POSTPARTUM: BOUNCE BACK WITH A “NEW YOU” MOMMY BODY THROUGH NUTRITION
Volume 27

Body Mindfulness

Have you been paying attention to how your body has been changing? Honestly… how has it been changing?

What does it mean to honor your body? Is it about pampering your body, grabbing some coconut oil and putting a few drops of lavender essential oil on your palms and then rubbing it all over your body? We just need to be mindful of any reaction or allergy, although I have not heard of many: use the “just in case, let’s be safe” mantra when we share information like this.

We understand our bodies more, when we practice mindfulness of our bodies. When we listen to what our bodies are telling us, when we pay attention to the changes we experience in our bodies, we learn so much about ourselves. It could be a pregnancy, it could be dis-ease or it could be just the natural process of aging. When we listen, watch, pay attention and take notes, we receive valuable insights and clues on ways we can transform the state of our bodies – if we are determined and choose to make certain changes.

When Pregnant… & After

When you decide to become pregnant, you will be aware of the various changes your pregnant body goes through while making space, shifting, growing, nurturing and eventually birthing a human. It may even be quickly forgotten that the time it takes for this beautiful process is 10 months. Yes, almost a year of changes with the body, some subtle, but many obvious changes will occur. Suddenly, you become the proud owner of a postpartum body. Now what?

A Winning “New Mommy-Body”

Enlarged breasts, widened hips, curves with extra definition might be widely sought after by some, while others are definitely looking forward to bouncing back from a postpartum body as fast as possible – getting rid of that belly, trimming down the thighs and arms, and literally getting that butt into shape.

Oftentimes, a healthy nutritional regime results in a winning “New Mommy-body”, regardless of the time it takes. Yet everyone is different, what works for some may not work for others. Even still, some people have other issues with hormones and health that prevent them from toning up or trimming up their bodies as they wish. We all benefit in one form or another when we use good food and healthy nutrition in honoring our bodies.

Honoring Your Body

Honoring your body has a lot to do with listening to its messages and respecting them.

Do you know when you feel dehydrated? Honor your body and hydrate.

Do you know when you feel fatigued just walking up a few steps? Honor your body and be active a bit more.

Do you know when you are consuming more sugar than you should? Honor your body and use nutrition to help ease sugar cravings.

Improving Your Body Image

Improving your body image doesn’t mean that you need to make yourself love your body every time you look at yourself in the mirror. To improve your body image you need to be open about what you think about when you see what you see. How do you see yourself? How do you view your body? A healthy “thin”? A healthy “fat”?

You will be aware of what your body is telling you, for instance, what you are willing to change and what efforts you need to make to sculpt the postpartum body into a ”New Mommy-body”.

Yes, look at what you see as your extra weight, and yes, look at all your blemishes and your stretch marks. But honor these, respect them. Give yourself and your body the compassion you deserve.

Through your pregnancy, you have done a lot of work, your body has not failed you, you had birthed a whole human being.

Honoring The Journey

This is no easy task. Love the journey as best you can. Recognize that the path to improving your body image is not linear, we all have challenging days. We all sit with discomfort, overcoming negative thoughts around what we would like our bodies to look like, whatever that image is for each of us. This is a critical part of healing. Healing our mindset and healing our bodies and honor them.

If this is something hard to do alone, remember you are not alone. Reach out to a therapist, a nutritionist, or even a coach. These are great options whenever you feel stuck or just need that extra push or help. Never forget you are good enough as you are. You deserve a life you are content and happy with. Honor yourself and bounce back with greatness!

YOUR “NEW MOMMY” BODY STARTS HERE

The time to begin your physical transformation is whenever you are ready to discipline yourself to work at this mission without quitting. Give yourself challenges.

Try the following 2 challenges and check out how you fare. Have fun with them. If you happen to fall short, as we all do when it comes to leading healthy habits, you can always start again until you get it done.

  1. 7-day Water Challenge

    Start the day with warm water and lemon. It changes the pH of your body to more alkaline. Then remind yourself throughout the day to drink water. Taking half your body weight in pounds and drinking that amount in ounces of water is a great guide as to how much water to consume.

  2. 30-day No-White-Foods Challenge

    Here you remove white bread, white potato, white rice, white pasta, milk, cheese, white sugar and white ice cream from your diet for 30 days. This is a bit more challenging but your body will go through a starch and sugar detoxing.

    You will trip up and accidentally catch yourself eating something you should not be eating but it’s all fun when you accept occasional lapses as part of the challenge. You do not need to stop eating those favorite comfort foods forever, just give it a shot for only 30 days. See what changes occur in your body during this phase. You might even surprise yourself when you realize you do have the willpower to do this, just for 30 days.

These are small steps to honor your body. As you try these challenges, you will learn to focus less on what everyone around you is doing and you will notice how your body feels.

The more you practice the stronger you develop your sense of body awareness. You will be more in tune with your strengths and limitations.

You may not feel amazing in the beginning, but somewhere in that space of time, just before you feel like quitting is when you will feel pretty awesome.

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Yuvelca Magdalena Reyes is a Holistic Full Spectrum Certified Advanced Doula (La Matrona trained, NYC) assisting women with a wealth of information regarding fertility, antepartum, prenatal care, birth and postpartum. She is a PAIL (Perinatal And Infant Loss) advocate and a trauma-informed provider. She carefully navigates through highly emotional cases when assisting with miscarriages, born-sleeping or released pregnancies. She is a mother of 4 amazing children, 2 angel babies and lives with her husband Paul Aarrington in the beautiful Poconos Mountains. She loves to listen to birth stories, welcomes questions and messages at DoulaGrow@gmail.com.