Love Yourself

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I've been thinking a lot about when we will have our next baby and how that pregnancy will differ from the first one.  For starters, I've been trying to imagine myself half as huge as I was and it's proving to be harder than I thought.  Hvaing twins was my only preganacy experience.  And it's far from normal.  I think of what I'll do differently during my pregnancy and am anxious about how the birth will go (read the birth story a few posts back if you've forgotten that drama llama).  It's been on my mind lately.  And as the babies near their first birthday, I've been looking at what kind of mother I am, how I feel about myself and how I can better myself, for them.

I've wanted to post another progress post about mama's bodies and the changes we endure when entering motherhood.  I've struggled with how to come across.  There are always posts online of women who bounce back a few months after having a baby and share with the world their "secrets" or aka meal plans and exercise routines.  There are also posts of women who are brave enough to show their stretch marks, scars and their curvy stomachs as battle wounds.  I'm just going to be raw and honest and share my side of things.


I have never been one to be extremely self conscious by the way my body looks but I was always 'aware'.  I started working out my sophomore year of college after the freshman 15 hit me.  Before that, I always had dance and cheer to be my workouts and I was fortunate enough that that worked out for me.  Anyways, in college, I hit my flow and I began to look forward to workouts.  I just loved the way my body felt physically and mentally.  I kept up that flow and when I started dating Alex, it kept going.  We loved to workout together.  Especially through our engagement.  Knowing we had our honeymoon on the beach was motivation enough.  And not to mention wanting to look drop dead gorgeous in my wedding dress, obvi.  I guess I can throw in this beauty from 4-18-15...

BAM... What did I tell ya... drop dead.  Kidding, but really.. this day was a dream.  And I had to throw a throwback photo in here, it is Thursday after all.
We quickly fell into a routine and planned to keep it up even after we returned home from our honeymoon.  Little did we know, we were returning home as a family of 4 and not 2.  It became less about how I looked and more about being healthy for the growing lives inside me.  I continued to stay active throughout my pregnancy, although the first trimester was tough with morning, noon and evening sickness.  I kept it up until about October (I would have to look back at older blog posts to remember) but had to scale back because I just got too big.

I always had a plan to get back into shape quickly after the babies were born.  Breastfeeding helped, but as some of you remember, I only breastfed for about a month before I couldn't anymore.  Once I got into a more normal routine with the babies and recovered from my c-section, I was able to workout normally and was determined to make some changes to my mid-section.  For those of you who don't remember how B I G my belly got, here's a gentle reminder:

This was taken Dec. 18th.  Babies were born on the 30th. 
This was taken on Christmas Eve, just 4 days before they arrived!
Christmas Day (Dec. 25) at my Dad's.  Went into the hospital on the 28th...  Holy mama...
I had like 2 shirts that actually fit.  And don't even bring up pants.  Let's just say, I am so thankful for regular clothes now.   Anyways, my belly stretched.  To put it lightly.  I was measuring 47 weeks when I gave birth.  Now, I'm sure there are other mom's out there that were larger than I was, and all I can say is, you're a super woman.  And I have nothing but the utmost respect for you.  It's tough.  But 47 weeks!  Lord, I was as big and I hope I'll ever get again.

Since I stretched so much, I've got extra skin.  Sorry if that's gross, but it's true.  Everything on the inside went back to "normal" and for the most part the rest of my body is back to my pre baby weight but I've got some excess in the mid section.  I have been working my butt off with workouts, running, and the occasional yoga session in my personal yoga studio (aka, my basement) but there's no sign of that excess skin on my belly hitting the road.  I'm happy with where I'm at right now, apart with that.  It's an adjustment and something that will probably stay with me until after I'm done having babies.  I don't stress about it, and I am lucky to have a husband who verbally affirms me daily on my looks (thanks babe) but it is something that I've never had to deal with and now it's on my radar. 

I wanted to touch a little more, like I did last week, on social media and the appearance of people online.  The internet can be both brilliant and evil at the same time.  This doesn't just apply to mothers, but to everyone.  It's no secret that you can edit and photoshop any photo and at a certain angle I could look like I wear a size 2, when in reality I haven't been a size 2 since like freshman year of high school.  I'm not saying I've photoshopped my pictures BUT I am saying that what you see on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc is not always how it is.  It's not reality.  I could take this picture:

and this one:

MINUTES apart from each other.  Nothing changed but the way I am standing and I'm sucking in on the first one.   But if one were posted and I listed a strict diet I was on or a workout regiment, someone might think, "If I do just that, I can look exactly like her."  I've been that girl.  I've seen posts online and wanted to look like those ripped, bikini ready women but over the years have learned that I am most happy when I do what is healthy and good for me and my family, not what works for others.  Just like every pregnancy is different and all babies are different, I think every mother's journey to self confidence is different.  Mine is just adjusting and changing, and will continue to do so through my next pregnancy and the next.

Yoga pants have become my best friend.  With my new job situation, I've been staying home with the babies during the day and my uniform is pretty much workout clothes.  Certain yoga pants can help make stomachs appear flatter.  They also are COMFORTABLE A.F. people!  Why wouldn't you want to wear them every day??  Except scrubs--- those are pretty comfy too-- shout out to my CVOR gals.  One of my favorite pairs of yoga pants came from Lulu Lemon... and yes they were expensive BUT I wear them all the time and the band comes really high, enough to hold that tummy in.  Great buy... and would HIGHLY recommend investing in some.

As I near the end of this post, few things to keep in mind:

1.  If you're a mama, and have struggled with your body postpartum,  you are not alone.  I would be willing to bet that the majority of mothers out there experienced, or are experiencing, the same feelings, emotions and attitudes towards their changing bodies.  What you've done, and are doing, is bringing  LIFE  into this beautiful world.  You created a human (or in some cases humans) and sustained them through your body, and that my friend, is incredible beyond words.

2.  If someone were to ask me if I could change anything about my journey and my body, I would honestly say no.  I don't feel comfortable wearing a string bikini to the public pool yet, but there will be a day.  Trust me.  But honestly there are some super cute one pieces out there and I'm gonna flaunt them!

3.  Support each other on this journey of life.  Be honest with yourself and others.  Be real and raw about issues, insecurities, be vulnerable.  That's the only way we will get closer to people and be about to move past the idea that beauty is a size 2.  It comes in many shapes, sizes and colors and I'm proud to be part of a world that is turning to that mentality.  I've still got faith.  It's a beautiful world.

Have a great weekend readers.  Much love,


A few pics to love on before you go...


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