Baby Weight. I’m just gonna leave that right there for a minute, so we can all marinate on those two infamous words.
The post-baby body is a curious thing, and really seems to be glossed over. In fact, if I were to rely on my social media feed, I might be led to believe that I am the only woman who has struggled with post-baby weight. Thankfully I have learned that if I am experiencing a struggle, chances are so are other mamas out there. So I am going to delve into this not-so-instagrammed-topic of baby weight, and what it all means.
Now I do realize there are some genetic lottery winners out there who walk out of the hospital in their pre-baby jeans, and to you I say, congratulations on life. Seriously. I don’t even hate you; I marvel at you. But for this (late) 30-something, 5′ (almost) 4″, short-waisted mama, this has not been my experience.
As with other topics, I am going to try to be an open book here, albeit not the most comfortable subject to shed light on. I think this might have to do with what I–what society even, has made weight-loss troubles mean. What does it mean? Some things I have made it mean in the past are, ‘I am not where I should be’, I am somehow ‘less than’, ‘I am no longer attractive’, ‘I am stuck with this weight’, ‘I am failing’, ‘I am weak’, ‘I am not valuable’.
What does it actually mean? It actually means nothing. It means none of these things; it says nothing of my worth, my beauty, my intelligence, my strength or my value.
I really struggled with this type of negative self-talk after my first baby was born, and I’ll tell you what; it really hindered me from losing weight. Enter double-edged sword. So the more I thought about how I-wasn’t-losing-weight-and-I-couldn’t-lose-weight-and-I-was-stuck-with-this-weight-and-it-meant-bad-things-about-me, the more I held on to the weight! Luckily, I had a nice 5 year gap to work on this, (cue sarcasm), and things feel quite different this time around.
Like I said before, this has always been a bit of a taboo topic for me, but if I hold on to that idea; the idea that weight-loss is a forbidden conversation, then I am holding on to that old thinking. And that would be completely inauthentic to who I am and who I want to be, today. So I am going to go ahead and take a stand for myself via this post, and take the shame out of discussing what has in the past been a huge struggle for me.
There is really only one traceable thing that is different this time; my thinking. What I have learned is that my thoughts have great power. I create my entire reality with my thoughts, and if you’re in to the whole law of attraction thing, you already know that ‘like attracts like’. What ever we focus on gets bigger. So in my case, ‘I can’t lose weight’, was creating a space of not losing weight, and everything I did was stemming from that thought-point.
So here I am at almost 5 months post-baby, and I have lost the weight that I put on from baby number two. I am currently chipping away at the residual weight from baby numero uno, and here is the absolute crazy part; it isn’t a struggle. Let me clarify… I am doing my part as far as what foods I consume and trying to stay active, but with the absence (most of the time), of that awful negative internal dialogue, it doesn’t feel dire. It feels slow. But it doesn’t feel hard. Is it challenging at times? Absolutely. However, since I have let go of that damaging way of thinking, it’s an entirely different experience. And I share this not to brag, but rather because it’s a freakin’ miracle. And even more than that, I want to start an honest conversation. I want to create a space where we can talk about our baby-weight (and non-baby-weight) woes, without the attachment of shame or inferiority.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might notice that I at times post in my stories about my weight-loss journey. It’s not as prevalent as me stalking my children with my phone, but in order to stay honest and accountable even, I’ve been trying to include this very real part of my Motherhood journey. In the past I never would have done this, out of fear. Fear of judgement, or fear of ‘jinxing’ myself. But then I get to remind myself that I don’t believe in ‘jinxing’; that it’s a self-created belief system to keep me from being happy and enjoying my victories. And as far as being judged goes; who does someone else’s judgement really speak of? It speaks about the judge-er, and how they feel about them-self, (at least this is the advice I would give a friend.) And if my experience can help another person who might be struggling, then judge away!
So in conclusion, (I know, this was a long one), if you are struggling with weight, I encourage you to work on the thoughts behind the struggle. I encourage you to give yourself grace. I encourage you to remember that your body, your dress size, the numbers on the scale say absolutely nothing about your value as a beautiful, magical human.