Embracing the ‘Mum Bod’
The ‘Mum Bod’ – love yours or hate it – it’s time to embrace it!
Social media makes it hard to hide from the pressures of getting back into shape after having a baby, with constant pictures of celebs looking flawless on the beach just weeks after giving birth. It can also make Mama’s feel like they have to justify their appearance in photos. I’ve come across it (and been guilty of it myself) several times across instagram. ‘Excuse the tired eyes today’ or ‘Not a great angle’. I’ve even pleaded with Rich to crop me out a photo or not take one at all if I’m not looking half decent, which is devastating to think that we are missing out on capturing precious moments due to feeling insecure about a body that has just worked MIRACLES to stretch, grow and home a baby for 9 months!
‘Don’t worry, just enjoy your baby’ people say. Of course I agree with this comment, especially at the beginning where the days blur into night and you have forgotten what it’s like to eat a proper meal (a hot one anyway) and not rely on cold coffee and toast to fuel your day. But on the other hand I believe it’s important to try and be the best version of yourself and do what makes you happy – a body confident and secure Mama is a happy Mama, which reflects on your baby! This doesn’t make you vain. Whether you have the confidence to embrace the new rolls, the wobbly bits or the (not so) fresh faced look, or you want to work hard to tone that mummy tummy – it’s your body and your journey and the only opinion that matters is yours.
I’d always been one of those girls who’d receive comments like ‘you’re so skinny’, ‘there’s nothing to you’ or people would snigger if I ever opted for a swampy green smoothie over a muffin for breakfast – ‘you don’t need to diet!’ (This was especially frowned upon in my office due to working for a bakery company!) Only I didn’t want to be so skinny. I wanted the abs, the peachy bum, the toned legs. Everyone wants what they haven’t got, right?! Yes, I had a naturally slim physique, but I had never dieted. I enjoyed being healthy. You wouldn’t pull someone up for making bad food choices or being overweight, so what made it okay for people to have their say this way round. I had previously got into running but soon figured out that it wasn’t having the effect on my body that I desired, as I was losing fat rather than building muscle tone. So I introduced free weights and resistance exercises to try and change my body shape – again a concept some people failed to understand ‘you’re working out to get bigger?!’
Here I am pre-pregnancy:
This picture was taken this time last year, shortly before I fell pregnant. Due to saving for our wedding I couldn’t afford a gym membership, so I’d workout at home following The Bodycoach’s youtube channel & Results With Lucy‘s videos. I was happy with my progress and at this point, would have taken offence to any ‘you’re so skinny’ comments, as to me that was pretty much as bad as calling someone fat! I was no longer one of the lucky ones or to put it more accurately in some people’s view, that skinny bitch who didn’t really put on weight, I worked hard to be fit and healthy!
Fast forward to 41 weeks pregnant and having abs like slabs were the least of my concerns!
I’m a huge supporter of Joe Wicks ‘ditch the sad step’ mantra, as I’d never been concerned about my weight. However, I was intrigued to see what the ultimate sweet tooth throughout pregnancy had done to my body! At this point I was an extra 2 stone (2 and a half from the beginning of pregnancy when I was too nauseous to eat). Obviously when little JJ arrived, the least of my priorities was getting back into shape, but I can’t lie and say I wasn’t shocked that I didn’t just ping back down to size straight away! On the one hand I was sad that none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fitted me anymore, but on the other I had no complaints keeping the maternity jeans out a bit longer (seriously, how are they sooo comfy?!)
After my 6 week check up I decided I was ready to get back into exercise and start reducing the midnight dairy milk binges that had been seeing me through the night feeds. Luckily I had a PE teacher for a husband, so having that support and motivation really helped!
Here is my progress so far:
6 weeks vs 12 weeks postpartum.
- 1 inch lost off my waist
- 1.5 inches lost off my hips
- 2 inches lost off my belly
- and I was more Kardashian than ever before keeping the couple of extra inches on my bum 😉
Although it’s still early days, the important thing is I feel a whole lot better in myself. I am not working out because I feel the pressure to get back to normal (what even is normal anymore when you’re a Mama?!) I work out because I enjoy it. I am making the most of those rare 15 minute intervals when JJ is happy entertaining himself or getting forty winks. I am more confident in my body than ever and I am feeling less fatigued during the day, which has a positive effect on both baby and daddy as it reduces the occasions Rich walks through the door to me waiting with JJ held out in my arms ‘JUST TAKE HIM’. And if we’re running late in the morning and I have to rock up to baby class with wet hair and no make-up – I try not to let it stress me out as much. Exercise is good for the body and the soul!
I know they say ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, but my results so far have been mostly achieved through the Bodycoach’s HIIT sessions 3-4 times a week. I try to limit carbs unless it’s after a workout and of course cut out the sugary treats, but I’m also realistic and never beat myself up for a bad day. We’re Mama’s – sometimes it would just be plain rude to say no to that piece of homemade chocolate fudge cake at baby group, or resist the glass of wine and snacks after your little one has been fighting a nap and whingeing all day. AND THAT’S OKAY!