I am not claiming to be a health expert, a nutritionist, or a doctor. These are just thoughts and ramblings of a young woman post-baby, and somebody who’s sick of the way society attempts to manipulate women in one way or another, primarily through beauty standards.
With that said, fuck your beauty standards and “snapback” culture. There’s a radical notion that women need to snap back after just birthing a whole ass baby within…2-3 weeks?? Every woman has different health (physical and mental, as if I need to explain myself), genetic, and medical components that play into their life in a variety of ways. Let women live, and instead, let’s focus on how to support the mental wellbeing of a mother and woman rather than deciding what size she should be.
I got pregnant at 18 and had my baby at 19, when all of my close friends were just starting college, having a grand time, discovering binge drinking, and dealing with things that didn’t involve chafed nipples and pulling barely conscious all-nighters. (well…)
The point I’m making is- it can be drastic to see your teenage body (you know the one- where you think you’re fat but you really truly aren’t, and don’t realize it until years later when you look back and would do anything for that ‘fat’ teenage body) go through a wild transition, and the immense pressure society vomits onto women even before they give birth to the baby to “snapback” into their size is unreal.
There are appointments, shots, and checkups galore for the baby, but what about the mother? Postpartum depression is real, and it absolutely sucks. I remember feeling so disconnected from my child, and thinking there was something seriously wrong with me before realizing it was so normal and getting help for it.
I also felt as if I was falling behind because my body wasn’t “snapping back” fast enough, and saw women smaller than me who had given birth and already gone back to their size pre-baby. On top of so many different changes that your body endures, the last thing you need is extra commentary or recommendations on how to “get back to your normal size”. It’s been 5 years now and my body isn’t toned to perfection by any means.
I have gained new stretch marks, went up several sizes, and then down a few, and eventually started to incorporate exercise into my weekly regimen. But during a personal training assessment where I was nearly grilled about what I eat, how often I eat, what my health goals were, and had my body fat index taken, I started snapping back at him instead.
I eventually lost a bit of patience and said blatantly that I didn’t care, when he said that my most frequented food choices added extra oils and sodium that would prevent me from losing weight. I don’t even keep a scale in my home, because it’s just a number to me. I make conscious choices when eating, preparing foods, and cooking, but I’m also not going to start feeling bad for tearing open a bag of chips and watching Netflix at night when my daughter’s asleep.
Taken a minute apart:
I think it’s also important to keep in mind that not everything you see on social media is real, or paralleled to reality. And it’s okay to unfollow people who might be harming your self image or mental health in any shape or form. We all post the best photos of ourselves- at least, most of us do. We don’t share (or take) images of our worst moments- it’s a highlight reel, a masked version of the best moments of our lives- or what seem to be. As an influencer working with brands, I do have to cater my images to depict a high quality, edited (colors, not body) image that positively reflects the product.
It’s unrealistic for women to constantly look their best, and fit into what the world thinks is beautiful. Find your own beauty by loving yourself first. It takes time to do that, and consistent effort. Women have also learned to bond (in media and reality) by shaming their own body and making self depreciating jokes to somehow ‘compliment’ one another. You can love who you are and lift up the woman beside you as well. Her beauty doesn’t outshine your own. Love the body you’re in. It’s fucking bomb.