Losing weight after having a baby can come easily for some, and it can be a HUGE challenge for others. We know that there are health benefits to returning to a pre-pregnancy weight, but even when you eat right, and exercise regularly, losing weight is easier said than done.
I want to change the conversation a bit, and focus on how to love your body after having a baby, and how to return to a healthy lifestyle. If we focus too much on the numbers on a scale or how we look in a swimsuit, we can lose focus what is really important.
I believe there is importance in not only eating healthy foods, but having a healthy relationship with food, exercise, and body image. If you pay too much attention to calorie-counting apps, and ignore your hunger cues, you are damaging your relationship with food.
What if we embrace the beauty of our bodies? Stretch marks from pregnancy and all! What if we were proud of our body’s ability to grow and feed a baby, and gave our bodies respect for the gift it gave us?
Would embracing our bodies as they are, be a sign of giving up on health? I don’t think so. I think it is possible to both love our bodies now and strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
It’s horrible to feel like you have to look a certain way before you can be happy! Let’s try to encourage each other to love our bodies. Remind your friends that they are beautiful in their own skin. You can encourage people to have health goals—exercising for heart health, eating fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of disease, not to reach a certain weight.
What are some steps you can take to have a healthy relationship with food, excersise and body image?
*Exercise because it’s fun! Find activities you actually ENJOY. For example, I love working in the yard, doing yoga, and rock wall climbing. I go to the gym in the winter when it’s too cold to enjoy being outside, but I listen to one of my favorite podcasts (The Moth, if you’re curious), so I have a reason to look forward to it! I work out because I know it makes my heart stronger, and it gives me more energy. I feel happier after I get exercise. I try not to get on the scale too often, so I don’t get obsessed with numbers.
*Eat foods that are healthy and foods that just taste good! It’s ok to have variety in your diet, including occasional treats. Enjoy your salads, but embrace a little chocolate or ice cream too! It can all fit.
*Love the body that you are in! Find clothes that flatter your body style. Whether you’re a stick shaped, or pear shaped or anything in between, strive to embrace your body. Encourage your friends, sisters, daughters, and other loved ones to have positive body language.