ME ON MONDAY (THE BOUNCE-BACK MYTH, CON'T). 17 Jul 2012
After receiving a ton of emails and comments, I wanted to dig a little deeper into the post-natal recovery experience and why I loathe how the media portrays celebrities "bouncing back" after birth. It's definitely not all about losing weight in a matter of days/months, the number on the scale or fitting back into your favorite pair of jeans. It's a lot more than that. Sure, everyone wants to lose the last five pounds, but the experience is all encompassing - Body, mind and soul.
First and foremost, I wanted to help validate some of your experiences by sharing my story over this past year. To many of you, I do work out like a celebrity (two hours a day, minimum), I have a chef (Lithe Foods), I breastfed for four months (and didn't lose a pound doing it) and a nanny helps me at home. It should have been easy for me, right? Wrong. Unlike what you read, it has taken me just about 365 days for me to get into a groove and feel "normal," or, shall I say "stable," mentally and physically.
A few things that I've learned:
- You'll never be the old you again and that's not necessarily a negative thing. This process should be called BOUNCING FORWARD. You've got a whole new life (and body) now, Mama. It's fuller, richer, maybe thinner, curvier, more fit, stressful, but overall it's very different. The one thing that you're not doing is going BACKWARD and I think it's crazy (and ironic) that we refer to it as "bouncing back."
- The recovery process is not a competition, and just like your pregnancy and your baby, your experience will most likely be radically different than your girlfriend, mother or sister's experience.
- It's very okay to be unhappy with your body for a undetermined amount of time. It's also okay to bitch and complain about it. That bitching and complaining will not only motivate you, but it will teach you a few good lessons down the road.
- It's difficult not to count-down. Even I did it for the first 3 months (haha, little did I know!). Take your time and don't give into the pressure and stress to "bounce back" in your fourth trimester. Those first three months are such a delicate time.
- It took me at least nine months to start feeling completely comfortable in my skin again. I pushed off press opportunities, said no thanks to public speaking engagements and photo shoots for at least six months post-natal because I didn't want to deal with the pressure and stress of it all. With all that a new baby brings, it really is the last thing that you should be stressed out about.
- Lastly, no matter where you are in the "bouncing forward" process, the physical and mental struggles are very worth it and you will soon be stronger than you could ever imagine. Looking for more on this topic? Check out blogger and author, Caitlyn Boyle's The Healthy Tipping Point.
Image of Lauren Boggi Goldenberg and Mars in the morning via Jordan