The Bounce Back Myth

October 26, 2016

Before you had babies didn't you worry how you would ever get back to "normal?" The Normal was like this big thing to attain post-baby. The Normal made you wonder if having babies would ruin you. Or if having babies would make you less capable. The Normal gave you doubts, fear, and fed into insecurity. The Normal made you freak out about stretch marks, loose skin, a newly developed fat deposits. The Normal settles well into your psyche, making you question your growing belly, derrière, and waist size. The Normal also speaks to you after baby comes, when you're at the gym, and things are loose and uncertain. What's Normal anyway?

 

There is a lot of beauty and power in watching mamas get back in the gym. But there's a twisted thing about how it's received by the general public. I'm all about "strong is beautiful," and embracing strong female bodies. But isn't it funny how that whole mindset has created a new version of the perfect strong-girl body? Not too big/manly, 6-pack, big butt, big thighs but not too big, strong upper body, but she still needs boobs or else that's too manly, too.  Yet again, we are back to obsessing over aesthetic...(insert eye roll).

 

Enter pregnant moms-first of all, everyone has an opinion about what they should/shouldn't be doing during pregnancy. Then after, she gets booyas for getting her tired ass back into the gym. And she gets all kinds of praise if she gets back to looking like she "used to." Or the opposite happens, where moms who "get their bodies back" are attacked and hated for that, too. Again, the world still cares about what a woman looks like more than who she is or what she can do. I feel this twisted praise to mamas out there. "She really bounced back." No she didn't. She leapt a thousand leaps forward into a whole new reality and role as a mother.

 

Lifting weights and working out post baby is kind of like searching for a light switch in the dark. You know the general feel and direction of the switch, but without the familiar surroundings in the light, you find yourself palming at air and the surrounding walls. And when you find the switch, think, "Oh, that is NOT where I thought that was."

 

Here's what I've learned after two babies...so far. Honor the old self and and embrace the new self. There's no going back, and what you were before was lacking a very special presence in your life: your babes.  Pregnancy, birth, and all that comes after it really gave me a rebirth. Twice. I'm not the same as I was. And while media is always pushing out images of perfect, photo-shopped women, post-baby or post-anything, we are not perfect women. My first baby was a fight to get back to competing. My second baby is a fight to find balance. Both vastly different on the fitness, or CrossFit, spectrum. And neither were a devolution, they were both an evolution. 

 

My body is different, but so is my spirit. I think it's become really important for me to embrace all versions of myself from the beginning. 

 

And the funny thing is, CrossFit, being infinitely scalable, is infinite in its ability to adapt to every evolution of myself. In the grind times, in the back off times, in the heavy times, and in the just-move times. Unless injured, or unable to workout a the gym, I rarely deviate from the programming at NoCoast. Because anything is adjustable. And I have adjusted a lot in the last year to both meet my needs and the stimulus of the day.

 

Don't look back, Mamas. There is beauty in the now, in who you are right now, today. Be comfortable in your God-given skin, regardless of how stretched, torn, worn, loose, tight, jacked, or flabby. It's a vessel of life. 

 

(Blog article borrowed from www.makingmama.net)

 

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