Body Confidence in motherhood is an elusive concept. It takes a lot to love and be content with your postpartum body. My body didn’t snap back after birth, I knew it would never. You know how you lose about 7-10 kgs on delivery and think that right there is your snapback? The feeding you are about to indulge in finds this amusing. My body bounce back would not happen even with all the breastfeeding. I formulated reasons as to why I would not keep the weight down.
Unfortunately, my self-engineered fat excuses quota has run out. The privileges were exclusive to my pregnancy, served me even postpartum but I’m out of excuses to give this superconscious body. The inner voice that enhances my comfortability by shouting my efforts are dead in water, time is up. I know the scales will punish me. I am the most unfit fitness enthusiast who can’t quite place the last time I lifted heavy artillery with a trainer. You’d barely get a selfie from me, I don’t have that much phone storage for retakes anyway.
Recently while trying to document memories of a vacation I happened to take a few non-flattering mirror selfies. My mirror has been a lie y’all.
I was eating healthy pre weaning days because I knew whatever trash I ate got into my infant via breastfeeding. The colic and semi-terrible eczema led me into clean diet choices. Everything was in motion until he started weaning. I relaxed and ate my calories away. If I knew better, I would stay far far away from porridge.
As a first-time mom, your decision making is usually questioned, you’re firmly in the passenger seat and everyone else is pushing their way in. The aunty squad will pounce on you any minute for apparently starving your child of precious breast milk if you don’t feast every 2 hours. Wasichana wa siku hizi. You are berated for not eating for two because you want to fit into your skinny jeans and feel nice. Been there done that. Do I still lie awake worrying about a jury of peers slinging nay nays my way? No. I sleep soundly. I learned to say No. Albeit late, but I am glad I did.
So back to my body. It underwent tons of excruciating transformations. It carried a pregnancy to term and went on as nothing happened. But a lot happened. I see it now. My taut belly paved way for my protruding potty which has since moved into permanent residence. As I sway my hips gently to avoid intense wiggle from my wobbly ass, I get roadside declarations in form of death stares but the message is clear and sufficient in my mind. Nobody has directly confronted my excesses. Smart.
I didn’t finish watching What The Health because I could not fat in peace. It got in the way. What the health do they want us to feed on if all the foods are canceled? I admire those carefully crafted bounce back bods. Those done under the knife are a work of art if the surgeon is good enough. In my self-righteous pitch, I also happen to appreciate more the natural steps one takes towards achieving the same goal. One of those key motivators for my health and progress.
See the thing with comparison traps is that you will more often than not fall into them. My Instagram feed may have a post on how comparison is the thief of joy yet immediately I scroll down I spot 10 well-chiseled figures straight out of Dr. Miami’s office with hot takes to boot. I better not miss the new bangin’ bodies founded by flat tummy teas and all that sponsored content. Of course I ask myself why the curves on my body won’t connect. Why my palate only detects the greasy and sugary cuisines. Further down, I bump into a just from the gym Insta model and I just log off because the lies. Sick.
I head on over to Facebook’s gatekeeping of body pursuits. Jane Mukami’s 21 days for change page is such a trip. From highly encouraging posts to humble brags who occasionally put on a fit of pique, to patronizing fat shamers. It’s all there. One thing social media always provides is your army of relatable consumers. Those “here for the comments” – Us those. I mean I haven’t gone up the treadmill or tracked my macros on My Fitness Pal for a long minute. So what else could I be doing on Mukami’s page apart from ‘seeking inspo?’
I rush to my Trello to map out a workout and diet plan for this month. Last month was a fail. No wonder I couldn’t get myself to start it. I create a simple plan, with cute tags for good measure. I reinstall my Habits App to track my fitness goals. The YouTube tutorials playlist is complete. Oh, it’s about to get real once again.
My obsession with planning (on cute planners) and not starting takes the day. Over and over again. I reach out to my friend Google for wisdom. As expected, I’m told the usual – JUST START! Like you started this blog 3 months ago. Start. Ok but how? I’m always gassing myself up how when I get things running I am on beast mode, can’t touch me now. That I am. Not now.
I seriously need to put my theories into action. I need something severe that works in a disciplined environment. I may or may not jump into fads and intense challenges when I’m in bloat mode but work has to be done. I want to feel good again. My body confidence is dependent on how happy I am with my almost bounced back body.