19 January 2020
Body Image and how we see ourselves
As we start a new year it always makes me think of new beginnings and how so many people try to change so much, try to lose weight, start something new and punishing …… but why do we feel we have this need to ‘improve’ or make ourselves ‘look and feel better’? We are all different shapes and sizes but I know hardly anyone who is actually happy with how they look!
This is very often the case with new mums. I feel for them as I read on their form they want to ‘get my pre-pregnancy body back’. There is so much pressure on women from social media about how to lose weight post birth or all the celebs – who probably have nutritionists and PT’s or tummy tuck’s to make them look great 6 weeks post birth!
Then there are the ‘Body Positive’ bloggers out there who post photos of their post birth tummies/bodies and who are proud of what they are – which is great, but there are not many who feel the same as they do. Also does this mean you then feel wrong for feeling down about your body?? It is a difficult one!
Yes you may well have stretch marks, C-section scars or very loose skin – but this is very much a part of having children, especially after having 2 or 3.
How do we feel about our body?
I think we all agree that how we look can so affect how we feel and can really affect our confidence and mood – for ALL women. Post birth our worries can range from excess weight to stretched skin to saggy boobs but this worrying can start in pregnancy. Many women want to feel confident and in control of their body in pregnancy but realistically this is a time when your body takes control as it has to stretch and change to let the baby inside grow healthily.
It’s a complex issue because as a new mum we want to be a good new mum but at the same time as a woman want to get back to how they looked before pregnancy – but it can take months and maybe for some, years to get ‘their body back’.
Can we all be ‘Body Positive?
Some schools of thought argue that women should ‘love’ their bodies, no matter what. I sometimes say to women, look at what your body has done for you – taken you through marathons, cycled up hills and given birth – appreciate what it has been through and done. HOWEVER, this is all very positive and good but I do know if your body is causing you anxiety or making you feel very low & unhappy then nothing is going to make you appreciate your body!! It can affect your confidence and mood, so I do know trying to preach the ‘body positive’ idea really is not appropriate for some.
Feel good from the inside out
Ultimately, the most important thing for all women is to be able to go through life feeling good about who they are inside and out. There will always be better days than others & it can very much go up and down depending on menstrual cycle, hormones and of course the menopause. Just enjoy it when you are feeling better about yourself and be nice to yourself when you are feeling very low about yourself.