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.