Finding Your Body Confidence Again Post Baby. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Ashley Verma, CEO of Bizimumzi. Ashley will share advice on finding your body confidence again after post-baby. Ashley, like so many new mothers, felt somewhat unfavourable (ok, very unfavourable) about her body after the birth of her daughter. She thought it was taking her far too long to return to her pre-baby shape. And this was taking its toll on her mental health. But determined to find a way through, Ashley used her training as a former Broadway dancer, celebrity fitness trainer and founder of Define London fitness studio to create a series of simple steps to help her regain her body confidence (even if she didn’t 100% regain her old shape).
Finding Your Body Confidence Again Post Baby
I had mentioned to my Mom, very soon after I had my daughter, how awful I felt about myself and my body. My negative headspace was crippling. I love my mother, but her answer wasn’t helpful: “Well, think about all the positive ways the baby has changed you.” I just could not! Is this because we live in a social media society where everyone is Instagram-perfect, and due to crazy algorithms, all you see on your feed are perfect post-baby bounce-back bodies? I don’t know, but whatever the reason, I felt terrible about myself and how I looked like many new mothers.
Like many moms suffering in silence when it comes to finding confidence or that ‘post-baby mojo’, I needed to stop comparing myself to the fancy folk and start giving myself some proper high-five encouragement. Your body just grew a baby; don’t forget that new organ, too: the placenta. The body did so much shifting within, changing, and accommodating that new life. Let’s also not forget the now factor; your body is tasked with feeding, healing from birth, holding your child, caring for your child, and doing this on very little sleep. Where in this do we appreciate ourselves? Like all moms, I love my child, but I felt so uncomfortable and exhausted that I couldn’t enjoy my body.
I forgot, and perhaps you have, too, that our bodies are sensational. So, this is my first suggestion if you need a little help regaining your confidence: take a long, luxuriously glorious shower, grab a strong cuppa, and get ready for a good slap of reality. While sipping my strong cuppa, I asked myself what two or three things I am grateful for that my body does daily were? It was a great place to start, and I recommend you try it.
Once you start to acknowledge the power of your body, then you can go deeper. Here are my five top tips that helped me along my Mom’s journey, and I hope can help you shake off those post-baby body blues and build back your body confidence:
Practise Loving Yourself
Body Positivity sounds so easy to attain, but it isn’t always the case. I, for one, had a challenging time postpartum. To be frank, I still do. I accept that I am a work in progress. I come from a Broadway performance background, so at a very, very young age, the strive for body image perfection was ingrained in our “dancer brains”. I’m a smart gal, and I knew approaching postpartum with that dancer’s brain would not benefit my daughter or me. I wasn’t trying to get the next big Broadway show, now I was striving to bring health and happiness to my daughter constantly, and I needed that self-worth happiness for ME too. I knew I needed some common ground.
From my years as a fitness trainer, I knew I needed to teach myself ‘self-love’ as I had always preached this to my clients. It was time for me to have a massive spoonful of medicine.
Start with finding body neutrality. How can you go from hating your body to loving it overnight? It is certainly not a light switch. Find a middle ground first. Try accepting that your body is different, neither good nor bad. How to find acceptance? Little steps each day: an extra walk, 10 minutes in the middle of the day; head to YouTube for free quick workouts. For example, I share free activities on my Bizzimumzi YouTube channel. A lot of moms do not have the luxury of being able to spend two hours a day with a trainer. Grab quick and efficient workouts (10-20 minutes) that you can do with the little one(s) around. I’m all for exercising with the kids because if they are napping, so should you. Rest is just as important as the workout.
My daughter is 2.5 years old, and I am still a work in progress. A social media square should never measure my progress and your progress.
Home In On The Times When You Are Overwhelmed With Negative Body Thoughts
What are you doing? Where are you? How has your day been? Were you offered help, and you said no?
These are vital to acknowledge to help you recognise where the extra noise comes from.
Are you dwelling on mirrors around the house? Hide the mirrors! That may sound extreme, but when a mirror is placed in front of us, more often than not, all the extra harmful noise can easily creep in. Write these thoughts down, and share them with your partner, therapist, or friend. These triggers must be acknowledged and worked through so that body positivity and self-worth can shine through. It can be hard at first to speak up, but your mental health needs to be a top priority, not only for you but to sustain a healthy environment for your child. Working to eliminate the negative headspace will only enhance all the aspects of your (and your child’s) daily life.
Slow Down The Race To Bounce-Back
I did not get my pre-baby clothes out until six months after the birth. Try to stop pulling them out and comparing yourself. There is no award for a quick bounce back. Trust me when I say your next-door neighbour does not care about the number inside your jeans. Why is there so much shame in our culture if you are not bounce-back ready in four weeks postpartum?
Wear clothes that flatter you and feel good on your body. We need to be in the mindset now of healing and honouring our bodies. The only person that knows the size of your clothing is you. Yes, shocking, but so true!
I have trained countless postpartum moms. There is a frantic energy I always feel when a new mom starts back training. You don’t need to feel this way. It’s added stress. Stress can be an essential factor in actually gaining weight postpartum.
The stress hormone cortisol has a lot to answer for when it comes to weight gain. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy. It also stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. If stressed, high levels of cortisol can cause an increase in appetite and cravings for sweet, high-fat and salty foods. I know it’s easier said than done, but find and relish the moments of calm. Maybe there is a moment in your day when you can sit, close your eyes, and find that deep belly breath. Five minutes, 10 minutes – it all adds up and benefits your mind and overall body.
Ditch The Scales!
The number on your scales is another one no one needs or wants to know. In full transparency, I have no clue how much weight I put on when I was expecting, and I do not own a set of scales in my house. The thought alone gives me anxiety, so why would I allow it? Even when I was pregnant, I turned around on the scale when they weighed me. I politely asked the nurse never to tell me my weight. I said that if I was gaining too much and affecting my health, tell me but otherwise, do not let me know. The number on the scale does not define you. Self-love and self-worth acceptance indeed does and has a more significant meaning.
Fuel Your Body
Permit yourself to eat what makes you happy and fulfilled. Restrictions can quickly flip the narrative and create negative thoughts and unhealthy relationships with food. Don’t skip meals. It would be best if you had the fuel for your body and, more importantly, your mind. As moms, we work desperately hard to make the perfect daily routine for our children. This way, they thrive each week, hitting new milestones and adorable development. But what about your practice? What about your eating routine? Sticking to regular mealtimes and portions can help keep you on a great path. Healthy protein, high-fibre foods, and nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables will keep you energised throughout the day and provide the essential nutrients postpartum.
We are all on our journey. As postpartum moms, we should all feel an undeniable sense of power and complete awe of our body’s capabilities. However, that isn’t always the case. That is ok! How we strive to get there will differ from individual to individual. I hope some of my tips can help encourage and inspire you to get there. You are in a new stage of your life with a new body. Allow it time, allow it grace, and most importantly, accept it as that will mean you will exude body confidence and self-confidence.
I hope you enjoyed that.
About The Author
Ashley Verma is a mom, founder of the Bizzimumzi podcast, and Define London fitness studio. She is a former Broadway performer and celebrity trainer. Through Bizzimumzi, Ashley has created a welcoming community to share the highs and lows of parenting and inspire others to feel empowered in their journey. Ashely believes the perfect picture of parenting is when you are trying your best. Bizzimumzi is a safe space that helps parents inspire, educate and support each other to be their best parents.