In this series I look at our body hangups especially post birth and I also share some of my favourite beauty and make up products…
In our second week of our “minding mum” series I’m going going to look at body image and also share some of my top beauty tips I’ve picked up during the past 20 years as a model.
Most of us especially during our teenage years go through periods of insecurity and unfortunately we carry a lot of these issues with us into our adult life. Through media and our circle of friends it’s easy to become obsessed with our body image often creating unrealistic expectations for ourselves. During pregnancy our body is literally creating a miracle and post birth we have got to give our bodies time to heal and recover.
We are bombarded with images of actresses and models in the media who days later it seems look absolutely amazing. They are back at work and back into their old clothes or are they? Well it may seem some of them are but having lived in this industry for over half my life what you’re not seeing is what goes on behind the scenes. Most of them have an enormous amount of help that includes personal chefs, trainers and hair and make up artists that come to their homes every day. Pop a stylist into the mix who is helping you to dress your new body and hide any lumps, bumps and insecurities you might have and hey presto you are camera ready.
On the flip side of this most of us completely forget about ourselves post baby. I know that during my pregnancy I have never treated myself so well but afterwards I was simply too tired. The focus shifts to the baby post birth not just from you but also from your wider circle, your family and friends.
I received two gifts for myself after James and I was so touched that someone thought of me but what I realise now is that we should be thinking of mum more as Mum is still incredibly important because if mum is not happy and healthy, how is she supposed to look after the baby, have enough energy and feel good about herself. Its not selfish to look after yourself its actually selfless regardless of what you might think.
Having rushed back to work and exercise I now realize my body and mind were simply not ready. I know we live in a fast paced world these days but there are some things like having a baby and recovering from birth that still can’t and shouldn’t be rushed.
Can you believe I actually packed my normal clothes into my hospital bag for my trip home? As you can imagine I felt a bit silly and ended up wearing one of my maternity dresses home which is something I do recommend. I got back into my pre pregnancy jeans (not comfortably) about 18 months after having James. Yes, I lost a lot of baby weight quite quickly by pushing myself too hard but my body had changed and I found it incredibly difficult getting back to “normal” whatever that is! My body had completely changed shape and the clothes I used to wear before just didn’t seem to fit right. I had completely unrealistic expectations of myself and body dissatisfaction can actually lead us into negative behavior patterns like over eating, making poor food choices and depression. I know when I’m feeling down I’d rather reach for sweets and pizza as opposed to healthy food but all I’m actually doing is keeping myself in a cycle of unhappiness. So…
MY TOPS TIPS:
- The first thing to remember is that there are no short cuts.
- Give yourself a break and be proud of what you’ve done mum! Stop comparing yourself to other mums and celebrities. No one can look like someone else but you can be the best you that you can be.
- Your body needs time to heal and recover and it is not normal to be back in your jeans after a few weeks.
- Don’t pack away your maternity clothes. Wear them and be comfortable in the weeks post birth especially if you’ve had a section
- DON’T try on your pre pregnancy clothes until you are pretty sure you have a chance of fitting into them
- Do not “diet” I hate that word and I wish we could remove it from our vocabulary. It immediately makes us feel deprived of something.
- Instead eat energy rich foods unprocessed foods and avoid sugar. If you are a mum who is sleep deprived sugar will mess with your moods and with your hormones hopping all over the place anyway these two combined is definitely not good a good idea.
- Go for a walk in the early days and keep it simple
- If you are nursing invest in some good nursing tops and there are so many great brands out there now cherishme.ie have a great selection.
- Stay in stretchy jeans until your uterus shrinks. Stick to dark colours for jeans as they are more slimming and always remember no one feels sexy in tracksuit bottoms. I know if I’m having a bad day just simply getting dressed can make me feel better!
I know that post baby fashion and my new body had a huge effect on my emotional well being. My body image had probably always been a bit eschew considering I started working in Paris at 15 as a model but no matter what our circumstances may be one thing is for sure, our confidence can take a terrible blow as a new mum. We’re trying to be everything to everyone and the sense of responsibility for this little person can also be huge. So, if you have a few friends with kids and babies support each other and encourage each other and you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your goals. Baby steps are key!