Back to MY Body: My Non-Scale Victory

Brooke (mom to 3-year-old Franklin!) had huge results in our Summer Body Back session. At the end of her eight weeks, Brooke shared with the other 22 participants the sense of control over her body she had rediscovered. For some of our moms, Body Back is about getting back in those pre-pregnancy jeans, but for all of our clients, it's about feeling like YOURSELF again. It's all about being your best you, Mama.

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I completed the eight-week Body Back program at 33 months post-partum. Prior to beginning this course, those 33 months included a roller coaster of attempting fitness programs in tandem with balancing my roll as a full-time social worker, mom, and regaining my sense of self.

When I found out I was pregnant, it was a surprise. I felt like I lost all sense of control. I tried to work out during my pregnancy, but between fatigue, finishing grad school, and looking for a job, I did little more than short walks and prenatal yoga. I gained 40 pounds and figured it would all just wash off after having the baby. Much to my surprise, I had lost only 10 pounds at my 6-week post-partum check up. When I returned to work the following week, I tried to incorporate a workout routine, but the energy seemed to run out with my already busy schedule.

I went through some periods of depression in regards to body image. I threw out all my old clothes and bought all bigger clothes that were loose and comfortable. I started Stroller Strides over the summer (I worked at a school at the time, so I was off) and really enjoyed gaining some endurance and strength back. I started to feel athletic again.

When work resumed, I couldn’t go to Stroller Strides. I tried out so many regimens, both formal and informal, for both exercise and nutrition, and never could hold myself accountable to a lifestyle change. Stroller Strides got me back on the horse. I had heard of Body Back, and figured I’d try out the free preview night.

I was really skeptical when I started Body Back. I saw a slide show and doubted that my body would change as much as the success stories in only eight weeks. I had spent 33 months trying to lose weight and change my body, and I was still holding on to almost 20 pounds. Nevertheless, I embraced the positive mindset and I told myself “I can do it.” I kept my food journal, did the meal planning, followed the homework plan, and measured all my food.

I know this program is called Body Back, but it really should be called Confidence and Control Back. I regained the sense of control that I lost three years ago. I feel confident in more than just my body.

Yes, I lost 17 pounds and 10 inches. I am so proud of how I look, but what I really gained is confidence that I can say no to what I don’t need. I can accept my body as it is and know I have control over how I look and feel. I can see food and tell myself “I know what that tastes like, and I don’t have to eat it now”… and then actually follow through. Most importantly, I gained confidence that when I have another baby, I will be in control and practice self-care way earlier than 33 months post-partum.

Becoming a mom is such a whirlwind. I spent nine months feeling like a vessel, and another 14 months physically supporting a human life while breastfeeding. I had to eat this, not that, drink this, not that, and pump, pump, pump. It’s really difficult to take off the Mom hat and figure out how to support yourself. I have found that part of being a good mom is being good to myself.

Body Back allowed me an opportunity to work out twice a week without my baby (read: self-care), be held accountable to my goals, have support from certified instructors, and receive constant positive feedback from other moms. I hope by sharing my thoughts and photos, I can motivate women who may be stuck in a cycle of self-doubt to make a commitment to change and to self-improvement.