Getting your body back: It’s not as simple as “snap, crackle, pop”!
While your body is still figuring itself out after pregnancy, the last thing you want to hear is someone asking if you've got a second one on the way. The audacity! Phumeza Langa shares how she's slowly regaining her confidence and a few tips to get you through if you're in a similar position.
"Will I manage to get back to being a size 6 or a size close to it? Also, will I be okay with perhaps not reaching that particular goal but still being healthy and feeling good?" (iStock)
Source

I will not be coy about it, I want to be a size 6 again. The question is, will I manage to get back to being a size 6 or a size close to it? Also, will I be okay with perhaps not reaching that particular goal but still being healthy and feeling good?

I have read enough articles on the post-partum body to know that it is not an easy journey back to the pre-baby body I once knew. I have spoken to some of my mommy friends to know that it is a long and difficult journey back to a weight and shape that makes one feel comfortable again – not for others, be it society in general or even one’s partner, but for yourself.


What was your postpartum journey like? Did you struggle with accepting your body? Tell us your story by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.


When you throw in social media, the insane pressure to “snap back” and other people around you who will ask you, “So when are you getting back in shape? There’s a celebrity who did it in 3 months, you should have done that too,” or your baby hasn’t even reached 6 months yet and you hear the comments about the mommy pouch and “OH! It looks like there’s a second one on the way...”.

I have heard those and more in the last 4 or so months, I will probably be hearing more of them still. Yes! I get it, I have a mommy pouch and it takes about all that I have to not cry every time I need to get dressed or undressed. I consciously avoid the mirror so that I do not see my body for what it is currently post-partum.

When the days are really not pleasant, when I want to hide and not face the world, when I wonder why it’s not perfectly acceptable to wear a poncho to work (and in this heatwave, a sheet would do fine)... on these days I just add some stunning accessories, pair with some cute shoes and I'm good to go.

Realistically though, you can try some of these:

1. Try not to internalise the comments

Remember, people sometimes have zero chill and the comments aren’t necessarily made to hurt you, even though they do catch you off guard and you’re left reeling. When I had someone ask me at work whether I was expecting a second baby, my brain literally froze because:

  • A: it was another woman and mother asking me this;
  • B: it was not the first time I had been asked this; and
  • C: did I really have to now deal with trying to explain how my body is figuring itself out and I barely have enough time for myself, let alone a workout. 

Also read: Your post-birth body: what to expect

2. Positive reminders and self-talk

You do not have to explain yourself to anyone – ANYONE. No one should be questioning you about how serious you are about getting into shape, or commenting that you do not look the way you used to, making you feel unattractive or you’ve “let yourself go”.

Keep reminding yourself that you gave birth to a baby who is well and happy, you’re adjusting to this role of motherhood and enjoying the adventure while trying to figure out how to make it work for you. Surround yourself with people who will support you as you work towards getting fit and in shape again, but also be okay with the days when an extra snooze is all you want when you should be heading to a run. It’s okay, don’t be hard on yourself!

3. The journey

You need to keep in mind that you grew and carried a human being whom you shared everything with, literally! They are now out in the world and you are possibly juggling many different roles over and above being a mother, which include homemaker, wife, employee, daughter, friend, and more.

Cut yourself some slack! I met a mom of a 3-year-old who looks incredible and she was honest with me and said that it had taken her a long time to get back into shape and to work on a body that she wanted for herself. 

If don’t feel great about yourself on a particular day, it is okay, those negative feelings won’t last and you will also be able to find a way to get in those workout sessions.

Whatever it is that you decide to do in terms of your post-partum body, do it for you and your wellbeing. No one has the power to make you feel bad about your body, you are a warrior – you are a mom – you are truly beautiful.

What was your postpartum journey like? Did you struggle with accepting your body? Tell us your story by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

Read more:

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy
NEXT ON PARENT24X
 
 
 
 
Directories

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.