Reconciling the “Mommy Body”

reconcilingthemommybodyI am thrilled to feature Joanna as a fit mom featured blogger. I met Joanna via Instagram and have enjoyed getting to know her through photos. I’m sure you will enjoy her post about reconciling the “Mommy Body.”

Hello! I’m Joanna from Makingmine – a twenty-something newlywed, mama to Eleanor, and Westie lover. My blog is about continuing to learn and grow while striving for a greener, healthier, more well-rounded life. Visit Makingmine for posts about fitness, motherhood, and my creative endeavors! Follow me on Twitter @joannamurnan and like Makingmine on Facebook!

I remember the moment well. I was lying in the hospital bed and had just handed my beautiful newborn daughter off to my husband. I looked down, and for the first time in months, I saw a flat belly. The bump was gone!

As you may guess, that feeling of satisfaction didn’t last long. The minute I stood up, that once flat belly slumped over like a deflated balloon. At that moment I would have given anything to have my cute little baby bump, but with my baby in my arms, there was no turning back. I now officially had a “mommy body.”

Joanna and her beautiful baby girl.

Joanna and her beautiful baby girl.

Reconciling my new body with the image of who I thought I should be was a difficult process. I knew what I looked like before I had a baby. I even accepted what I looked like pregnant. But post-baby Joanna was totally new to me, and I didn’t care for her too much.

I truly believe that with healthy choices throughout pregnancy and a commitment to fitness post-baby, new moms can achieve their goals. Amanda is a testament to this fact. Even though I knew this, I still struggled to imagine that the pudgy body in the mirror could ever be anything else. In my first 2 months postpartum, I learned three valuable lessons in accepting my “mommy body” while working toward the body I desire.

1. Move forward.

Healthy living is a journey, and like any journey, you can only go forward. It did me no good to look back at old pictures or try on bikinis I knew wouldn’t fit yet (yes, I did this). Instead of looking at where I’d been, I needed to look at where I wanted to go. I needed to embrace my mommy body as a new starting point from where I could go anywhere I want.

2. Make your goals action oriented.

For me this meant saying, “I want to run a 5k in 24 minutes” instead of “I want to lose 15 pounds.” My 5k goal will undoubtedly help me lose the unwanted weight, but this simple change mindset has been vital in maintaining a positive self-image. Forget the scale, take the pressure off your body, and focus instead on your achievements. I don’t want my pre-baby body anyways. I want to be stronger!

3. Recognize what’s beyond your control.

No, I’m not suggesting you throw in the towel and give up. There’s a difference between making an excuse and making an exception. You may need to accept that maybe your clothes don’t fit because nursing has your chest triple its normal size. Or perhaps you just can’t get back into running yet because healing is taking longer than expected. Be flexible.

When all else fails, look at that precious baby in your arms and realize that no matter where your fitness journey takes you or how long until your back in your favorite pair of jeans, that body of yours did something incredibly special. You should be proud!

What suggestions would you have for a mom coming to grips with her body?

What’s your experience getting back into fitness postpartum?

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8 thoughts on “Reconciling the “Mommy Body”

  1. Marie says:

    Always look on the bright side hey. And if you’re depressed about post body condition after having a baby…just look at what you created – nice message:)

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