Postpartum Expectation vs Reality

I knew that when I fell pregnant weight loss after Bub was going to be my biggest hurdle, it took me over 3 years to drop 3 dress sizes and to feel comfortable in my own skin therefore I knew mentally loosing the baby weight wasn’t going to happen overnight. However I never anticipated it to take this long and the mental strain it would put on my emotions.

A lot of people would tell me “If you exercise through pregnancy the weight will fall off you after bub” so I trained right up until 34 weeks. Do I think this statement is true, hell no. It may of helped me stay sane and help me keep off extra weight however I do not believe it has contributed to any fast fat loss after birth.

“Calories don’t count when your pregnant” I can put my hand up and say I abused this statement. Don’t get me wrong I was healthy throughout my pregnancy however I wasn’t afraid to eat an Oreo and MnM McFlurry almost every night or finish a tub of Nutella. I was also a vegetarian who didn’t eat any takeaway for 2 years prior to falling pregnant, and once I fell pregnant I started eating meat and eating Maccas on a weekly basis maybe a few times a week.

“Don’t worry you will be all tummy” umm no I was all thighs, all arms, all back rolls and a whole lot of tummy.

Throughout my pregnancy I gained over 20kgs, I would guess that maybe half of that was baby weight (water, placenta, baby etc). Once I had Zephaniah my biggest struggle was ditching the junk and the sugar that I had become addicted too. The first 7 weeks of my postpartum journey I couldn’t do any training due to my cesarean so mentally I was struggling as I just expected my body to snap back into its old training routines, eventually when I was all cleared to start training again I was as weak as ever. My core was ridiculously weak, I couldn’t plank, I couldn’t sit up without having to hold on to something to pull myself up and I literally pissed myself the first time I started skipping again.

For the first few months I loved my body, I worshipped it, after all it grew such a beautiful human. The first few months had come and gone and my love soon turned into disgust and being so ashamed when I looked in the mirror. I wasn’t seeing any progress and I was training 5 days a week and eating very healthy, why was the progress non existant. My wedding was creeping closer and closer so I was putting so much negative pressure on myself to bounce back. I remember going to the bridal store to pick out my dress, they measured me up and I was a size 18 AU, my heart sank. I went from a size 10 to an 18, I had never ever been an 18 before, in my biggest I was a 16 but never an 18. I went home and cried and cried, I was miserable.

A few months before my wedding I decided that enough was enough with the body bashing and the pulling of the fat in the mirror, my mentality had to change. I grew a very cute baby who is oh so happy and oh so smart. Would I want her to look at her body in such a way when she is grown, do I want her to be ashamed of the body her father and I grew for her?! No way!

For me mentally there is 2 sides to this blog and they are both such a double edge. You have the one side of society that gives you a sense of false hope and security where you will “bounce” back overnight and it doesn’t matter what you eat because you are pregnant. And there is another side to this where you put the pressure on yourself to again “bounce” back because you were once fit and healthy and you see so many mamas on Instagram where they have bounced back and they are back to being a size 8 within a month of having their baby.

I suppose I wanted this blog to show the expectations we put on ourselves and what society puts on us and then I wanted to show the reality, which is not as glamourous and not often shown on social media platforms. The reality is fine, take your time, embrace the path you are on as being a new mum and embrace the new shape your body has taken even if it has been a year on. I would often say the saying “It is taking me 9 months to put on the baby weight it will take me another 9 months to take it off” realizing now that as positive as that saying sounds, its not. I am nowhere near my postpartum figure and I am 8 months pp and it will probably take me at least another 6 months to get anywhere near my previous figure and size. That saying also puts a time frame on yourself to “bounce back” which I think is a negative approach to your postpartum journey, we shouldn’t put so much pressure and negativity on ourselves, we need to let the process take its place as slow as that may be.

Try and get out for a walk each day, lift some weights, do some burpees in front of the tv, eat some veggies and drink some water, ditch the junk, ditch the sugar, ditch the processed foods. Try to be the best version of yourself each day, if you feel like you’ve failed, you haven’t, your trying your hardest and if you don’t think your trying hard enough wake up tomorrow and start the day with a positive outlook and push on. Worship your bodies, treat them with the love and respect they deserve, do you really want to look back on life and remember how negative your headspace was and how much you would mentally bash yourself about the way you looked. Be proud, be raw and be unapologetically you.

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