As women, we will go through thousands of transitions- student, graduate, entrepreneur, employee, newlywed, mother, etc. Each transition comes with changes often physical that can be hard to manage.
This is my transition- postpartum.
It will be 8 months since I’ve had Olivia and I am starting to feel at home with this new body. I say new because my body isn’t the same as before. It grew a baby for almost 10 months and then birthed her into this world. Am I 100% confident in my body all the time? Nope. But do I want my “old” body back? Not really.
Let me tell you, loving myself is a process. There are days when I focus on all of my insecurities and there are days when I love my flaws because they got me to where I am today. On those low days, I usually tell myself the same story, “I look so tired and old. My skin is dull and my sun/age/dark spots are huge. My abs are flabby and non-existent. Everything jiggles all the time. My thighs party each time I take a step.” I’m sure you think it’s crazy because you probably don’t see that, right?
We are so good at telling ourselves the same tired story when I’m sure the person next to you doesn’t think that at all. Our brains are efficient at pulling up any previous insecurities the first moment you are feeling down. It can feel like we are swimming upstream because how do you break that vicious cycle of negativity?
Well, according to Tony Robbins, it is simple. End your suffering with gratitude. Tell yourself three things you are grateful for and it is impossible to be in a suffering state of mind.
When I find myself getting down about my body, I try to focus on what I’m grateful for and what I like about my body. I love my hair and I’m grateful I haven’t lost too much. I’m grateful I was able to lose the weight I gained while pregnant. I love my boobs. Talk about getting real, eh?
Transitions are difficult to begin with, but they are even harder for women. I feel like we are harder on ourselves and have high standards and expectations. When I started losing the baby weight, I received so many comments like, “You look so great! You can’t even tell you had a baby.” While that is nice, what does that really mean? Is it ideal to look like I didn’t have a baby? I don’t want to disregard that huge accomplishment because it is part of my identity now.
My body is different since having Olivia and will continue to change. Once I stop breastfeeding, I’m sure my body and boobs will change again. I am in a constant state of transition and it can be beautiful as long as I make it beautiful.