BE BALANCED, BE YOU: Balancing Baby + Positive Self Image

BE BALANCED, BE YOU: Balancing Baby + Positive Self Image

BE BALANCED: BE YOU: We'll be featuring different women each week that have somehow influenced our lives and inspired us with their strength and grace. Meet Amanda, an active woman her entire life who talks about pre/post pregnancy bodies and the realties of working out with a new baby.

"I have always been an active person, and never had any issues regarding my weight. Right before I found out I was pregnant, I had been training 5-6 days a week. I was preparing to get into stunt work and was in the best shape of my life.

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When I found out that I was pregnant, it didn't put me off training. I believed that I would give birth and get right back into training again. I was still doing my kettle bell workouts and able to do 6 chin-ups at 6 months pregnant. Everything was going really well. At 8 months I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I swelled up, gained a lot of weight and wasn't able to stand for too long because of tendinitis.

Four weeks after giving birth I was feeling better and was attempting to fit in some workouts. Having a new born was proving difficult to fit it all in. Workout when the baby sleeps they say. Hah! Sleep when she's asleep, eat, clean, relax, call a friend, do some art...yeah they don't sleep that much!

For a little while I was doing really well, I made a 15 HIIT workout schedule and if my daughter was sleeping longer I would repeat it. I lost all the extra weight within a year but was still very unhappy with how I looked and more importantly how I felt. I didn't feel the same. My feet are bigger, my back is broader, my hair has lost its curl and my stomach was squishy. I got so caught up in "How to get a pre-baby body back" which is drilled into us. The media is always showing us new ways to get back our old body, that I lost touch with the reality that I have a "post-baby body." Nothing I do will ever make my body pre-baby again; you can't undo pregnancy.

My daughter is now two and I'm still struggling with getting used to my new body because that exactly how it feels - different and new. Just like when I was a teenager trying to figure out what clothing looked good on me, I found myself doing that all over again. No wonder so many mums wear jeans and t-shirts! We don't have time for this shopping and styling stuff!

Today I try not to focus on what I look like and am working on how I feel, because that's what really matters. Exercise really does make me happy, I struggle to find the time and the motivation but it is now high on my to-do list each week, the dishes can wait."


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Words by Amanda
Photos by Wayne Mah
Thanks to Body Balance Vancouver for letting us use their beautiful space.

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