"Your Body is NOT Ruined"
I wanted to take a moment to talk about a health topic that is very personal
to me and that many people struggle with every single day...body image.
What is body image? According to Dictionary.com body image is defined as, "an intellectual or idealized image of what one's body is or should be like, that is sometimes misconceived..."
Every single time we look at ourselves in the mirror, our ideas of what our bodies "should" look like floods our minds. Body image issues can occur with the healthiest, fittest, leanest of all people, obese people, or even just plain normal people; but what I've recently learned from personal experience is that body image issues are found to be the most potent among pregnant women and newly delivered moms.
I just gave birth to my husband and mine's first baby on October 21st and struggled with body image my whole entire pregnancy. As much as we planned and discussed starting our family, and as much as I researched pregnancy, it was still upsetting to see my fit body change day by day. I couldn't stand to look in the mirror because I didn't even recognize myself anymore.
My abs disappeared, my thighs started touching, my cravings took over my healthy eating habits, and don't even get my started on my backside- haha! What's worse is that with the way the baby was sitting, my Sciatic Nerve became pinched so I couldn't even moderately work out any longer because of the pain. I couldn't wait for the whole experience to be over- because I was very excited to meet our daughter, but also because I couldn't wait to have my body back again.
Fast forward to the day I had our daughter. Long story short, I was admitted to the hospital at 1 P.M. and had her at 2:49 P.M. No epidural and hardly any pain meds with a deployed husband may I add. And yes, I'm proud of how my body just knew what to do and how amazing of a labor/birth I was blessed to have. Every time I look at my daughter, I don't think about how terrible I felt about my body when I was carrying her, or how much weight I gained, or how many stretch marks I have- it seems so TRIVIAL now. I proudly can say that now when I look in the mirror at my postpartum body I can say, "My body is amazing," not "My body is ruined."
I want other moms to understand that it's not about how much weight was gained, or how many stretch marks snuck up on you. All that matters is that your body did an amazing thing- carried another human being for nine long months. Your body is NOT ruined.
So do me a favor. The next time you moms look in the mirror don't let negative body image cloud your mind...instead, smile with pride and remember how AWESOME your body really is and what it's capable of doing! -- Written by Doni Bullock, OnTrack Fitness personal trainer, San Diego CA