Has your Body ‘Snapped Back’?
Have you heard the term ‘snap back’ body before? It refers to a mom who ‘snaps back’ into shape shortly after giving birth. I first heard the term a few years ago when some of my friends were referring to a super in shape looking friend of ours a few months after giving birth. Didn’t Heidi Klum perform as a Victoria Secret angel six weeks after giving birth? I am not even bothered when I see celebrities do it because they have a team (trainer, chef, and nanny) to get them back into shape quickly. Heck, if I had team, I am pretty sure I too could be a Victoria Secret angel also, maybe…
There are regular moms, who snap back to their old shape with little effort. Could it be breastfeeding, lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition, maybe even stress that cause them to snap back, who knows? I for one am in a third category, my body has changed forever. It is not snapping, it has stretched and sagged. People have been kind by telling me that I look great. I wonder when my ‘grace period’ will end in their eyes. When will they expect me to be back to my old shape? Truthfully, it ended in my own eyes two months ago. I want my old body back, but I don’t have the time or the energy right now to workout like I did before kids. I also need to eat better but there is nothing like a chocolate cupcake at the end of the night to help me temporarily forget how tired I am or how much cleaning is awaiting me.
So, every Sunday it seems, I promise myself to go on a ‘lifestyle change’, not diet because those don’t work, supposedly. I tell myself that I will only have one cupcake per week (on Saturday), and I will prioritize myself and workout. I tell myself that I am going to walk, no I will jog! I got this I say….Until I don’t and I have a cupcake per day from Wednesday to Sunday and I barely go for a walk all week, let alone jog. I usually feel bad for awhile and eventually I pump myself up again on Sunday.
It dawned on me that the problem might not be my lack of discipline or my body, maybe my expectations are at fault. Growing a baby in my body was miraculous, hard and tiring. Having my baby and recovering while taking care of my girls has been even harder. I have legitimate reasons why I still look the way I do. Does looking this way make me any less of a mom, daughter, wife or friend? Am I less of a woman, less beautiful or even sexy? Why does looking a certain way mean so much to me? I’ve got some inner work to do.
I have come to the conclusion that my old body has evolved to this new one. This new one is less toned and weighs more but it has successfully carried two girls and been operated on four times. It allows me to pick up, play with, and care for my girls. On a whole, it is working well! It may not look like Heidi Klum’s, but truthfully it never has. This body can be everything the old one was if I adjust my thinking and embrace reality. Maybe what I need right now is some self compassion as I figure out my new life with two kids. It may take 5 months to figure out or 5 years. I am learning to be ok with that. Self care for me is taking care of my inside and outside in a way that makes sense to my life and reality without any guilt or shame. That’s my daily goal!