A Letter to my Postpartum Body

REAL TALK: Talking about your postpartum body

I loaded these pictures onto my computer and immediately started deleting them all. I thought to myself….. “I look fat”

I barely got these jeans to button and they were squeezing the sh!t out of me in all the wrong places and I just wanted to put my pajamas back on. I forced myself to stay in them for a walk down at the beach so that I could just feel “normal” in my “normal clothes”.

I am currently 6 weeks postpartum and clearly being way too critical of myself. Some will read and look at this post and think that I am being ridiculous because “she looks great”… others will read and look at this post and say “wow, why would she even post these on the internet?”

Whatever people say, the truth is…. it doesn’t freaking matter. Everyone always has an opinion and they have every right to it. What I do care about is learning to LOVE the body that created life.

When will women stop shaming themselves after birth and start loving their bodies?

For me, it starts today. 

wrapped-in-a-faux-fur-collar-sweater

Last week I went to the gym for the first time in months. While I was there, I remember thinking,

“I wish I had a sign on me that says I just gave birth”

I wanted people to know that the reason I have an extra 15 pounds around my waistline, is because I just had a baby. Ridiculous, right? I mean, seriously.

So, I am going to own it. I gave my body up so that a life could be born. And that, is just freaking amazing.

I would do it a million times over.

REAL TALK: Talking about your postpartum body

Every single woman has a different body shape and therefore has different views on what they think is acceptable to them. For me? I have always been lucky in that I bounce back pretty quickly (when I eat well and exercise). I was telling my husband the other day that I weigh 135 pounds now. I started out at 122 at the beginning of this pregnancy and gained 35 pounds. These last 15 pounds will stick around for awhile.

As they say, it took you 9 months to gain the weight, and it will take at least that long to get your body back.

This is what I keep reminding myself.

REAL TALK: Talking about your postpartum body

To My Postpartum Body,

Thanks to you, I was able to grow ten fingers, ten toes, and the most beautiful little babies on Earth.

There are days when I hate you and days when I forget how amazing you were for the 18 months where I needed you the most.

I wanted to take this time to apologize and tell you how simply incredible you are.

Today is the day that I choose to view you differently. 

I choose to view you as one of the most important things I have accomplished in my life thus far. Those rolls? Those stretch marks?

Yes, they are accomplishments and I choose to embrace them.

Today.

Thanks for holding out for me to realize how important you are to me. You’re pretty much my BFF.

Sincerely,

One tired mama

Faux-fur-sweater

ASOS Faux Fur Cardigan // Hawk & Holly Wrap Top – gifted (perfect for breast-feeding!) // BLANKNYC Denim

{Shop the Post}

After reading this, I want you to take a good look in the mirror and think about how amazing you are. How incredible our bodies can be. We fit tiny little humans inside of our bellies. That is the single most amazing thing on this Earth, and YOU did it. You did it all by yourself and you gave birth to this perfect little being. Every roll, every stretch mark, every aching pain was and is worth it.

I, too, will follow my own advice from this day forward.

35 Comments

  1. November 23, 2015 / 8:09 am

    We are definitely our own worst critics. I think you look amazing. My last child was born 27 years ago and I swear my tummy has never been the same. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That “baby” is getting married next spring and the day she said yes to the dress, I was thinking, “I gave birth to this wonderful woman.” Well, with a little help from the hubs. 🙂 I think you look amazing! I sure didn’t look that good at six weeks postpartum.

  2. November 23, 2015 / 8:55 am

    Yes! I have a 7 month old, and the same feelings exist though I’m down to my pre pregnancy weight, my body shape is different. But, I’m learning to love it. I’m working on weight training and being strong.

  3. November 23, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Thank you for writing this and opening your heart. You look fabulous and the letter you wrote to yourself was beautiful and exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. I am 3 weeks from my due date. I began weighing 132 (higher than my average weight because I stopped working out and I got lazy and caved into eating too many cheeseburgers) and I am now up to 164lbs. It’s the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve gained a total of 32lbs this pregnancy and it’s a big insecurity of mine because I’ve had people say “your nose is huge…you have a double chin now…of course you’re hungry fat a**” I’ve broken down, but was sweetly reminded by my husband that this weight is beautiful and meaningful because I am growing our sweet baby boy. Thank you for reminding us to love our bodies and to be proud of the work that they do. You’ve made my day a little brighter.

  4. November 23, 2015 / 9:28 am

    oh my gosh YES 🙂 I love this post. So much!!!! I went through the same thing and sometimes I catch myself thinking it (still, yipes). But honestly, you DO look great and first thing that I thought was OMG she got into jeans only 6 weeks afterwards??? How?! 🙂

  5. November 23, 2015 / 9:32 am

    This was such a touching post! I lost the baby weight after having kids, but my body never looked quite the same. I’m learning to love it, too!

  6. November 23, 2015 / 9:40 am

    Having a baby can definitely be a big change on a woman’s body. After having my third child, I feel I have had the hardest time working out and getting back in shape… time is such a factor– taking care of kids, going to the older kid’s sports and school activities… but I wouldn’t change a thing, except to get rid of the extra 15 pounds 🙂

  7. erica
    November 23, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Lynzy,

    This is so good! You look amazing. But I seriously I get what you are saying. Five years later and I still tell my husband everyday how awful my body looks (thank god for clothes and supportive base layers!) I’m afraid one day he’ll believe me. I don’t think our bodies every really go “back” but is it worth it. . .yes

    Enjoy those beautiful little babies.

    Talk soon.

    -e

  8. November 23, 2015 / 11:25 am

    I said it on Instagram and I will reiterate here–THANK YOU from me and all of the other mamas out there for posting these pictures (you do look GORGEOUS!). I told you on IG before that I was also 122 when I got pregnant with my 4th baby. I gained 50 pounds, as I did with my other babies. I ate right during my pregnancy and worked out. Didn’t matter. I never lose weight when I breastfeed, in fact I don’t lose weight until I am done breastfeeding. I ate right and busted my butt exercising to a nearly unhealthy level after the baby and that 30 pounds stayed on FOREVER until I did a juice cleanse and then a Whole 30. Now I still have 10 more pounds than I did 18 months postpartum. My clothes are still tighter and there are some things that I still don’t fit in. But when I see my oldest niece, born with spina bifida and unable to walk on her own, or when I hear of the friend of my boss who lost her baby unexpectedly at 38 weeks, I have to realize how stupid and unimportant that is–10 pounds. I have four kids–all perfectly healthy and amazing. That is what is important.

    So again–THANK YOU.

  9. Angelic Sinova
    November 23, 2015 / 12:24 pm

    We as people are definitely our own worst enemies and toughest critics. I think you look AMAZING <3

  10. November 23, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    For a mamma whose only 6 weeks postpartum you look awesome, like you said this body made a human being accepting it yourself and not caring what others think is the best way forward. We all have little demons that poke at us inside but once we accept it or change it we just do our best.

  11. November 23, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    Good for you for owning it! Women are far too critical about themselves and I’m definitely included. I must say, I am one of those who will tell you that you absolutely look great!

  12. November 23, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Love this and you look great, especially post-partum! Two kids later and my body has never fully gone back to its pre-baby form despite working out, but I’m short and carrying 2 high-risk pregnancies changed things. It took a while for me to adjust, and some days I’m still working on it, but whatever form our post-baby bodies take we should love them because they deserve the love <3

  13. November 23, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I absolutely love this post. I had gained about 30 pounds with my little girl. I couldn’t wait to get back to the gym. everything takes time. your body can do amazing things. I eventually turned to home workouts because i didn’t want to go to the gym and see other people mostly because I was ashamed that i had gained weight! thank you for sharing this- it’s nice to know other moms had the sames thoughts i did!

  14. November 23, 2015 / 5:31 pm

    I have the same issues with the way I look. I know I look fine, I actually look a lot better than a lot of people I know. The problem is I’m not comfortable in my own body. Until that happens I won’t be able to accept how I look. I’ve tried to change my thinking, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  15. November 23, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    Oh honey, I remember feeling that way and now I look back at the pictures and think I was nuts. I’m almost 50. You have to love yourself and the skin you’re in. Always.

  16. November 23, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    You are absolutely gorgeous and this message is absolutely perfect. I’m saving this for when I have kids and need this beautiful reminder.

  17. November 23, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    You look great! I struggle with my PP body. However I had my baby 18 months ago and really struggle with losing weight.

  18. November 23, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I needed that insight and encouragement from someone other than my husband. I had my daughter 14 months ago and to this day cringe whenever I look in the mirror. I had three C-sections and now feel like I have a spare tire wrapped around my waist. I could careless about my warrior stripes but need to learn to just love my body. Thank you.

  19. November 23, 2015 / 10:24 pm

    This is SO great and I am rooting for you! I am currently pregnant with girl #4 and, by now, I have accepted things the way they are. I had twins first when I was 22 and they left me with some great extra skin. Knowing that no matter what I do short of surgery isn’t going to get rid of it has MADE me accept what I can’t change.
    You are beautiful and you look fabulous. It will be OK, the weight will come off, and it will all be a memory.
    Hugs to you! You are fabulous!! <3

  20. November 23, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’ve been out of the gym now for three weeks since I got sick and since work has piled up and I’ve got a holiday to plan for and I’m feeling bad about it because of my bad food choices…but I plan to just let myself enjoy Thanksgiving then get back on the wagon next week. Despite that I still look at my body knowing it will never be the same, but I wouldn’t change it in anyway if it meant I didn’t have my children.

  21. November 24, 2015 / 1:22 am

    It is so hard to deal with your postpartum body. We are always our worst critic about our appearance and our bodies.

  22. November 24, 2015 / 3:51 am

    You look fantastic. If you can grow a human inside and then use your own muscles to push it out, that’s a miracle. If your body shows signs, it’s a good remembrance of what took place.

  23. Rebecca Swenor
    November 24, 2015 / 4:19 am

    I do really believe this is how every new mom thinks about her body or self image. It does take just as long to loose the weight as it does to gain it. We just grew this beautiful little human inside of us and it is such a small sacrifice we all make for our children.

  24. Jess Scull
    November 24, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    BEST POST EVER! You are amazing & gorgeous!

  25. November 24, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    I love this perspective, such a beautiful letter to your body! More women need to read this!

  26. November 24, 2015 / 11:37 pm

    My body was never the same after my pregnancy! But I would not change it for anything in this world! I love being a mom!

  27. Carly
    November 26, 2015 / 12:27 am

    One day at a time my friend, be gentle with yourself…..it’s a process….you know that!

  28. November 26, 2015 / 10:13 am

    It’s so important to be patient with ourselves. Our bodies are capable of and have done awesome things.

  29. November 29, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    I love your blog, I love this post! THANK YOU. The world needs more beautiful, strong women just like you to stand up and just be who they are. After having two babies, I’ve lamented the state of my postpartum body too. But I recently decided that I am my own worst critic, and I want to live my life as free as possible from my own criticism. Who needs that? =) Thanks again for sharing.

  30. December 2, 2015 / 5:16 pm

    You look so amazing! I just gave birth five months ago and I am so depressed because I gained a lot of weight and it’s so hard to lose.

  31. December 3, 2015 / 6:29 am

    Fantastic post!!! I love that you say to your body, “You are pretty much my BFF.” I never thought of it that way but it’s true. I work out to stay fit but also to be there for my girls. To be the strongest,healthiest mom and by healthy I mean able to play and not be sick all the time but I am still super critical. I’m hitting 40 in 2016 and I know more changes are coming for my BFF but if I keep thinking and acting healthy and loving what I’ve been given it should be easier. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. December 5, 2015 / 7:24 am

    It’s funny how we are always our own worse critic. I still have 15 pounds from 5yrs ago and can’t seem to shake it. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. Hits home for sure.

  33. December 10, 2015 / 12:53 am

    We are always most critical on ourselves. I am glad you are embracing what your body did to give birth to a wonderful baby. Beautiful post!

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  34. K
    August 21, 2017 / 6:59 am

    This is so comforting and encouraging to read as I am drawing closer to my due date. I’m sure post-partum everything is rough but body image us such a hard topic – thanks for your honest and positive view of the amazing female body!
    I would be curious to read a bit about what you’re eating and if you feel like food is making a difference in your mood and recovery.
    Thanks!

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