Building a Positive Body Image in Motherhood
Today’s mothers are constantly being bombarded with the lie that dieting will somehow help them “fix” their bodies.
Let me share some honest truth with you:
I don’t have to know what your body looks like to know that your body isn’t broken.
When you cut through the noise of a multi-billion dollar diet industry, you will find this reality:
There’s nothing to fix in your one-and-only body that grew and nurtured babies into existence.
Motherhood changes you, I’m not here to argue that. But what if we could learn to embrace those changes as part of this beautiful journey we’re on rather than fight against it?
Changes in our bodies aren’t always easy, especially when our culture demands that we “bounce back” after having babies. But this notion of somehow returning to who we were before we birthed life into the world is a complete fallacy.
Trying to undo the changes in our bodies would mean erasing the passage of life, the journey that brought us to our children. When you have a baby, your life transforms, and your body is physical proof of this beautiful process.
So how can you begin to build a positive body image in motherhood?
Keep these foundational truths in mind as you learn to appreciate your changing body through the seasons of motherhood:
Your body is capable of the miraculous.
(Just look at those sweet kiddos in your house!) A mother’s body should be celebrated, not criticized. Women are capable of the miraculous, regardless of their size and shape. Your body is an instrument, not an ornament, a vehicle to carry you through your one and only special life, a God-given gift to cherish, respect and honor.
Your body does not need to change in order to love and be loved.
And isn’t that what motherhood is really all about? You don’t need to wait until you’ve reached a certain size or weight until you start honoring the amazing body you have now or enjoying the things in life that matter most.
The time you have to enjoy your kiddos is to short to be wasted on negative body image thoughts that consume your mental space. You are free to live the life you want now, without having to change your body.
A mother’s body does change, and it’s okay to need support along the way.
It can be freeing to acknowledge and embrace the fact that our bodies will and do change through the many different seasons of our motherhood journeys. It is a constant state of learning to become reacquainted with your body through these changes and to feel supported in the process.
It’s okay to acknowledge that these changes can be hard, and asking for some help along the way can empower you, especially if you find yourself struggling during certain seasons, like pregnancy and postpartum. Working with a therapist or dietitian that practices from a health at every size approach can help encourage on your journey toward building a positive body image in motherhood.
Learn to take good care of the one place you will call home for your entire life, with respect and kindness, because you deserve nothing less. This will always be true for you, no matter what season of motherhood you might be in. Be patient and give yourself plenty of grace along the way.
Remember that a positive body image is more than fuzzy thought or warm feeling; it is inherently knowing that you are worthy, that your life is invaluable, and that your one and only body should be cared for as your home on this life journey.