It's Time to Take Your Body Back, Mama

Motherhood changes everything.

It changes your self-perception, your daily routine and lifestyle, your appreciation for solo grocery shopping trips, your work schedule, your intimate relationship, your idea of what is an “acceptable” amount of sleep, and most of all it changes pretty much everything about your body and your relationship with it.

I’ll be the first to shout it loudly enough so that everyone in the back can hear: a woman’s body is fucking amazing. The fact that we can nourish and sustain life inside of us for 9+ months and then bring that life into this world is astonishing.

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With that being said, it is after we overcome the first two huge hurdles of motherhood — pregnancy and birth — that we must tread delicately during the recovery stage that is both immensely sensitive and overwhelming. During this time, it is important for mothers to give themselves grace and allow themselves to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. For every woman, this recovery period is different; some women may feel “healed” in a matter of weeks or a few short months while others require more time to return to their new normal.

The most important step of this entire process is that every mother needs to transition out of this recovery period; it is not meant to be a place where we stay permanently. I feel that too many women hover in this stage, giving themselves too much grace (yes, it’s possible, keep reading) and not embracing the climb out of this chapter into their new-found strength and potential.

For anyone that needs to hear it: it is not “baby weight” years later; it is your decisions, actions, habits, and self-valuation.

One month postpartum after delivering the twins via c-section.

One month postpartum after delivering the twins via c-section.

I’m not saying that women must erase every sign of motherhood from their bodies, or even that that is a possibility (I sure as hell know my body is not the same as it was before,) but we need to pursue our new potential after having our child(ren.) Your body after babies does not need to fit some generic mold or reach a specific weight or aesthetic to make you proud; one woman’s goal of being a size 5 can be comparable to another’s goal of being a size 14. One woman’s decision to leave her loose skin alone is just as “correct” as another’s choice to have it removed with surgery.

No two mama’s journeys will be the same — their starting point, their goals, and their opportunities will all be unique — the only universal factor is that in order to truly reach a point of genuine happiness and fulfillment, we must position ourselves in a place to receive it and the healing stage is not somewhere where that can happen.

Social media does a phenomenal job of bringing to light relatable situations — that perhaps we thought we were alone in thinking and/or doing them — and turning them into shareable content for our enjoyment and validation. I’m no foreigner to enjoying a funny #momlifebelike meme with a friend about what becoming a mother has done to my boobs and stomach (seriously…) but the issue that I see becoming more prevalent is that these snippets of motherhood, and its effects on our bodies, are now being normalized as the unavoidable standard.

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Again, I’m not taking issue with normalizing the postpartum body, breastfeeding, etc.—people need to be aware of what we go through and sacrifice as moms—it’s the pressure being pushed on mothers to accept that their sexiness, level of fitness, and quality of health will never amount to what it was BEFORE having babies that I have a problem with.

Fuck. That. 

Mothers can be fit.
Mothers can be sexy.
Mothers can be healthy—mentally and physically.

This is a wakeup call to all my fellow mamas who are reading this and realizing that they never made the decision to exit the healing stage and start their journey toward becoming the woman they are capable of.

It took me five months to feel like I was ready to make the transition and take back my body. I started slow, having lost so much strength through bedrest at the end of my pregnancy and not working out for almost a year, but I committed to little changes that built momentum in the right direction. Your starting point may come much sooner than mine in your postpartum timeline; it also may come sometime later. Regardless, you MUST step up to the line and start at some point — no exceptions.

Yes, my tattoo is on my left hip. The picture on the left is my right side in the mirror and the picture on the right if my left side, with my phone in a tripod (no mirror.)

Yes, my tattoo is on my left hip. The picture on the left is my right side in the mirror and the picture on the right if my left side, with my phone in a tripod (no mirror.)

I don’t share my successes during my postpartum fitness journey for any fellow mamas to feel down about their own; no, I want other mothers to see that it CAN be done and, not only that—it SHOULD be done. I know first-hand that everything in my life has gotten better since I started focusing more on my health and my fitness. My self-confidence, my emotional well-being, my energy, my parenting abilities, and pretty much everything has skyrocketed since having my twins one year ago and it never would have happened had I continued to give myself “grace” all this time.

Giving myself “grace” would have certainly been easier, in the moment. It is much easier to sleep in until 7AM when you miss the days where you could sleep until whatever time you felt like (before kids.) It is much easier to choose the tasty, carb-filled item on the menu while out to eat than make a few special requests to get a healthier dish. It is much easier to say you’re too tired from wrangling kids all day and veg-out during their nap time instead of getting in a 30-45 minute workout.

While all of those choices would be much easier in the moment, they end up hurting us in the most important department of all: self-love and valuation.

Those “easier” decisions lead to us looking in the mirror and not being comfortable with who we see looking back at us. They create self-doubt and a lack of confidence that negatively affect EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF OUR LIVES and the worst of it all—we do it to ourselves.

I am here to tell you that its not too late, regardless of when you had your last child(ren.) You can decide that it’s time right now to take back your body, mama, and start working on the habits that will lift you closer to your potential.

The greatest thing you can do for your children, your spouse, and YOU is making your health and fitness a priority. The best way to make this happen is to start NOW. No matter where you are, you can find a program that will help you make the changes that will improve your life and bring you happiness.

I want nothing more than to see other mothers succeed and enjoy these early days of motherhood. It hurts to think that some women hide their bodies and cannot be confident nor happy while their babies grow up because they haven’t been encouraged to take back their body, their confidence, their sexiness, and their strength.

I am here to encourage you to take back your body, mama.
I am here to cheer you on and give you some tough love along the way.
I am here to help you navigate this chapter in whatever way is best for you.
I am here to say it’s possible, you can do it, and you MUST do it.

If you need a fellow mama in your corner for any reason, you know where to find me. I’m here for you and I’d love nothing more than to do this together. I have partnered with two AMAZING companies — 1st Phorm and Movéo Fit Co. — that provide top-quality supplements and workout gear that can help you on your journey. Regardless of your fitness level, they both offer products that can help EVERYONE achieve their goals with hard work and diligence.

Follow me over on Instagram as I share about my ongoing postpartum fitness journey, utilizing both of these companies and their products, and I put it all out there so other moms can see that they, too, can do it. You can always send me a DM if you have any questions or are ready to seek assistance while beginning your climb to your new potential.

XOXO,

Erica

#BadassTwinMom
(on a mission to create an army of confident, sexy, and strong AF mamas)