Body Image and Self Love: Pre-pregnancy, Pregnancy & Postpartum
Argghhhh yes Body Image and Self Love, a topic that seems to in the media a lot. However the image of the “perfect human being” still manages to cover the pages of magazines, social media platforms, on our televisions screens and in our head.
We all have this vision of what we would like our body to be if it was at its absolute peak. We are all guilty of this and we are influenced to think like this too. It needs to be changed. We are all guilty of saying these horrible things to our self like “I’m to fat”, “I don’t like my hips”, “I look disgusting in this dress” “My life would be perfect if I was Jenifer Lopez”. Yes blah blah blah its all the garbage we put in our own heads. If you heard you son or daughter saying that to their self you would be heartbroken wouldn’t you? So what makes it okay for us to preach this to ourselves?
I am absolutely in love with this new generation of social media influencers that are here to tell their followers exactly how it is! All the triumphs and the failures they go through. The real stories that life can throw at you. That there is no definition of perfect and if there is, then Oxford Dictionary can go shove it up its bottom.
So this is my honest story on how I felt throughout my pregnancy journey and after I had my little man Cruz.
Before I had fell pregnant with Cruz, I had dropped 20kg and I can honestly tell you that I still had days where I thought I was “fat” or “not good enough”. There were also days when I thought I looked great too and I was proud of my body’s achievements. I knew I felt great eating healthy and feeling fit, but the mind still needed a little work. When I decided I was ready to have a baby, there was the excitement of being a first time mum but the change in my body fears would creep in to my mind a lot. “What would I look like”? “How much weight will I put on”? “How long will it take to lose it”? Talking to many other women that had been in my shoes, I knew this was common thinking.
The day I found out I was pregnant I was so excited, I felt like my body could achieve anything. I had planned to continue my HIIT training and my daily walks. For the next 40 weeks. That thought didn’t last long as the next day started the 24hrs nausea and vomiting. I then didn’t feel great to about 11 weeks. So walking and eating healthy (when I could) was all I could do. I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to keep this baby as healthy as I could, so I was happy to continue on my healthy journey while being pregnant.
After about 18 weeks I felt like I looked like I had just eaten to many burgers, where was this beautiful round bump that I had seen in the magazines? I felt bloated, my boobs were so big, my but was bigger and I didn’t fit into any clothes. The negative talk came back for a few weeks until 23 weeks and then I got this pop and my pregnant belly looked like a pregnant belly.
From 23 weeks I started to get this new lot of confidence come over me, I felt great; I was exercising daily, walking and doing weights at home. Once I had a bump to show off I felt like I looked pregnant.
And then the comments at work would start… “oh you are so big’? “you must have twins because you are so massive” “your boobs are so big” “you sure you aren’t full term” WHY WHY WHY must people feel the need to comment on your bump? There went my self-confidence again. I don’t know who gives people the right to say what they want to your face when you are pregnant?
Fasting forward to 37 weeks and 5 days. Yes this is the day I had Cruz. Wow R.E.S.P.E.C.T find out what it means to me? Our bodies are amazing if we can handle birth? We create a home to grow our baby and then we birth them? I was on a all time high when I had Cruz and was so caught up in my bubble of love I did not have no negative self talk until about 3 months.
3 months postpartum was when I returned to High Intensity Interval Training and boy was I in for a shock. My body couldn’t do what it had done before, well it could but it was so much slower and it hurt in some places it didn’t before. At 6 months postpartum I had gained a lot of my strength back, I was at the gym 4 times a week and walking every day for 30minutes. I always ate healthy postpartum, as that is my passion. Fuelling my body with good foods is important to me, plus it’s the food I enjoy eating.
I am currently 10 month postpartum, I will be honest there will be days where I hear the self hate talk creeping in, but you know what I am giving it the middle finger! I have found a new love and respect for my body. I may not have abs, I may have varicose veins on my thighs, my but might not be as perky as it used to be but I do have a son, a gorgeous little man that teaches me that life is short and to embrace every moment. I am refusing to waste my time looking in the mirror talking shit about my body and I am no longer willing to waste time having a tantrum about having nothing to wear. I am going to embrace what I have. Self-love is a journey I am willing to work hard at and share with as many woman as I can in hope they follow. We all beautiful in our own way and we need to be proud of our body’s achievements.
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