"I can't wait to get my body back after this baby."
"You'll have your body back in no time!"
These are phrases I've heard women say about themselves or assure other women who are pregnant or just gave birth.
Frankly, I couldn't disagree more.
You will not have your body "back." Your body just did all sorts of amazing things to accommodate hosting another little person. Your skin had to stretch, your organs crowded together to make room, and every part of your body was affected by changes in hormones, weight, etc.
How can we expect our body to just go "back" to how it was before any of this happened? The truth is, we shouldn't.
My body will never go "back" to how it was before I had my son. My body will never go "back" to how it was when I was 12, 15, 21.
Guess what? That's OK.
Why would we ever want to go "back" to anything? Why would we not want to move forward? You could actually become fitter, healthier, more muscular, leaner, whatever it is that your goal is- after you've had a baby or babies. You can absolutely be in better shape AFTER you became a mother than before if you are committed to following a nutrition and workout plan. I know plenty of women who are in the best shape of their lives after two kids, or at forty, even fifty, because they put in the work.
What we do need to do is have patience with ourselves and our bodies. We cannot have unrealistic expectations or we will just get frustrated and unmotivated. Immediately after giving birth, your focus should be on your little one and on letting your body heal. Once the healing phase is complete, THEN you can focus on building back and improving your strength and fitness levels.
Do I have my body "back" yet after two months postpartum? Absolutely not. Will I ever have that pre-baby twenty-five year old body "back"? No. But I am getting stronger and leaner while embracing the changes my body has been through. My hips are a little wider, my thighs are decorated with stretch marks that weren't there before, but I know 100% that I can and will be in better shape than I ever was before. It's going to take a combination of time- time for my body to continue readjusting to not carrying a baby anymore, mixed with discipline- I have to be consistent in my nutrition and fitness, topped with determination- I have to hold being at my physical peak as a top priority.
Why is it a top priority for me to be in the best shape of my life as a mom? For me, it's because I want to play with my kids without getting fatigued, I want to jump on the trampoline with them without pulling a hammy, and I want to live life to the fullest without physical limitations holding me back.
So let's focus on the body we currently have and how we can safely and healthily improve its state, instead of wasting time worrying about what something once was.