Mum and former celebrity trainer Ashley Verma shares her tips for loving your body after pregnancy.
The time it takes to find your “post-baby mojo” will differ from individual to individual, but to help you shake off any post-baby body blues and build back your body-confidence, here are five top tips that helped me along my mum journey:
Your body needs fuel
Give yourself permission to eat what makes you happy and fulfilled. Restrictions can quickly flip the narrative and can create negative thoughts and unhealthy relationships with food. Don’t skip meals. You need the fuel for both your body and, more importantly, your mind. Sticking to regular mealtimes and portions can help keep you on a great path. Healthy protein, high-fibre foods, and nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables will not only keep you energised throughout the day but will also provide the key nutrients needed postpartum.
Your body needs love
Try finding acceptance that your body is different, neither good nor bad, simply different. How to find acceptance? Little steps each day: an extra walk; a ten-minute stretch in the middle of the day; head to YouTube for free quick workouts. For example, I share free workouts on my Bizzimumzi YouTube channel. A lot of mums do not have the luxury of being able to spend two hours a day with a trainer. Grab quick and efficient workouts (10-20 minutes) that you can do with the little one(s) around. I’m all for exercising with the kids around because if they are napping, so should you. Rest is just as important as the workout.
Your body doesn’t need negative thoughts
What are you doing? Where are you? How has your day been? Were you offered help and you said no? Write these thoughts down, share with your partner, your therapist, or a friend. These are triggers that need to be acknowledged and then worked through so that body positivity and self-worth can shine through. It can be hard at first to speak up, but your mental health needs to be top priority, not only for you but to sustain a healthy environment for your child. Working to eliminate the negative headspace will only enhance all the aspects in your (and your child’s) daily life.
Your body doesn’t have to “bounce back”
There is no award for a quick bounce back. Trust me when I say your next door neighbour does not care about the number inside your jeans. Wear clothes that flatter you and feel good on your body. We need to be in the mindset now of healing and honouring our bodies. The only person that knows the size of your clothing is you.
I have trained countless postpartum moms. There is a frantic energy I always feel when a new mom starts back training. You don’t need to feel this way. It’s added stress. Stress can be a huge factor for actually gaining weight postpartum.
You don’t need to weigh yourself
The number on your scales is another one no one really needs or wants to know. In full transparency, I have no clue how much weight I put on when I was expecting, and I do not own a set of scales in my house. The number on the scale does not define you. Self-love and self-worth acceptance surely does and has greater meaning.