I've never had strong abs, that's why my back hurts.
I'm a mother now, my body changed, I'll never get rid of the mom pouch.
I'm getting older, of course I'll have stiffness.
I don't have time to make an appointment or even attend one for myself.
I'll take care of it if it gets really bad.
I can never have my pre-baby body back so why try to work on this one?
My body is fine.
But are you?
How long have you been ignoring the aches and pains that are new?
How many times to do you have the conversations in your head that I had in mine and detailed above?
How often do you read a body positivity post and think, well now I feel badly for wanting my body to look differently.
How long have you been ignoring your body?
I have a love hate relationship with mine. And I have for a long time. I grew up when the culture of thinness was booming. The models I saw, the actresses I looked up to, THIN. It wasn't about strength, or exercise, it was about a certain image. And I'm sure it affected me deeply. Contrasted against the positive messages I received growing up I pushed it down and didn't do the work then to release the societal expectations of beauty.
I worked out.
Fast forward to now. A mom of two, in to the back half of my thirties.
I'm not, I wasn't, happy with my body.
I work out.
I attempt a clean eating lifestyle.
I am overweight. And I have aches and pains that slow me down.
I don't want a Huffpost article to tell me to love my body. I don't want a ScaryMommy piece to guilt me in to some kind of acceptance that is personal and deeply rooted in insecurities I would like to work on rather than glossing over, to embrace a movement.
So can we talk about how we support our bodies? How we focus on embrace, care and love while addressing our needs?
Can we talk about how emotional eating gets us to where we are? Can we talk about stress responses and the hard work of recognizing that and making better choices?
I'm all for body positivity, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't work for me.
What works for me is recognizing my behavior patterns and where they get me. And then addressing them.
Where they got me was 15-20 pounds overweight and unhappy every time I looked in the mirror. I am not willing to push that unhappiness down because I should love my body.
I'm proud of my body.
I believe I am strong and capable and my body has done incredible things.
But I wasn't, I'm not, in love with it.
For me, this is about each persons personal journey with their vessel. And I want to encourage people to take care of that vessel so that they truly deep down feel whole and complete and happy.
That is what I believe body positivity should be.
And I'm a work in progress.
I've started a new journey with my body.
I'm making more conscious and better food choices.
I'm committing to longer term and more sustainable fitness routines.
And I'm paying attention to the messages my body is giving me. I now believe that most post partum women are suffering with pain they think is normal and is not. I encourage every woman to see a physical therapist who specializes in women's issues.
In one session, and within one day of beginning simple exercises to address my Diastis Recti I've seen an almost complete elimination of my lower back pain and stiffness. Pain that I had chalked up to aging and as part of the journey.
I went back for a check up today, and 10ish pounds lighter, and a month plus in to the work I've shown serious progress closing my ab separation and I feel it. I'm proud to show off my flatter, not flat, tapped up, because I still need support, stomach. It is real and me and I'm on a road I'm happy to be on.
In many ways I have a leg up. I've always been athletic and had a fairly consistent exercise routine. I've always been committed to health and wellness and making healthy food choices. And in some ways it allowed me to be a little bit less mindful about what my body needs now.
So I'm awake. And I'm on the journey to loving my body. And I know I will. Because I already deeply respect it.
So what I ask is, let me find that love on my own terms and for me it does include losing weight. And that is okay. For me.
And I also ask, that if you are a postpartum woman, recognize where you are different in unsustainable ways and perhaps in pain and find resources to help. I'm happy to be a starting point.
And if you are a parent who did not birth your child, recognize what you need and seek that. Parenting in many ways is successful because of what we give of ourselves. We need to fill that back up. What do you need and how are you getting it?
What do you need?
How are you getting it?
You deserve it.
You have one vessel. How are you caring for it?