*All views and opinions expressed below are entirely my own. I am receiving no compensation for the below statements.
Once upon a time there was a specific idea of what beautiful was: skinny, blonde, skinny, tanned, skinny.
That seems to have shifted over the past few years. There are numerous campaigns from major companies encouraging women to love and embrace their bodies. Average sized women run in advertisements. Normal is the new norm.
Women should love and embrace their bodies. Our bodies go through A LOT. From the time we hit puberty and experience the physical discomfort of our menses, to growing life inside of our womb and bringing that life earthside, to when our bodies transition into menopause, our bodies are constantly enduring awesome transformations.
My body experienced massive change 4 times. 4 babies grew inside of this body, and for that I am forever grateful. With my first pregnancy I gained 65 pounds. I lost a portion of that, but never went down to my pre-pregnancy weight. After our second and third pregnancies I continued to carry the extra weight that I didn’t shed after my first.
Now, after my fourth (AND LAST) pregnancy, I find myself trapped in this state of discomfort with my body and the extra weight that I still have. I do try every single day to embrace my image and not relay my insecurities to my four daughters who are watching me. They see, though. They see the frustration in my eyes as I try on my fifth outfit of the morning. They see the clothes I’ve put in the closet labelled “Don’t Fit”. They see my discontentment.
As much as I want my babies to love their bodies, I also want to inspire them to change what they don’t like about themselves to make them as confident as they can be.
So, I led by example.
A woman who I went to highschool with had recently become a Beach Body coach. I saw photos of her transformation and read about her fitness goals, and decided to contact her and see if there was any tips she could give me.
By the end of our conversation I was convinced to sign up for a 21 day nutrition and exercise challenge. There was a Facebook page of all of the women involved in the challenge so we could stay accountable to each other, keep on track, offer encouragement, and learn from what everyone else was doing.
I was given a guide to portion control by using labelled containers for each food type and a record sheet to account for what I was eating. Within the first few days of following the guidelines I realized how much I was overeating. After a week of eating as per the guideline I realized how much less food I could fuel my body with, and became so much more conscious of what I was putting in my body to accumulate the calories I needed to have enough energy to keep up with my little gals.
I was also introduced to 7 different workouts that were half an hour a day and from the comfort of your own home. That doesn’t sound like a long time, right? I strapped on a maxi pad (welcome to exercise after vaginal birth, ladies) and gave it a go.
Now, my last labor was half an hour long and I truly think it was easier than the workout I did. Every muscle in my body ached. It hurt to go up the stairs. It hurt to lift up my toddler. It hurt…but I felt amazing. The pain eventually disappeared and the workouts got easier as I got stronger.
Within 5 days of sticking with this plan I lost 5 pounds! 5 POUNDS! I wore pants with a button AND a smile. I hadn’t done that for quite some time.
That taste of accomplishment gave me the motivation to carry on. I was that much closer to my goal of reaching the level of fitness I wanted to have and the physical state I desired.
I included my girls in the workouts. I fed them what I was eating ,which was anything I wanted, within reason (even wine, y’all!!) but in portions that were customized to what my body type and level of activity required. When they asked why I was eating out of containers and always sweaty I told them it was so I could feel better about myself. I also told them they didn’t need to look a certain way to be confident, but they did need to feel good in their skin.
By the end of the 21 days I felt SO good. I lost 6 lbs and 2 inches but gained a lot of strength. I also gained a lot of confidence in my ability to change the things I wanted to while doing something for ME!
If you’re thinking of doing something for YOU I highly recommend this program. For more info and to get your program going contact firstname.lastname@example.org