
Not one body is the same.
That’s what makes us all special. Sure, you can lose the baby weight, look fabulous and be proud of your body, but that’s just it – it’s YOUR body.
You can’t compare your body to another. It’s literally impossible. Our DNA and genetics are different, so why compare?
I stopped playing the comparison game and you should too.
Instead, I nod to other women who have become mothers and given up so much for their children.
That’s what we should be focused on – building each other up.
Give Yourself Time
You can absolutely get your body to where you want it.
It’ll just take time.
So, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t shed the extra pregnancy weight immediately.
When I was really unhappy with my post pregnancy body, I was full of high expectations.
I delivered baby girl in August, and by October I was confused as to why I didn’t weigh the same as I did before becoming pregnant.
I fully expected my body to snap back and when it didn’t, I was devastated.
I was comparing myself to all the fast baby weight loss stories that are thrown in our faces.
Then I got the piece of information that freed me.
My sister in law is a personal trainer and health nut, she looked me square in the eyes and told me the proper healing time after pregnancy is 18 months.
That’s a year and a half and that’s a long time!
It’ll take most women that long to come close to their baby weight loss goals. That’s how long it takes your body to recover NATURALLY.
So, give yourself time.
Small, healthy steps will pay off big time.
Don’t go overboard.
Check out my favorite blog dedicated to helping the busy mom be healthy and lose the baby weight.
There are meal plans (affordable!) and workouts for moms short on time but want results. Check the blog out here.
To wrap things up, you may have heard my advice from other people and that’s OK.
The point is, don’t let the way your body looks dictate how you present yourself to the world.
Your body is beautiful no matter if you have stomach pouch that you suspect will be permanent or stretch marks that don’t seem to fade.
Give yourself time to heal and don’t compare yourself to other women.
What’s your ‘mom bod’ journey?
How do you feel about unrealistic expectations to lose the weight?
I would love to hear from you!