Is it even possible to get your old body back? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
My kids were 15 and 17 when we did the 5K, but they could have done it younger. We did it with a group of women from work and their DDs. The youngest was 11.

I really hate the crap that new moms get about weight and exercise. After my first, it wasn't a big deal -- she was a super easy baby and my body just bounced back. After my second, things were very rough. I had a high need baby and a toddler, and the toddle had developmental issues. I was a zombie from lack of sleep and days revolved around appointments for DD#1, while having a screaming baby in tow.

And I'm quite sure that people (mostly women) looked at my body and felt I "wasn't trying hard enough," without any clue of what of I was going through.
Hi Linda

Thank you for sharing your story.

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been with two kids, as my sister's kid is now entering toddler stage and he's becoming quite a handful!

My goal with this thread is to determine whether it is possible to have a balance, whether it is possible to have kids and have the body that you want. In my opinion it is very important for each person to be able to set their own goals of how they want to look.

A lot of the feedback that I've been getting is to simply tell her to be happy with the way she looks. However, feel that that advice can be just as harmful as telling her she needs to be thin to look good. My opinion is that she needs to be able to decide how she wants to look, whether that means she wants to be overweight or normal weight. What do you think?
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#32 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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A lot of the feedback that I've been getting is to simply tell her to be happy with the way she looks. However, feel that that advice can be just as harmful as telling her she needs to be thin to look good. My opinion is that she needs to be able to decide how she wants to look, whether that means she wants to be overweight or normal weight. What do you think?
This is complicated. I agree that it is not healthy to tell a person to be happy about something she is inclined to feel unhappy about, and that it is unwise to be too complacent about being overweight because it can damage her health. On the other hand, nobody is fully able to "decide how she wants to look" so it's important to practice some level of acceptance and appreciation of her imperfect body.

I think the goal should be a HEALTHY WEIGHT, and that is about so much more than the number on the scale. She should be eating and exercising in ways that make her feel strong and energetic enough to keep up with her child and that gradually bring her body to a shape that is comfortable for her. Body comfort is not just about the way you look but also about the physical experience of living in your body. (For example, when I was underweight I did not have enough cushioning for sitting in less-than-ideal places. If I did something like sitting on concrete steps waiting 45 minutes for a bus while the evening was getting colder, the next day my hip joints would be crippled so that I could barely walk and every movement ached.) She should work out everyday habits that allow her to maintain a fairly consistent size. That size might be bigger than she used to be. It does not have to be a whole lot bigger, and it certainly does not have to be constantly expanding. Finding balance is a healthy goal.

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#33 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mjmein View Post
Hi Linda

Thank you for sharing your story.

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been with two kids, as my sister's kid is now entering toddler stage and he's becoming quite a handful!

My goal with this thread is to determine whether it is possible to have a balance, whether it is possible to have kids and have the body that you want. In my opinion it is very important for each person to be able to set their own goals of how they want to look.

A lot of the feedback that I've been getting is to simply tell her to be happy with the way she looks. However, feel that that advice can be just as harmful as telling her she needs to be thin to look good. My opinion is that she needs to be able to decide how she wants to look, whether that means she wants to be overweight or normal weight. What do you think?
It's possible to have kids and have a good-enough body, but it's not necessarily possible to get absolutely the body you want.
We don't order these things from catalogs.

Some people put in reasonable (or minimal) effort and get the results they want. Some people put in huge amounts of effort and get minimal results. No one can control which of those they are. Effort in (at least in this area) doesn't translate directly to results out.

Additionally, you can't necessarily choose how hard you try. How much does a babysitter cost where you live? That's how much it costs, per hour, to go jogging. How much is a gym membership at a place with childcare you can use? That's how much it costs to work out. And if the gym management changes the childcare schedule (gym management tends to see childcare as kind of optional - nice, but not necessary), they will not be refunding your membership. And all this takes time, and you may not have time available, or be willing to divert it from your kids.
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#34 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 12:50 PM
 
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What a great thread! I agree with pps who said that aiming to "get your old body back" is unhealthy, or at least off the mark. For myself and all my mom friends that I've talked to about this IRL, our bodies change after childbirth. In ways that can be hard to adjust too but also in wonderfully surprising ways. In my case, I've always been slim but I had a very round "bubble butt". My husband loved it and having curves back there is desirable to many people but I always hated it, mainly because it was so hard to fit pants. Shopping was embarrassing and frustrating. After having my first child, I was heavier than ever before (I gained 60-70 lbs despite lots of vomiting!) but I was a lot happier with my proportions. While other areas grew, my butt totally slimmed down! I had to go up a few sizes but clothes fit better and more comfortably. I knew I wanted to get pregnant again soon, so I chose not to focus on the positive (for me it was my new butt, maybe your sister has an area she likes better now too?) and not make any special effort to lose the weight, knowing I'd probably just put it all back on as soon as I got pregnant (aka the carb train) again. Some weight came off on it's own, and the rest I just ignored for the time being.

After DS2 was born, I still didn't worry about the extra weight again for a while. I saw the same weight gain happen to almost everyone around me and it was obvious that very few women go back to their "old body." I told myself that it's a rite of passage. My husband didn't seem to mind and again I focused on the positive - my huge nursing boobs balanced out my figure (I'm usually an A cup so going up to a C-D definitely helped with the bigger hips/waist). I knew I'd be more comfortable in my skin if I lost 15-20 lbs but I didn't feel any urgency about it. With two boys less than 2 years apart and renovating a big house, I had enough other things to be stressed out about.

Learning how to be a good, happy parent those first few years at home with two kids was harder than I expected but gradually I started to feel more like the mom I wanted to be and less chaotic from day to day. I was approaching 40 and starting to think about trying for #3 . I felt though that I had to prove to myself that I could be in control of my personal independent life before adding the chaos that a third child might bring, so that I could have confidence that I could address instead of resent the sacrifices another child might bring. I knew it would be harder as I got older. So before getting preg again, I set some goals such as helping DS2 make progress with his separation anxiety, carving out time to read novels again, planting a new garden... and losing 25 lbs.

I'm pleased to say that I did it. It took about a year to get back to my pre-DS1 weight. I never went to the gym or followed a strict diet. I simply moved more - went up and down the stairs at home more quickly and more often, carried heavier loads of groceries, ran after the kids more, took them on more rigorous hikes (easier as they get older), hauled rocks in the garden, left the stroller behind and piggy backed instead, that sort of thing. For eating, I just did my best to cut down on sugar and wheat. I tried to have an apple instead of crackers for snacks, etc. More importantly I think, I worked hard at consciously parenting the way I wanted to and enjoying every day with my boys and my friends - this gave me enormous confidence and made losing weight feel effortless. For me, losing weight was part of a much bigger picture. To try to address it in isolation would have been futile.

I was proud of myself but I also noticed that I didn't look as good at that lower weight as I had before kids. My proportions had changed so much that I needed a few more pounds than before to fill out my chest and face, etc, to look younger and healthier. This is a great thing! I wouldn't want my pre-children body back for anything now.

Now I am pregnant again and packing it on once again - 10 lbs a month so far! But I'm okay with it because I know that this is how my body works and with lots of time and patience, it will come off...if I want it to. I have been down this road enough times to know that my body also looks just as beautiful, but different, at this heavier weight.

One last random thing that helped me a long the way - since having kids I've spent more time at beaches, water parks and pools than ever before in my life. Gradually chilling out and feeling okay about being in a bathing suit (it's about having a good time with the kids after all) and also seeing so many different bodies without clothes has been a great learning experience - nobody is perfect and everyone is beautiful in their own way. We're all just people after all. I love seeing baby bellies, misshapen tattoos, mysterious scars, all of it! We are all so different and ever changing on the outside.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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#35 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 03:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mjmein View Post
A lot of the feedback that I've been getting is to simply tell her to be happy with the way she looks. However, feel that that advice can be just as harmful as telling her she needs to be thin to look good. My opinion is that she needs to be able to decide how she wants to look, whether that means she wants to be overweight or normal weight. What do you think?
not exactly.

I can't decide how I want to look. I'm 49. I had 2 C-sections. I look great for my age and people are surprised when they find out how old I am, but I don't look like I did when I was in my 20s, or like I did before I had kids.

I don't think it is another persons job to tell us to be happy with being over weight or to tell us that we should loose. That's something we have to figure out for ourselves. Other people's comments about my weight have NEVER been helpful to me -- not when I was overweight, not when I am fit.

When you sister talks about how she feels, listen. Tell her back what you hear her saying about how she feels. Being truly heard and understood is a wonderful thing.

But don't tell her what to do or how to feel.

As far as whether or not it is possible to have balance, for me it has varied over the years with how much of support system I've had. I see a lot more moms without balance (be they heavy or thin) than I see moms with balance.

In my first post on this thread, I asked if she was depressed, and you never answered that. Is she doing OK overall? Is she down? It is a lot more acceptable in our society for a woman to say that she is unhappy with her weight than to say that being a mother just isn't what she thought it would be, or that the new baby is putting stress on the marriage rather than bringing them closer together.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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