All you can do is your best…just remember to love yourself too!
I was actually writing another blog, but with no intention at all I ended up writing about body image for mums. This is a subject that has recently been on the rise in social media and is actually very real for me. My appearance is something I take seriously, too seriously really and I knock myself down way too much for it. I am sure this is common place for most women, which it shouldn’t be.
Before I got pregnant, I was a gym bunny- 6 days a week, had a good diet and was getting ever closer to my ideal body goal. I had lost over two stone, was building muscle and felt great! I look back at this and sometimes I just have to roll my eyes at myself. Don’t get me I wrong, I was happy and worked hard for the results but the joy I feel through my daughter now, tops any PB or figure on a scale! In reality I didn’t need to be in the gym every day to feel good.
I was adamant I wanted to have a fit pregnancy, be active, eat healthily and not gain too much baby weight. Note: roll of the eyes again. I even followed fit mums on social media, with the hope of inspiration and advice. Numerous Instagram pages of pregnant or new mums who quickly lost their baby weight filled my feed; they looked incredible, why couldn’t I do this too?!
The reality of pregnancy hit me hard. I couldn’t even get out of bed without running to the loo to be sick, let alone think about the gym or lycra. I was exhausted and the thought of vegetables or a green salad made my stomach churn. Don’t get me wrong, I did my best, I drank loads of water and found the healthier options which didn’t make me sick. Kalo chocolate rice cakes were and still are amazing!!! However, living off healthy salads for lunch everyday was a distant memory, chips and a chicken korma kept me going. Oddly, I really got into Tesco Finest Coleslaw; I hated coleslaw before I was pregnant but I still eat it now. Although, I wouldn’t call this a craving as I wasn’t eating it straight out of the tub daily haha!
We are brainwashed by idealistic images of pregnancy and motherhood through social media. They depict a dreamy bubble of perfect prams and lovely strolls on sunny days whilst sipping on a protein shake or bootie tea. But really, it’s prams with sick or poop on them, manic walks covered in multiple stains of who knows what; all in the hope of getting out of the house without waking the baby.
I tried shakes, exercise and extra walks; I made it 4 days in and nearly fainted because I was so hungry. It works for some but it really isn’t the answer for everyone!
I had an emergency C-section, which poses its own world of challenges which I won’t go into as every mum has her own list of repercussions or obstacles after child birth. These are not excuses, they are reality. We are human and we just gave birth (this refers to weeks or even a year!). Give yourselves a break!! You’re a mum and quite possibly a working mum too! You can only try your best.
Things did not pan out the way I thought, I joined a mummy fitness class which was great! I made new friends and started feeling a bit better about my body. However, in the end my daughter started having a melt down every time I lay her down for me to start the circuits. So, no matter how much I liked the class we had to stop going because it wasn’t fair on her. To be honest this really got me down for a while, it felt like I had no control, not even an hour to feel like myself again.
There are ways around this. I am not going to list them because it’s not the point of this blog. But you can find control. After all, being a mummy is the new you! Whether you have just had your first or fourth, each one creates a new level of you. Am I a grown up mother with her shit together? Hmm…we can hope and that’s okay! All we can do is our best.
Truth is it’s unknown territory, a battlefield. Currently my daughter is 14 months old and probably a fair few other mums will agree with me in wondering if teenage hormones and mood swings are hitting early, very early. You never know what you are going to wake up to each morning!
My God she can toddle fast now; I don’t think I can count the number of times she has picked up a piece of cat litter and eaten it. I doubt there are many mums out there who knew exactly how they were going to adapt to motherhood, eating cat litter was most certainly not on my radar! Truthfully we can’t predict the future, we just have to try to do our best and learn on the job. Sometimes, (if you want to) try to diet and exercise, but this can be one of the last things you want to do after a long day.
All we can do is find a balance and develop the self-confidence we deserve. Be that through writing, dance, exercise or just being you! We have grown and birthed a little mini human(s). Give yourself a break and stop judging.
I am now in a place where I find real mums more inspirational than celebs. I would rather follow mums on social media than see a celeb mummy holding a shaker of detox tea they’re being paid to hold. Celebs live in a different world to us, and that’s great for them, but we have to look after our own and accept the reality that we live in, and finally… enjoy it!
A Guest Blog from Lisa King
Lisa lives in Brockworth with her fiancée, daughter Isla, and two Bengal cats, Jasper and Rosie. She is a full time working mum.
Lisa has recently returned to work at Superdry Head Office, Cheltenham after maternity leave. She enjoys family days out, a glass of wine or three and keeping fit in the best way she can. You can follow Lisa on Instagram.