Sunday, 12 September 2010

Gain, lose, gain, lose, gain, lose...

Weight that is.
I have been this height since I was 11 years old. From then until I fell pregnant with our first baby my weight stayed the same, within a kg or two.
In the last ten years my weight has gone up and down 6 times, with each pregnancy/baby.
I am proud of my body. I am proud of me. Carrying our babies, birthing them, nourishing them. 4 of them being over 5kgat birth!

I have never understood the term 'Getting my body back' I feel it is a set up to failure, false hope, telling women your body was not yours for a period of time and is now inferior.
After having a baby a woman's body will never be the same again. She can be the exact same wight, or even less, but her body is never the same. And why should it be? Why should society put pressure on women to think how they are after a baby is less than acceptable, and they are only worthy if they look how they did before their baby was born?

Our breasts get bigger, our hips spread, pelvis opens to be bigger to hold our baby and birth, our rip cage gets bigger, our skin stretches, our feet and hands can swell, and lets not forget the weight gain.
This is all a part of being a mother. Bringing a new lift into our world, our lives.
It is a rite of passage, a badge of honour for some.

Society tells us that sure, have a baby, but be sire to be back to your pre pregnancy weight as soon as possible and we will glorify you. And if you are still not at that acceptable size straight away we will remind you of it by plastering celebrities on magazines and how they were able to do it withing 3 weeks with thanks to their live in nanny, personal trainer, Chef and full gym at their house.

As if being a new mother is not hard enough, caring for a newborn, caring for ourselves, falling through the days and adjusting to this new life. Apparently you also have to be hair free(in the 'right' places, have a clean house, dinner ready, hair done, make up, and body looking acceptable. But for who? It's not for the baby who just wants you and to be fed, clothed, changed and loved, not for your partner who loves you and supports you no matter what, not for true friends who are there to help and support you.

So who is it for? If you ask me it is for the billion dollar industry out there that relies on woman to feel that they are not enough as they are. They need hair products, make up, waxing, plucking, and lets not forget the ever growing weight loss scams.
They don't care if you are struggling with feeding your new baby, or struggling to learn why your baby is still crying for the 4th hour in a row, or that you can't sit down as your arse is killing you from birth and stitches.

Nope. They just want your money. Plain and simple. Make out that women are not good enough and tell them how with x,y and z products they can be fabulous again, like they were before.
Fuck off I say!
We are still gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful and fabulous. We are just different now. We are mothers.
No matter what shape, size, colour or whether we wear jammies all day or gasp wear no make up.
Be who you want to be, because you want to, not because someone who couldn't give a crap about you says how you 'should' be.

What I do believe however is that we do need to look after ourselves. To be healthy, but also realistic.
Forget about media, society and others, and to find the place that makes us feel comfortable.

For me it is not where I am right now. I gained more weight in my last pregnancy than any of them. I'll be honest, my diet was not balanced. My weight has gone down since bubs was born but I hit a plateau a few months ago and stayed there. Winter set in and the nights got darker and I stopped going for walks. I also found comfort in winter meals and coke. Damn coke.

About 3 weeks ago I was uploading pics, we take a lot here. I came across some the kids had taken. Mostly extreme close ups of their faces, their toys, the ceiling, the curtains etc There was also some of me. I looked at the picture and it matched how I was felling. Flat, sluggish, heavy, unhealthy and unfit.
I was finding it hard to walk up our driveway to the letterbox, it is about 75 metres. I loathed going down stairs, because it meant going back up stairs.
This is not how I wanted to be. I felt blah. I knew I had to make some changes to improve my health and over all well being.
I wanted to be fitter, to go for hikes with our family, play basket ball with them, go bike riding, and just feel physically better to be more active.

So in the last nearly 3 weeks all I have done was cut right down on all the drink and foods that were making the biggest impact on my tiredness, sluggishness and over all not feel physically well. It has made a huge difference and I feel so much better already.
I have not given up my favourite treats, but am being more realistic with how much and how often. I love them and am not giving them up.

I was playing outside with the kids today and I could noticed a big difference in my fitness. Walking up our huge hill was not a struggle. It was great. The payoff is certainly more than worth it.
I have not actively been exercising. Our laundry is downstairs and with the kids being outside a lot lately I am getting more than enough walking done up and down the stairs and around the house.
I have lost weight which I can see from my clothes. I'm not sure why I was surprised at this. But it makes sense. If I am losing weight just by cutting down foods with no nutritional value it proves just how crap the food is and how much of an impact it was having on my body.

I have been in this position a few times now. Letting my fitness get away, going for the easy, quick and rarely healthy choice. It is my own doing and I accept that. Life can get damn busy and who the heck can do it all, all the time? Not me.
I'm far from perfect, and I get in slumps and I know I will again. I just hope I don't fall this far again. I don't like it, my body doesn't like it and it seems the easy way out. But it's not.

I am hoping this post makes some sense. It has only taken about 10 starts and stops, over 5 hours, to get to here.

To summarise we all need to find the right fit for our unique body and lives. To be happy with ourselves, with health being the main focus.
But also to not be so hard on ourselves. Be more forgiving of the ups and downs, and support each other as mothers who are all trying to do our best for our babies, children, partners, family and usually ourselves last.
Being a Mum is hard enough and having other Mums to talk to, catch up with and who understand makes such a big difference.

I will keep you posted on how I am going. I'll say in a month, with the hope it motivates me to keep going.


Nat said...

Beautiful post. Love to you as you tackle this new challenge. I know you'll do it! Mwah.

Sazz said...

:) glad to hear you're feeling better.

The other day Sarah and I were talking about the fact that her yoni has pushed almost 20 ponds of baby out and then we started wondering just how much your yoni had done :D It's gotta be like 60 pounds yeah?! What a yoni!

Hands and Hearts said...

Thanks Nat, I'll certainly need encouragement!
LOL Sazz, yes it's certainly had a workout. The rest of my muscles may be lacking, but my uterus is awesome! Yes, it is approx 65 pounds, hard work but well worth it :)