My Post Baby Body Journey is a Long One

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It has been four years since I started MyPostBabyBody. A lot has happened over those four years, Obama isn’t our president anymore, I had another baby, Beychella, but my body has stayed the same. I wish I could say that my confidence was where it was after my first MPBB photo shoot but it isn’t right now. After being pregnant with my third son I have to say it was kind of nice taking a vacation from thinking about my body looking some way that it wasn’t supposed to. However, the spectacle of being in a pregnant body came with a whole other set of annoying comments and attention. 

Being asked if I am pregnant when I am not is something that I will never get used to. Sometimes I can go weeks and even months without the question disrupting my day but I can never go too long without it being sprung on me like a jury duty summons. Although, I think it is an invasive and rude question, I know it is rarely asked with malintent. Nevertheless, it still bothers me. It is a microaggression that chips away at my good vibes and confidence. Causing me to consciously and subconsciously shrink myself. I find myself adjusting my posture or covering up with my cardigan once I catch a glimpse of my stomach poking out in the reflection of an H&M store window. I find my hands resting on my stomach as to hide it from the world. Knowing my journey, the pieces I have written, and the interviews that I have done (ok so I did just one interview but you get the point), I am often disappointed with myself for being such a Negative Nancy when it comes to my stomach! For starting over from the beginning of my body journey all over again. Like I am Tye from the movie Clueless going down an endless shame spiral. But if motherhood has taught me anything, it has taught me patience. So that is what I am practicing with myself, patience.

I honestly don’t think my body is going to change very much in the upcoming years. I do what I can to be healthy but I refuse to go on a diet, they just don’t make sense to me from a science standpoint and I don’t have any fucking time to work out on a consistent basis. Maybe this will change sometime in the future but I am accepting that that is where I am right now. Even if I was dieting and working out I stand by my belief that I deserve to love my body now. Say that with me “I deserve to love my body NOW”. So here I am back on my journey same body, similar attitude, same goal- to achieve a Lizzo level of body positivity and love. Feeling a little more honest, a lot more unapologetic and taking pictures in my underwear so people (myself included) can see the beauty of the mom bod beyond the “snapback”. 

Postpartum Depression: There is a Treatment

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Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

Cordelia Gaffar is an author, speaker and mother of 6. This is her postpartum depression story.

It all started 16 years ago when I went to my six week appointment after my son was born.  feelI complained to my OB/GYN that I was feeling out of sorts. She readily prepared a prescription for antidepressants. 

That was my wake up call. “Did I really need antidepressants to cope with life?” I knew that I had some remaining grief from losing my parents in consecutive years just four years previous. I had also back to back miscarriages. Maybe that is why I gained so much weight during my pregnancy. Then it gripped me…

“I am 30 years old and will be fat forever!!!”

Oh the dread that overcame me. Then all at once, I remembered that I am the “I Can Do It Kid!” I can get through this. I need to find a way. I started to research how to deal with depression naturally and  found studies about the importance of niacin when growing a male child to accommodate the excessive testosterone in the mother’s body. I found foods like cashews, avocado and others with natural good fats could combat depression and later discovered also help with weight loss. I did further research for stress reduction and found exercise. Now I grew up with a dad who was an avid walker so I was not a gym rat. My idea of a good workout was a 5 mile walk. In my search, I found Pilates which I loved and weight training. Both of these options, gave me short targeted workouts to accommodate my new mom schedule.

So between exercise and diet change to support my mood, the hormonal changes in my body of having a boy and nursing, I was able to release all 63 pounds and overcome depression before he was walking. My son was an early walker at about 9 or 10  months.

My biggest issue was not being able to connect with my son. I became very mindful in each moment so that I could slow down and breathe. Then, I would recite prayers to him over and over again as I nursed or walked him. I made the walking and rocking into a dance. It became a healing for me and calmed him down. He wasn’t a good sleeper and loved being held constantly. There was also much reframing my perspective with sweet talk. No matter what was waiting, laundry dishes, my older child, who was 2 or getting to work on time, I created a time warp just for us. Eventually I stopped working for a several months and created more routines to connect while nursing.

People were impressed with my results and asked my advice. Some took it, some laughed at it, some said it is too much write a book. In all cases, that was the beginning of my journey and I did not do any of those things until about nine years later when I was expecting my fifth child.

In 2010, I started a blog to help me cope and give me a real mental reset to prepare for having five children after having established a great system of self-nurturing having four. What I was developing at that point was a journal and record of a duplicatable path…and ultimately the beginnings of my first and second books.

Even then I did not realize that this could be a viable coaching business for me until I had my sixth child and achieved the same results. When she was almost one, I decided to start coaching other moms, complete writing and publish my first book. In 2016, I started promoting my book by creating workshops and seeking speaking opportunities and finally live streaming. I continued to coach women also and refine my one on one coaching, developed group coaching and online courses, beta tested them.

Who knew that the pain of my postpartum depression would give me so much inspiration and life?

My coping mechanism became Workout Around My Day. Now, I am a Holistic Life Coach helping women to heal by building a system of self-nurturing nourishing with wholesome food, energizing with movement and reframing her perspective with sweet talk ultimately eliminating the cause of her health conditions and detox her body. I am also a speaker and travel to conferences.

Don’t let your depression swallow you whole. Live in each moment and look for the light. One day you could inspire someone too.

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Thank you Cordelia, so much for sharing your inspiring story about hope and recovery.

My Post Baby Bathing Suit Body

I wore a bathing suit for the first time in a long time today. We are on a family trip and I didn’t even bother to pack my bikini because I am so use to being on the sideline with my four month old. After the guys spent two hours in the pool yesterday I realized I wouldn’t get to spend much time with them if I wasn’t willing to get a little wet. So today I went to an overpriced tourist swim shop and purchased a bathing suit. I was pressed for time and they didn’t have a lot in my size so this is what I got. It’s not the most flattering but it covers my ass and that is what I needed.

When I put it on, my kids were so happy. My four year old told me that I looked fancy. Which made me feel special. We went to the beach and I actually got in the water!

I am writing this as a recommitment to myself to do what I want to do and wear what I feel comfortable in. It seems like an obvious thing to do but even I allow my body to limit my activities. So I am happy to say that I’m off the sideline and in the game wearing my not so flattering bathing suit, but my team doesn’t care so I am ok with it.