Mamas have been comparing stretch marks and other baby battle scars since the beginning of time. There is one elephant in the room, though, when it comes to our post-baby bods. If life has ever been cultivated in your belly, and come out in the form of a baby (which, I hope that’s what it came out as), you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s that fourth trimester surprise that no one warns you about: loose skin.
It can be so defeating. You wonder if your friends have it under their tankinis and cardigans. You see fitness models with their firm mom bods gracing the cover of magazines while telling stories about how to get your body back and all you can think about is that over-stretched skin that covers your baby’s former home. Are models with perfectly sculpted bods just exempt from this or what? Or. What?
Before you make that tummy-tuck appointment, hear me out.
I’m a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. Helping others get fit and healthy is my passion and my mission. I rock out post-baby abs AND, guess what? I have loose skin. Why? I grew two babies inside my body. My now stretched-out belly was used to protect them, form them, feed them, and help them grow. Of course my body is not going to be the same. I used to hate my extra skin. I even talked with a plastic surgeon about having it removed.
Over the years, however, I’ve come to realize that this skin isn’t something I should be ashamed of. In fact, I should be proud of it. I am grateful that I’ve been able to have two biological children. As they are part of me, so is my loose skin. It’s a constant reminder of how strong and powerful my body is; my body can sustain life so why would I deem it so flawed and useless because of a little loose skin when it comes to shaping up? While I can’t get rid of this skin without surgery, I can do two things to help:
1. Eat right.
2. Work hard.
Being dedicated to a health and wellness regime will help me create and maintain those abs I want (and that many of you want, too). It’s time to stop buying the lie that just because you’ve been pregnant, you’ll never have abs. You need to feed your body well and commit to a fitness program that’s right for you, your mom life, and your body’s needs.
We are all in this together, moms. It just takes commitment and the support of one another to get back to an even-better place than we were pre-baby. You can do it! MS&F
*Photo by James Patrick