Why I Don’t Want My Body Back

So many news outlets and websites make a point of exemplifying the mom who "got her body back" right after giving birth and seriously, who has the time and energy to worry about that? That's why I love this guest post from Christine – she's not buying into the madness. 

So many news outlets and websites make a point of exemplifying the mom who “got her body back” right after giving birth. That’s why I love this guest post from Christine – she’s not buying into the madness.

On the first day of my first ‘Baby and Me’ class, the lengthiest discussion we had was about how to fit workouts into our day. On the last day of that class, when we were sharing resources with each other, the vast majority (all but 2) were about fitness, weight loss, or physical activity for moms with (or without) babies. The weekly updates in my inbox are about ‘getting back in shape’ or how breastfeeding helps shed the pounds or how to reduce stretch marks.

I appreciate that these are things many women care about. They have to – our society very much runs on us hating our bodies as they are. Otherwise, presumably, our economy would collapse and nobody would ever find happiness.

Thing is – I don’t want to do any of that.

Not only am I not interested in doing push ups above my baby’s confused scowl or running my second-hand stroller around the mulberry bush – because I honestly would rather hand wash diarrhea out of my baby’s cloth diapers in a dungeon than do either of those things – but I also think that my body is pretty cool right now. My stretch marks are a pretty sweet (AND FREE) tattoo that I got from my albeit terrifying trip down pregnancy and labour alley. My torn up vag has seen some things. The softness of my belly cradles my (occasionally) sleeping baby. My body is a MOM and that’s WILD.

Let’s be honest – my body wasn’t magazine worthy before I got pregnant, but I blame the magazines for that. I think what I’ve got now is living proof that I have an amazing body – it made LIFE, and my old body never had. I didn’t know what it could do, and now I have reminders of that power every day etched on my skin and wobbling around my middle (oh, and also the wee one). I don’t need to hide that.

The body I have now is amazingly strong, not because it can lift barbells or run a marathon, but because it can survive on very little sleep, it can carry a (currently) 13 pound weight around for hours, and it still feels like home to him. Why would I want to change that by doing activities that will make me feel worse about myself because I need to ‘keep it tight’? F*@% that noise.

Let me be clear – I am not one of those magical unicorns whose body ‘bounced back’ after pregnancy. As far as I can tell both my knees are broken, my wrists crack when I move them, my pants drawer is just for show now, my breasts are more like sleeping elephant seals than any kind of fruit, and somehow my skin has re-entered puberty. Oh, and I have to change my underwear a lot. It isn’t pretty. I’m not a fan of pain (or laundry), so I am doing what I can to minimize it – and maybe eliminate it, one day. Who knows?  I just refuse to find shame in this new shape I take. My body did a really cool thing, and I don’t want it to look and feel like it didn’t.

Nor am I judging others who want the sunrise boot camp body – power to you. Please don’t invite me though, I’ll be napping. Feel free to comment on my adorable baby. But leave my tattoos and flab alone – they are just as precious.

 

 

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Why I Don’t Want My Body Back

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9 Comments

  • Love this! It’s so important for us to remember to praise our bodies for the AMAZING accomplishment of creating and birthing a baby! While staying active and healthy is extra important as a Mama (we have so much more to live for now!) I believe the point you are making is that sometimes we need to ease up on ourselves (and each other) when it comes to "bouncing back" and how we are expected to look and feel after having a baby. It’s different for each of us and Christine is sharing her perspective which is beautiful and powerful, delivered with great humor and realness! I loved working out and staying active through my pregnancy, but quickly realized how much changes once baby comes and had to re-adjust what I expected from myself. It was hard to give myself grace but SO important during this new stage in life! For me, it’s all about balance and establishing a new-normal, and there is no perfect recipe! Instead of dividing sides (those who work out vs. those who don’t) let’s bridge the gap and commend each other for being moms and doing our best and feeling great while doing it. Thank you, Christine, for reminding us to love ourselves no matter what and to respect and thank our bodies for the hard work they are doing while creating and nourishing life. Hugs to all the mommies, super heroes for sure.

  • I love this! Thank you for writing it. I needed to hear this today. ? I’m working on feeling this way in public instead of just at home, when I’m in awe of this perfect human my body made.

  • First, that’s great that you’re so comfortable in your own skin. But don’t assume that others "hate" their body or were "shamed" into working out. I love working out so that I am fit and strong- not to be thinner, or hotter, etc. My husband loves me and thinks I’m fantastic, no matter what I look like. (Milk-stained t-shirt and nylon shorts, anyone?) That being said, there’s nothing sexier than taking care of yourself and guarding your health. (And let’s face it, given a choice, I’m sure he’d prefer a toned bod to a squishy one.) This includes eating right and getting [some form of] exercise. It seems people these days want to shame those who do exercise, like we are so narcissistic and obsessed with ourselves, while you’re so natural and free. Well, I’m proud to say I am one of the magical unicorns who bounced right back, and my 3 month old loves being active with me. And nobody will shame me for that.

  • I agree. But when you’ve lost your second child in 3 years and you can’t eat or sleep. Or spend all day sleeping. Getting your old body back is the only normalcy and the only way you don’t feel broken or betrayed or shattered as a woman.

  • While I agree that it is totally fine that you are okay with stretch marks, flabby stomach and saggy boobs….guess what so am I, but please please please do some basic excercises or take a fitness class to get your pelvic floor back in shape. Peeing your pants is not an annoyance issue it actually indicates a structural malfunction and you can end up with horrible things such bladder prolapse. Postnatal fitness is not about getting your pre pregnancy body back but about keeping your body healthy.

  • I have been trying for 10 years to get pregnant and needed help! Been going to the doctors but still nothing. the doctor said my husband and i are fine , I don’t know where else to turn. until one day I read how prophetsuleman@gmail.com helped others get pregnant ONLINE i then contacted the great spell caster via email and he cast a pregnancy spell for me and gave me a 1month sure guarantee that i will become pregnant , and exactly 6weeks later I went to check and i was pregnant and later on i gave birth, i can never forget the great spell caster that`s opened my blessings of conceiving today its marking 5years my son was born and i also have a baby girl who is one and half years old, i want to use this medium to tell other women out there who is having pregnancy issues not to wait for years like i did contact him today email: prophetsuleman@gmail.com

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