Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Weight loss. The last topic I want to talk about. Can I be totally honest? I am not stoked on my postpartum body. There is a lot of sagging, my muscles have atrophied, cellulite has set in and worst of all is the separation of my abdominal muscles which makes me look like I'm still pregnant even though I don't have much belly fat. So how do I get my body back without resorting too old, unhealthy behaviors?
Here is the thing. Even though I'm not stoked on how I look naked, I don't care all that much, not like I used to. It really doesn't affect my life. If I want to go back to work the guys aren't going to care. They care way more that I'm nice to them, I give them attention and I care about them. My partner is completely understanding of the changes in my body, having watched what I endured. He has nothing but respect for the power of a woman's body and he finds me equally as attractive. At least that is what he says and I believe him. My son certainly doesn't care. And I am able to train and get stronger now so I can work toward doing all the things I love again. So what is there to feel bad about?
I do however, want to be leaner. There are two reasons. First is for my surfing. A little extra weight can make popups slower which can be critically important in larger surf. And second, well, gut check time....I still don't think I'm good enough. Maybe if I looked really really super hot my partner would want more sex with me. Maybe he would give me more complements. Maybe he would be more emotionally available.
Wait what!? So it's my fault he's an ice cube when it comes to emotions? If only I was more perfect then my partner would be better to me. But he loves me the way I am. so the reason I can't do the same for him is because I still think there is some perfect person out there that I'm comparing myself and him to.
Will this black and white thinking ever go away?
Back to the topic at hand though. I am currently under my pre-pregnancy weight and would like to drop another few pounds which is easy since I'm breast feeding. Mostly I haven't worried about weight loss. I've eaten to satisfy my hunger, tried really hard to get enough protein since I'm vegetarian, and included a lot of high quality fats and homemade baked goods. I am exercising as much as my energy and back pain will allow for. The exercise has many reasons: I want to be healthy, I want to prevent re-injury, I want to surf better, I want to have more energy, I want a bigger butt so my partner will want me more and I can have some for of sexual power back...opps, did I just type that last one? Yeah, that is the truth though.
So how would I advice another mom in my situation? Eat plenty but limit the processes foods and refined sugars. Exercises as much as you feel up for. Don't weigh yourself. (I bought a baby scale so I could know his weight without having to have a scale in the house). And be honest about your behaviors and the reasons for them.
Last point worth making. For me, if I get too tired or don't eat enough my milk production slows way down. This is reason enough to eat plenty of calories. My desire for my son's wellbeing might just be the one thing stronger than the power of my eating disorder.