Before we even get pregnant, women get told that after having a baby, we have to lose the baby weight.
Think for a minute about how wrong that is.
Before we even get pregnant and experience all the ups and downs of pregnancy, it is drilled into our minds that as soon as pregnancy is over and we become mothers with endless responsibilities, we need to get back down to our pre-pregnancy weight.
Mamas, that is so wrong. It’s so wrong, so damaging, so ignorant, and so outrageous. Getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight, whether it’s a month after you have a baby or a few years later, should absolutely not be something causing you stress.
Pregnancy does a lot of crazy things to your body. It stretches you, it weighs you down, it scars you, it physically and sometimes emotionally hurts, and at the end of it all, your body does something you never in 1,000 years thought you could do. And the body changes don’t stop there. Motherhood also does a lot of crazy things to your body. It softens you, it strengthens you, it drains you, and it shapes you, both literally and figuratively.
Our bodies are absolutely incredible, inside and out, and the things we go through to bring children into this world and then raise them are nothing short of miraculous.
So why in the world do we worry about such a stupid thing as a number on a scale? Why do we put so much pressure on that number that it can literally cause women to break?
Now I know you might be thinking, “But Chelsea, it’s easy for you to say this because you’re thin. You don’t know what it’s like to be big.”
Just because someone is thin, doesn’t mean they haven’t struggled with their weight. Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a tall girl with a high metabolism. From the time she was little, she heard women talk about things they needed to change on their bodies and saw images of women in the media who were stick-thin and “beautiful.” As she got older, she thought she needed to be those things, too. So she skipped meals and ate as little as she could, and when she ate a normal, healthy meal, she would hide in the bathroom afterwards and throw it up. When she gave modeling a try, an agent told her she needed to lose a few more inches around her waist if she wanted to get hired for jobs. The idea of stick-thin beauty had become so ingrained in her mind that even though she was already underweight, she looked in the mirror and didn’t think she was skinny enough. This continued for several years off and on until she got pregnant with her first baby. She realized the impact her actions could have, and she was finally able to stop the cycle. It took several years after that until she finally got to a place that she could see the role her damaging self-talk and beliefs about beauty had played in her life, and then several more years to really accept, take care of, and love the body she had been given.
I don’t want this to be your story. I don’t want this to be my daughter’s story. I wish this wasn’t my story.
So today, right now, I’m telling you that the number on the scale is not important. It’s not important before you get pregnant, it’s not important while you’re pregnant, and it’s definitely not important in those difficult postpartum days. It’s not important when your baby is 1 or 5 or 10. Your weight is not important.
What is important is how you feel; how you feel in your body, regardless of what other people might think. It might take a while to figure out how to feel good about your body, but you can 100% get there. You’re never going to be happy with your body unless you decide to be happy with your body. Let me repeat that. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BE HAPPY WITH YOUR BODY UNLESS YOU DECIDE TO BE HAPPY WITH YOUR BODY. You need to decide today, right now, to love and take care of your body. Mamas, we have AMAZING bodies. We have the magnificent ability to create life and bring it into this world. Your weight doesn’t make you beautiful the same way being rich doesn’t make you happy. There’s no one form of beauty, and we are all beautiful if we choose to believe it.
What we believe about our bodies, whether we say it out loud or not, is contagious, and whether you’re passing it on to your children, a friend, or even a stranger, people will notice and internalize it. But that’s not the point of this post. I don’t care what other people think about my body, and neither should you. The point of this post is that I’m no longer concerned with getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and you shouldn’t be either.
Honestly, the last time I got on the scale was at the doctor, and our scale at home is collecting dust in the bathroom closet because I don’t care what the number says anymore.
All that matters is how I feel, and I can choose to feel good about it and love it and embrace every stretch mark and scar, or I can choose to put myself down and want to change my body and how I look. We have that choice. And judging your current body by your pre-pregnancy weight is an absolute joke.
After all, motherhood makes you stronger, and muscle weights more than fat, right?