Psst! While I'm still (mostly) on "baby leave," sometimes something comes along that I just HAVE to write about. This is one a' those times! Enjoy...
While I'm technically still on "baby leave" and doing AS LITTLE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE that isn't related to the eating, napping and pooping habits of one amazing, tiny, spectacular little dictator (or sharing my favorite baby products with you), when this question crossed my (virtual) desk, I couldn't ignore it.
"Liz, I'm 6 weeks post-partum and trying to figure out how to get my body back. I know you recently had a baby - so how will you lose the baby weight?"
Saddle up, buckle in, batten down, and get ready, folks, because here's my plan...
Here's how I'm losing the "baby weight:"
This is the secret, people...
I'M NOT GOING TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. Because I don't give two craps about "baby weight," and I don't think you should either.
I do not mean to belittle the person who asked the question. I just want us ALL to think of this another way.
I have no plans to think about what I WEIGH or how I LOOK.
I care about how I FEEL and what I can DO.
Quite honestly, I don't know what I weigh now and I didn't obsess about my weight gain during my pregnancy, because it was clear I wasn't gaining excessively. I ate lots (LOTS) of healthy food, walked and moved as much as I could, and took care of myself well - which is what health care providers should REALLY measure, right!?
(Sadly, that's not as easy to chart as the number on the scale.)
I'm doing the same things now. I feel good, and my soul is happy. Isn't that enough?
In short: the plan is to continue eating well, to move in challenging ways, and to be a person fully engaged in this new stage of life.
If the very problem is that you HAVEN'T been eating well or moving, may I suggest that you forgive yourself the past and begin making those changes BEFORE worrying about a number on a scale?
Take a walk. When your body is ready, find a FUN workout program that will challenge you, like I have. Take some deep breaths. Jump into a food plan that teaches you good habits, not a "diet." (I've made some recommendations at the end of this email.)
I'm "in motion" with my little one (a-la Katy Bowman) as much as possible each day
And I'll challenge myself with continuing to aim for a STRONG body that can handle ALL the demands of motherhood (jump on Jen Sinkler's ridiculously awesome Lift Weights Faster 2 program with me if you'd like)...
And I won't lose sight of the fact that the pressure moms put on themselves to "lose the baby weight" is completely counter-productive to the transformation that REALLY matters from the day we find out a baby's on the way: the process of becoming a mother.
Oh hai, new baby. I have no clue what to do with you, but I love you so much! Is this diaper on backwards? Have I eaten today? Who are you, and what have you done with my old life?
Because, jeez: becoming a mom has plenty of "I'm not good enough" moments - why pile on one more?
I don't mean to target women who value movement and healthy physical activity post-partum - that's part of setting the tone for a healthy life for the whole family. We SHOULD be moving, using our bodies, and empowering our kids to do the same.
There is no room for ANY arbitrary, manufactured pressure to "lose the baby weight" or track a number on a scale when
just losing weight doesn't necessarily make us healthier and
our true purpose matters so much MORE than the "baby weight."
So why the hell do mamas feel such pressure to "lose the baby weight"?
I'll tell you why:
It's all we see. It's literally forced down our gullets at every turn. Magazines at the grocery store scream "how (insert famous reality star) lost the baby weight;" billboards and fashion-y Instagram accounts and commercials all communicate to us "you should look like this. Don't you wish you looked like this?"
We're subjected to (photoshopped) images of "post baby bodies" literally EVERYWHERE WE LOOK. Usually they're screaming "I LOST THE BABY WEIGHT IN 2 SECONDS! YOU CAN TOO!"
The message creeps in, and without even knowing why, we start to care.
But do any of us really want to care about that crap? Don't we all want to OWN our own experiences, live unashamed, value our own stories, and love the body, mind, and soul we have?
For pity's sake, don't we want to just ENJOY our babies and respect the amazing bodies that built them without feeling like we have too much jiggle in our wiggle?
I do. So I do. And if you needed permission to do the same, I'm granting that to you now. (Takes out wand, taps you on head.)
Building a person takes time, effort and work. Respect that process and where it has taken you.
You are different. Not less, and certainly not worse. In fact, you're better and stronger by virtue of what you've already done.
The only "baby weight" I'm losing is the weight of all these ridiculous expectations about how a woman should LOOK after she's created life.
Whatever a new mama's body looks like, it took WORK to get there - the spectacular work of building a person. And even though that "work" looks different from the "work" you put in at the gym, its end result is far more spectacular.
Everything my body is right now is perfect.
Not "despite" any baby weight...not "aside from" any new softness or newfound shape.
My body rocks, not only because of what it has done, but because it's well taken care of, it's well-loved, and simply because it IS. Mmkay? And that manufactured pressure to "fix" something that's not broken can SERIOUSLY suck it.
If you're looking for my favorite resources, and wanting a more targeted approach than just floating around the internet looking for inspiration, be sure to check out programs with a SMART approach to health that also offer built-in support like Beyond Sugar Detoxand Lift Weights Faster,
Tell me how YOU feel at the facebook page. And if you're curious about my Baby Making & Beyond program, sign up for updates here!
Thanks for reading & subscribing!
PS...When was the last time you checked out my recipes, videos and podcasts at RealFoodLiz.com?
PPS...I know you'll love Skincare Saturdays at the Purely Primal Skincare blog, where I talk non-toxic skincare and my junk-free skincare favorites.
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