Relax, The Paparazzi Ain't Here.
What?! You didn’t snap back to your pre-baby weight five months after giving birth and flaunt that size 10 dress you used to fit in? What kind of woman are you? How dare you become consumed by the stress and chaos of becoming a mom so deeply you forget there are more important things in life like, say, fitting into size 10 dresses? Listen, you normal woman, you’re NOT the superwoman I thought you were. You’re not supermom either. You’re just an inadequate outcast.
This cape I was going to present you with? This cape is going to that Victoria Secrets model who OUTDID you. That, or I could give it to Tiny Miss Jennifer Famous over there. These two women are the epitome of womanhood; they popped out a 9-pound baby then snatched their waist in 5 month flat! I know this because I peeped the cover of SuperStar Magazine in the grocery store the other day, and they were frolicking in Hawaii in their itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. It was a REAL picture! I saw it with my own two eyes at the check-out lane and the title screamed “Jennifer’s Banging Sexilicious Post Baby Bod!” so, yeah.
Please stop. No. Don’t bring Photoshop into this. It simply doesn’t exist in Hollywood! I have already submitted that argument to the TMZ guy, you know, Mr. “I’m-a-Lawyer”, and he didn’t know what I was talking about. He said, and I quote, “Photoshop? Airbrush? No. People are perfect here in Tinsel Town, Ms. Carter, and they do not need any of that. The normal, regular, cape-less women are simply jealous of these bodies. Case dismissed.”
So I ask you again, woman who just gave birth, what is wrong with you? What is so hard about kicking your butt into gear and dropping those 20 pounds you gained during pregnancy? Your baby is about to crawl and you’re still trudging the house in those comfy elastic-band sweat pants? Who does that? Why would you sit around breastfeeding when you should be on the front row of Soul Cycle sweating bullets by obeying that hardcore Spin Instructor’s commands? And what, if I may ask, is your excuse for nodding off by the kitchen counter and looking lethargic and exhausted? Sleep deprivation due to a fussy, colicky baby you say? Nonsense! Grab that super-dupa blender you bought impulsively from QVC and make yourself and that squishy stomach of yours a kale-me-thin smoothie! Don’t forget to wrap your waist while you chug that green stuff because IT Works! No pun intended ;-)
Ok, so, if you’re a mom, or even if you’re not, you know that the narrative above broadly describes mainstream media’s obsession with women and their postpartum weight. You can’t go anywhere without being bombarded with loud headlines about how celebrities “got their sexy bodies back after birth.” While of course these can be inspiring to some women, the truth is that what it does is make women feel pressured, inadequate and self-loathing. The misguided message here is that that there’s only one normal - that of the mom who gives birth then turns around and whips herself back to original shape or better shape in no time. Losing postpartum weight fast is a good goal, but it should not have to be a priority for every woman.
I have seen posts on Social Media from women who leave the hospital with their brand new babies and immediately declare “I have already lost 8 pounds since coming back from the hospital." In other words, don’t throw them into the ‘moms-who-failed-to-shed-baby-weight-in-6-months-flat” abyss. It’s a scary place for them to be. Some women have become so scared about postpartum snatch-back that they freak out about gaining weight while they are pregnant. Ever asked someone nicely how they are doing and they respond disgustingly “I’m fat!” That’s how much we’ve become victims of the media systematic and shamelessly brainwashing about this.
I recently saw a post detailing the postpartum diet of one of the Victoria Secrets models and let’s just say I now I understand why they don't smile on the runway. Perhaps if I made millions of dollars showing off my body I would endure that type of restricted diet but chugging down liquid food and eating carefully-weighed bland chicken is simply not realistic for the rest of us.
Before you beat yourself up, remember that Hollywood Glam Moms are surrounded by nannies, nutritionist, private chefs and personal trainers. So breathe out, new mom, breathe out. You’re not a failure or abnormal.. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to adjust to motherhood and pushing your weight loss goals to the back burner. Heal. Adjust mentally. Enjoy your baby. Your body has been through a lot. Growing a human being from scratch in your womb is an amazing miracle! The fact that God gave us that responsibility is mind-blowing if you really think about it. The Physiological and Psychological changes our bodies endure are varied and enormous. Hormones go haywire, ankles swell, cravings hit and we experience unpredictable mood swings.
I have lived this life myself, the life of feeling pressured to snap-back. I used to weigh 131 before my 15-year-old daughter was born. Now? Now I weigh “Only 15 more pounds to go, Sally!” *cries in my hands*
I would succumb to the pressure and reach for a protein bar that tasted like a homeless cardboard box. Two days later a breaking story in the News about two people murdered in their own house would remind me that life is too short to not enjoy a big juicy hamburger. With fries. And a coke.
Some days I look in the mirror and think “More cardio, woman.” Other times I twirl, drop a little Beyonce dance, shake my booty and think, “Damn ,girl , you slay with those extra pounds, you slay.” *hairflip*
So, cut yourself some slack. Instead of struggling to chug down that miraculous 320 shake with one hand while holding the breast for your baby in the other, take the time to recuperate and and come up with a long term plan to shed weight at your pace. I don’t see a Hollywood agent knocking on your door wanting to talk to you about your appearance on the cover of Not OK magazine, do you? Alright, then. Get enough sleep, find a way to move, manage your stress and stay hydrated. Small changes will lead to big changes. Do not pressure yourself, and more importantly, never feel inadequate!
And here - these roses are for you. Happy Mother’s Day, woman. You’re amazing.