my body

my cousin at five months postpartum

Some people post pictures of themselves in their underwear on their blog. I’m tempted, but I just can’t do it. Instead, I’ll show you pictures of my beautiful cousin at 5 months postpartum because she’s a former model and a fellow mom. She’s living proof that if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, including during pregnancy, it is possible for most women to have a baby and a flat stomach, eventually.

I am not a former model, so I do not have a picture, but I do have words. My Body is a subject that is only approached when my heart is feeling exceptionally open. My Body has been an object of loathing and love, abuse and pristine care. I posted this quote a while ago. And I will remind you of it today. A simple yet divine truth.

“The beauty of the human body is its ability to recover itself.” —  Dr. Oz

My Body has carried up to 25 more pounds than it carries today in the form of less muscle and more fat. My Body has carried a child for 39 weeks and 6 days, when My Body weighed 28 more pounds than it does today. My Body has naturally birthed a child after five hours of labor. My Body has nursed around the clock for 14 months and going strong. My Body has suffered through a seven day (voluntary) fast and detox. My Body has processed more alcohol and refined sugar than I’d like to recall. My Body has recovered beautifully. My Body has brought me joy, My Body has brought me pain. My Body endures.

Even through hate. There were days, weeks, months, years that I truly hated my Body. I let the state of my Body drive me to the edge of depression.

Today, I love my postpartum body. More than I’ve ever loved my Body in my whole life. My belly is flat and toned and tight, my legs are lean and muscular, the rest I’ll leave to your imagination.

To what do I owe this body? I owe it to my daughter, who sits in the stroller and patiently watches me work out. I owe it to Stroller Strides of Seattle for offering butt-kicking, never-boring, sweaty and fun classes for moms and sometimes dads. (NO, I do not accept any form of payment for making this statement.) I owe it to my mother, for teaching me to love healthy food. I owe it to my cousin and fellow young mother for paving the way. I owe it to my husband, for his support. I am a much better, healthier, happier person because of my husband.

But mostly, I owe it to myself. I have finally learned to love two things I did not love before. Exercise and my Body. My lovely, strong, feminine Body.

This post was inspired by the response to my piece of short fiction, “Fat Girl,” as well as Kristin’s Feel Good Fridays at Peace, Love and Muesli.

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7 thoughts on “my body

  1. It’s worth noting that before I was pregnant, I believed pregnancy would be the end-all to physical beauty. As far as physical attributes go, the stomach was the most precious to me. I was ready to make an exchange for the endless love and beauty children would be in my life, but I was SURE I would never have my stomach or my body the way it was. I had literally kissed my stomach goodbye, and had already parted with it even before I was showing.

    Although my body is undoubtedly different than before I was pregnant, Lucy is right, I have fallen in love with my new body all over again. And completely shocked to ever see a stomach muscle again. I honestly thought ALL postpartum celebrity pictures were faked or surgical.

    For me it is somewhat of an unfair comparison, because although it wasn’t the slightest bit easy, it was somewhat effortless. I was so sick during my pregnancy/morning sickness, I never got the pleasure of eating to my hearts desire! The baby was born with such difficult colic I could barely sleep, never eat enough, and was constantly bouncing him. Within two and a half weeks after birth I had a flat stomach, but that was a price I would have preferred not to pay and an unhealthy result. So in a much healthier route, the three things that were sole contributors for me:
    1) Eating well during pregnancy 2) Nursing constantly 3) Eating well postpartum. I am a huge advocate of exercise and think it should be done for health… but as far as weight-loss, it has to come AFTER eating well, #4.

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  2. I love this post. Not only is this good advice for a postpartum body but also for an aging one. I remind myself of this daily. I am strong and fit; I will be healthy as I age so that I can enjoy my children. That’s what life is for–to enjoy it, not worry about how we look going through it.

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  3. Good for you!!! I think it is really important for people to accept their bodies, particularly mom’s who have just had their body morph into something they aren’t used to. I cannot imagine what that is like.

    You and your cousin are an inspiration.

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