I mentioned in my update post last week that I’ve been going back to Pure Barre for about two and a half weeks (I started six weeks postpartum). What I didn’t mention is that nearly constantly while I’m in class, I find myself hoping/wondering if my classmates remember that “I just had a baby,” because I can’t do all of the things I used to be able to do, the things I worked so hard for, and my leggings/tanks are much too tight.
In general, too, I have felt like I need to wear a neon sign above my head or whatever that says “hey! I just had a baby” as a way of EXCUSING the way my body looks.
I swear my hips are wider than they’ve EVER been, I have fat rolls, and I’ve lost all the definition in my arms/shoulders.
I know all of that is a result of growing and delivering a small HUMAN, but….
as sad as it is, that is how I’ve been feeling. And as I was nursing Hawk over the weekend, I saw this post on Instagram by Ann Street Studio in which she basically says the same thing; even she has felt the need to apologize for her postpartum body.
I find it SO FRUSTRATING that we do this to ourselves, that we believe we don’t deserve to move around in the world with fat rolls and wide hips, not even after we have PUSHED A BABY OUT of said hips. We have to make excuses for how our bodies look, like if the stranger across the street knew that I just had a baby she’d say, OH, okay, I get it now; that extra fat is just TEMPORARY, you get a pass for a few months.
Most of all we are hardest on ourselves. Excuse me, I AM hardest on MYSELF. I think I care what my barre-mates think, sadly, although they tell me I don’t look like I just had a baby two-plus months ago. I say thank you, but inside I’m thinking “yeah, right”. But mostly I can’t help but feel like I’ve done something wrong along the way that I still have “baby weight” – and so much of it. That is my nature though, to think that I am always 100% responsible for any little imperfection, and that I can fix it with hard work.
This time is different I know. There are hormones at play, and reasons my body is holding on to fat. I have almost let go of the idea that my body will ever look close to what it looked like pre-pregnancy. That’s okay. I really just want to feel good in my body, and like it is MINE again. Perhaps that will only come after breastfeeding; it’s hard to feel like my body is mine when it is a constant food source for my son.
I did decide over the weekend that being so hard on myself is taking much too much of my time lately. Time I don’t have a lot of. Time that is precious. I could be loving and embracing my body and all that it is, along with my imperfections as a human, instead of continually berating myself. So I’ve begun to catch myself and then reframe the narrative.
I even wore this outfit out of the house over the weekend, not even bothering to cover up my hips and fupa with a long shirt. That’s progress anyway…