What Do “Real” Women Look Like After Birth?
I know I shouldn't do it, but anytime I see a headline that announces “Latest Celebrity Shows Off Body After Baby!” I can't help but click on it.
After having my fourth baby last summer, I am struggling to get back in shape. Really, really struggling. So I admit when I see all of these celebrities and women who still look bikini-perfect less than month after giving birth — or less — I definitely wonder 1) “How on earth they do it?” and 2) “What in the world is wrong with me?”
The most recent culprit in my feeling bad about my body occurred when I clicked over to check out Blake Lively “modeling” her “trim post-baby body” less than two months after giving birth. Of course, she looked great and, of course, I felt defeated since I gained weight in every single part of my body and not just my belly.
But here's the thing. Even though Blake looks great, and even though I fully recognize that she gets paid to look good at some level, I know plenty of real-life women who look equally as fabulous after giving birth.
We are tempted to proclaim that “real” women don't bounce back after giving birth — that “real” women have stretch marks and battle scars and struggle with postpartum weight loss. But truth bomb?
That's just not completely true.
Some women genuinely do have different postpartum and post-birth experiences. Some struggle to lose the weight, some don't. Some gain a lot of weight, some don't. We are all different, from diet to exercise routines to the genetic make-up that makes us us.
“Real” women have stretch marks and lingering rolls long after the baby is gone. But “real” women also have flat stomachs after birth and can still rock a bikini like Heidi Klum.
We are all “real” women, and we can't let the thought that motherhood is some sort of vicious competition to look the best, be the best, and raise the best get us down.
I can celebrate women who look great after birth and acknowledge that, more likely than not, I will never be one of those women. But I can still celebrate me, my body that has given birth, and my journey forward into getting back into shape and feeling good in my own skin.
Did you struggle to lose weight after having a baby?