As a single woman, and even as a newlywed, I often fantasized about how I would bounce back in shape after I had my babies. In the fantasy, I was a mother of twin girls, and we would coordinate outfits and look cute together. I imagined walking the streets and having to convince people I was mother to the twin girls because observers could have sworn I was their not-so-older sister. You can blame the fantasy on my addiction to Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley series, where Elizabeth and Jessica’s mom could have easily passed off as their sister when they were 16.
Then I got married. And I got pregnant. And I had my first son. Then I left a career and relocated. Then I added 40kg!
Not only did this last bit kill my post partum bounce back goals, it also led to my struggle to lose the 30kg I retained six months after delivery.
I would go online and see pictures of women who had babies and bounced back to shape. It made me so mad. After a while, I began to suspect that there was something they did that I did not know. It could have been a surgery, drugs or unhealthy diet. Or maybe they just had amazing genes and were not on my level.
The excuses I fed myself made me give up on my bounce back dreams for a while. I remained bitter and jealous. I also concluded that not every woman was designed to bounce back in shape after delivery. It didn’t help that a friend had told me that when a woman gets pregnant, a lot of things ‘shift and expand’ in her body, so she can never quite achieve her pre-pregnancy body naturally no matter what she does.
I Still Wanted To Bounce Back
Somehow though, without the pressure to bounce back, I truly wanted to lose the weight. For whatever it was worth, I was willing to at least try. And I did just that. The results amazed me. It was a lot of hard work, but by the time my son clocked a year, I had bounced back in shape.
It unlocked a new level of ‘mummy-possibility’ in me. I started to help more and more women lose their post partum baby weight and bounce back too.
Today, with my personal experience and that of my friends and clients, I can confidently say that every mom can bounce back in shape. The journey and the pace may be different, but it is possible.
Understanding Your Journey
Everybody’s process is different. We must embrace our journeys and resist the urge to put our bodies under unnecessary pressure.
Secondly, bear in mind that good genes play a role in post pregnancy weight loss. Some women are blessed (and disciplined too). But there are other factors that can be manipulated to get our desired results. Like our lifestyle, before, during and after the pregnancy.
For example, with my second pregnancy, you would not have guessed I had a baby two weeks after delivery. I became one of those women I silently envied before. My baby even came via a C – section. Compared to my first pregnancy where I struggled to lose the weight for a year, this was pretty awesome.
My ObGyn (Obstetrician Gynecologist), a jolly middle-aged man, shared something with me as we watched the video of my surgery. He said when they cut me open, my abdominal area hardly had any fat in it, but was rather full of muscles. His team was very convinced that I really was a fitness enthusiast.
So, it would be unnecessary pressure and unfair for another woman, who struggled with weight loss like I did with my first pregnancy, to think she can bounce back in record time. The timing it took me to regain my pre-pregnancy body differed in both cases, and so were the efforts, but it did happen.
It Goes Beyond Your Looks
Apart from the desire to look trim, the healthy lifestyle would give you strength, vitality, and confidence. In my case, it felt like I had optimized my life. So let me tell you what I often say to my bounce back clients: Lose the pressure. Lose the comparison. Get professional help (especially if there are underlying conditions like Diastasis Recti). Increase your discipline. Enjoy yourself. And trust the process. You too can bounce back.
As usual, I would love to hear from you or answer any questions you might have. Don’t hesitate to reach out.