Even though I shouldn't have, I opened the email, out of morbid curiosity. It had a link to all of these diet ideas and exercise plans for new mommy's, including things I could do with the baby. All helpful, but completely unsolicited. It bothered me.
Shouldn't I be celebrating my body right now?? I just pushed a 7lb kid out of me. I spent nine full months of growing this child. I would take pictures on a weekly basis while pregnant to show off how much I've gained and how my belly was growing, which clearly meant I was provided a good home for Lily. I should be more proud of my body now than ever!
I was talking to my good friend Jaime, who is also a mom, about all of this. She brought up the fact that all of the magazines are full of articles bragging about celebrities that are back into their size zero jeans 3 weeks after birth. We never see an article about the average woman that keeps at least 10lbs of her gained baby weight, or how a woman's hips will probably never be the same size as pre-pregnancy because of the work they had to endure to make a clear path for the baby.
As a culture, we just don't celebrate women enough. I honestly feel like I climbed to the top of Mt. Everest after going through pregnancy and child birth. It was so much work, yet incredibly fulfilling and such an amazing journey from beginning to end. Not to mention the fact that I have a beautiful, healthy miracle in my arms. Lily is my greatest accomplishment.
Yet this email that I received, along with most of our society, is telling me that I should be worried about this baby weight. I think it's crazy. I don't ever want Lily to have body image issues like I, and most American women, have had. I refuse to pass that on to her. It isn't fair and it's a waste of energy. I hope she will always be proud of how she looks. Easier said than done but I will do my best to encourage her to love and embrace her body.
People ask me all of the time if I gained a lot of weight will pregnancy. Here it is...I gained 50lbs during pregnancy and so far have lost 31lbs, (most of which was fluid and I peed it out). I am still eating what I want and exercising when I can to stay healthy and sane. The hardest part is just trying to find clothes that fit me! Would I like to go back to my pre-pregnancy body and weight? I guess... but it just isn't important. This is the body that Lily has given me and I won't ever be upset by that.
Here is me, about 20lbs heavier than I have ever been and proud of it!