It’s said that your body will probably never be the same after giving birth, considering all the demands pregnancy places on your skin. Despite the odds, some women do recover their pre-pregnancy bodies, but not every mother is that lucky.
Regardless, almost everyone makes some attempt to get their body back. Gym memberships become routine. Yoga becomes a daily staple. Stretch mark creams like Trilastin and Mederma become essentials in the medicine cabinet. If the cream doesn’t work, you can cover up stretch marks, but what about that dreaded belly pooch that yoga and exercise don’t seem to touch?
Don’t worry; you’re not doomed to wear loose clothes forever – unless that’s your thing. Some mothers rock the mu’mu like nobody’s business.
- Wear shapewear underneath everything
If you’ve never tried control garments, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see what a good piece of shapewear can do to flatten out pooches and love handles. These garments are specifically designed to flatten your belly, thighs, back, or just target your mid-section. Moreover, a good abdominal binder (like the ones made popular by Kim Kardashian) will not only help with shaping your waist but it will also provide support, speed healing after surgery, and increase blood flow to your muscles.
Shapewear will help you feel good no matter what you wear – you’ll feel good even in a swimsuit. In fact, clothing designers have started creating swimsuits with built-in shapewear; the patterns and colors are like normal bathing suits. They’re virtually undetectable as control garments.
Use this genius invention to your benefit. Your clothes will fit better, and you’ll feel good about the way you look.
- Change your preferred style
How long has it been since you explored a different type of clothing style? If your body type has changed, you may need to consider altering your style to match. Think of it the same way as when you graduated high school and had to start dressing more professionally to land a good job. There’s nothing wrong with having to switch up your style.
Look for other people with your body type and see what they’re wearing. If you see something that looks fantastic on someone else similar to you, compliment their look and ask them where they got their outfit.
- Let go of your need to have a perfect body
Whatever your perception is of a perfect body, let it go. Letting go of your need to attain a specific body image won’t make your pooch disappear, but it will eliminate the poor self-esteem that makes you want to make it disappear.
Letting go of impossible ideals benefits your children, too. Remember, they’re little sponges absorbing everything you do and say – even indirectly. Your kids will pick up their own body image from watching you. When you obsess over your body, your kids learn to do the same.
- Reshape your goal to be healthy, not thin
Sometimes you can’t hide everything, and that’s okay. Practice the art of self-love and self-acceptance every chance you get. Don’t allow your confidence to be swayed by how you think others perceive you – it’s probably not accurate.
The truth is, most people out in the world won’t be looking at your belly, nor will they be judging you for not having washboard abs. Most understand those standards are unrealistic, especially when a person has kids.
Don’t avoid wearing your favorite clothes in fear that others won’t like what they see. Chances are, they’re not even paying attention.
If your concern for the opinions of others overrides your ability to live your life comfortably, check in with yourself. Do you care more about aesthetics than your health? Being thin and being healthy isn’t always the same thing. It’s possible to chase being thin in an unhealthy way, especially when it turns into an obsession.
“I personally believe that having weight loss goals is fine, but we need to explore our motivation for weight loss,” says mommy blogger Brittany Kahn. Kahn was considering holding off on having her second child until she could lose the weight she gained from having her first child. “Why did it feel so important to me that I was willing to put my life plans on hold? Where was my obsession of becoming smaller coming from? I realized, in time, that I was confusing thinness with healthiness.”
Love your body always
Your body has been through significant changes in order to house and feed another life inside of it. Love your body for having the intelligence to do its job. Consider stretch marks and pooches an invitation to learn unconditional self-love because that’s the only source of lasting contentment. Everything else – including a perfect body – is fleeting.