I vividly remember the first time I laid eyes on my newly acquired “mom bod”. I was two days postpartum. I was still exhausted from my 34 hours of labor and emergency c-section. I was overwhelmed with my newborn who (like all newborns) wouldn’t sleep. I was cooped up from being stuck in the hospital for three days. I felt dirty and gross because all I had wanted to do for the past two days was take a God forsaken shower. Finally, my nurse took out my catheter and IVs and gave me the okay.
If my legs weren’t still the size of tree trunks from being pumped full of fluids for days, and I hadn’t just endured major abdominal surgery, you can bet your ass I would’ve run to the shower. So instead, I took it easy. I walked into the sterile and cramped hospital bathroom and I laid out my fresh gauze, belly binder, and lovely oversized pad (mommies, you know what I’m talking about) I slowly and gingerly took off my hospital gown as to not hurt my incision.
I stared at myself in the mirror in total and complete shock as to who in the hell was looking back at me. For nine slow and careful months, my body changed. With every passing week, my belly grew bigger and bigger. A very gradual process. Then, within a 10 minute surgery, the life that my body grew so slowly and carefully for 40 weeks and 5 days, was all gone. I was left with a saggy, squishy, and mangled mid-section. I don’t think any parenting class, mommy blog, or doctor could’ve prepared me for the body that I was left with after giving birth to my first daughter.
That was 5 years ago. I spent 4 of those 5 years absolutely hating my body. I gained weight. I didn’t take care of myself. I stopped trying. I was convinced that I couldn’t lose weight and would just be stuck in a body that I hated for the rest of my life. Every now and then, I’d see an ad on Facebook or Instagram for some kind of detox tea or fad diet, so I’d buy into it because the advertisers looked so good, so they must work, right? WRONG. I was looking for easy fixes because I was unmotivated and had a terrible mind set.
When I got pregnant with my second daughter, I was at my heaviest. I remember going to the doctor for my first appointment at 8 weeks and I clocked in at 168lbs. I was disgusted because I had started out my first pregnancy at 150lbs. Nearly a 20lb. difference, and mind you, I’m only 5’1”. 20lbs. is A LOT for a peanut like myself. I remember thinking to myself that I had no idea how I could’ve gained all that weight. I didn’t think my eating habits had changed THAT much, did they?!
Over the course of my second pregnancy, I only gained a total of 8lbs. 8 FRIGGEN POUNDS. I literally thought I was broken because I was visibly growing a very large human. Of course I expressed concern to my doctor, who always assured me that everything was fine and it was completely normal. While the baby was gaining weight, I was losing weight. And because I had started on the heavier side, they weren’t concerned one bit. Do you know how many idiotic detox teas I wasted money on in an attempt to lose weight?! If I would’ve known that all it took was an itty bitty human living inside of my uterus to make ice cream and candy taste like vomit, I would’ve had my husband knock me up a long time ago.
After I had my second daughter, who I opted to have via repeat c-section (because F labor) I prepared myself for that dreaded first look in the mirror. I psyched myself up and took it like champ. I had seen that body before and I wasn’t going to let it scare me this time around. After I recovered from my c-section, I began thinking about the work that I had already started on my body. I was able to get to 156lbs – a whole 12lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. My appetite had changed so much over 9 months and it didn’t exactly go back to what it used to be. When I would normally crave a bowl of ice cream at night, now I’d crave an apple. I hardly ever drank iced tea, and instead opted for water. I wasn’t going to stop now. It was time for me to take control of my body and my life and not let my hard work go to waste.
A very good friend of mine had lost a significant amount of weight and had posted about a challenge that she was hosting. I had never done anything like that before, but was willing to learn and give it a try. Not to mention that my friend looked AMAZING and she was also a mom of two! So I jumped on board and she got me hooked on counting macros. It was a huge learning curve to me and took a lot of patience. To those who have never heard of macros a quick breakdown is that the three macros are fats, carbs, and protein. It’s all about getting the correct amounts of each of those into a calorie budget and you will lose weight. Now, I sucked at science. It was literally my worst subject in school right ahead of math. So I was basically using math and science to lose weight. This should go swimmingly.
To my surprise, once I got the hang of it, IT WORKED. One of the biggest things that I had to get over was the fact that these things do not happen overnight. With the systems that I had used and followed in the past, I always expected to get results like the next day. I was always looking for that easy fix. I have a secret for all of you. THERE ARE NO EASY FIXES. *mind blown* Another thing that I learned rather quickly is that it’s not a diet that will help you to lose weight, it’s a lifestyle change. If you want to truly lose weight and keep it off, it’s all about changing your lifestyle. And the third thing I learned is that absolutely anyone CAN and WILL lose weight, as long as YOU want it badly enough.
I posted a lot about my weight loss success and always received amazing love and feedback from people. But one thing that so many people had asked me was, “what’s your secret?” My secret is that I stopped eating like an asshole *shrugs shoulders*. Sorry if that’s not the “easy fix” that you may have been looking for, but that’s honesty what it boils down to. Aside from eating healthier, I also decided to pick up a hobby that I eventually loved. Running! I am so incredibly lucky to have an amazing local mommy friend who helps get my ass out of bed at the butt crack of dawn to run before work. Running has helped me to clear my mind, build up my endurance and keep my heart strong. I pair running with some at home workouts a few days a week.
Within a few months of changing my lifestyle, I was truly and honestly beginning to love my mom bod for the first time ever. And it wasn’t even just the number on the scale going down. From changing my lifestyle to a healthier one, I was sharper mentally. I was stronger physically. And I was now an amazing role model for my two daughters. I had a more positive energy and I was overall a lot happier. I remember actually being mad at myself for discovering this lifestyle so late in my life. If only I knew how easy and fun this would’ve been sooner (again, I could’ve saved loads of money from not buying those God awful detox teas).
I began living my healthier lifestyle in March of 2018. Now, just over a year later, I have lost a total of 43lbs. from my heaviest, made it to my goal weight, and most importantly have been able to maintain it. I practiced patience, persistence, discipline, and self love. Oh, and did I mention that I was able to achieve all of this while raising a 4 year old and an infant, working full time, AND supporting my husband while him and his dad and brother ran their own business? I am living proof that ANYONE can love their body and achieve their goals as long as they work hard and never give up.
Do I still look in the mirror and see flaws? Absolutely. Are there still things that I want to change about myself and improve? You bet. Could I work out more and still eat even healthier? You’re damn right I could. But even with all of that, I am DAMN proud of myself and of how far I’ve come over the past year. I achieved goals for this body that carried two babies to full term. I had faith in this body that endured two major surgeries to bring my babies into this world safely. My husband has told me on multiple occasions that I’m a superhero because my body has literally been pulled apart and put back together TWICE. MY body did all of that, and I love it and am proud of it.
Stretch marks line my saggy and floppy midsection. I have a dreaded c-section shelf that will never fully go away no matter how many sit ups I do. My c-section scar sits beautifully right above my pelvis. I used to be very hard on myself about these things because I’d see these mothers on Instagram adorning their string bikinis with their washboard abs. But you know what? There are so many women out there who struggle with infertility and they would trade all of their heartache for just one of our stretch marks. They would trade every IVF treatment for our c-section scars. Us women who try to hide our stretch marks and squishy tummies, WE WON.
As a society, us mommas need to stop being so hard on ourselves and we need to realize how lucky we are to have the bodies that we have been given. These bodies that have grown life. These bodies that have endured excruciating labor and life threatening surgeries to ensure that we and our babies make it out alive. These bodies that nurture and carry our babies after they are born. And these bodies that love and support these babies as they grow into kids, teenagers, and into adults themselves.
So if you have goals for your mom bod, know that you can absolutely achieve them. If you have a goal weight set for yourself, come up with a game plan and meet it. Get yourself a great support system or join an accountability group. Your body has literally done the hardest job ever by carrying and birthing another life. Know that your mom bod can do ANYTHING. Our mom bods are absolutely resilient. Don’t you ever forget that, momma.
If you have any questions, comments, or just want to tell Kelly she is AMAZING, please feel free to reach out to her firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much, Kelly, for your honest and real post! All of us mamas can relate 🙂
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