"Don't worry, you'll lose that baby weight!"
I have a baby so I simply do not have the time to unpack the messed up ways that women are measured in society. But, let’s talk about one: baby weight.
I gained 60lbs during pregnancy (gasp!). It is what my body needed to create a healthy baby and I am still in awe of what my body is capable of. My pregnancy made me love and appreciate my body. Why does everyone seem to be in such a hurry to get me to hate it again?
Probably because I stopped listening to the noise we’re all constantly bombarded by and are mindlessly repeating. In other words, I stopped needing/buying crap. Seriously, I’m not purchasing any creams, lean cuisines, or weight loss schemes (sorry, the rhyming is necessary). I'm good!
But seriously, think about it - if women suddenly stopped judging themselves the way they’re told to, a lot of corporations would be holding emergency meetings and stakeholders would be banging their angry fists. Imagine if pitches to “do away with those unsightly stretch marks” were met with laughter and a unanimous “no thanks! I worked really hard to earn these!” .... Sales would plummet, and good riddance. I have no sympathy for anyone who seeks to make a profit from convincing you that you are not good enough.
Meanwhile, I still hear a lot about my weight. I hear pity and reassurances of “It’ll melt off!” as if I’m worried, or “no way, you look good!” as if I implied somehow that I don’t? Losing my baby weight is seen as some sort of measure of when I’ll be 'back' and until then, I am made to feel like I am stuck in some sort of pudgy purgatory.
Nah, like I said, I’m good.
I thought I knew how much women were taught to hate ourselves before I got pregnant, but I had no idea. I look back and feel so sorry for my younger self - never thin enough, never the right shape, never the right type. I wish I could have seen then what I see now. It’s actually so easy now to find myself settling into a yoga practice or making the time for a quick workout. I no longer need to do any mental acrobatics to convince myself that my body isn’t the enemy - holding me hostage at the gym or sabotaging me with its desire for tasty food. Fitness is not a punishment for indulging in dessert. Dessert is nothing to feel guilty about. For the first time in my life I feel mentally healthy, which is finally allowing me to become physically healthy.
I have such a healthy relationship with my body now. I made a baby. My body is magic. I’m never going to be mean to myself again.