I’m not a new mom, I’m a veteran mom. My four kids are ages (turning) 5, 12, 15, and 20.
Yet, working with new moms is my passion. You might be wondering why.
My experience as a new mom was a huge struggle, especially with my first three kids. If you don’t know my story, I was drowning not only in my responsibilities as a new mom with multiple kids and running a business, but also with hatred for my body and no working knowledge of how to take care of myself. And then I was able to redeem myself with my fourth baby and experienced my first and only “present” experience of new motherhood.
I realized shortly after that experience, after a few years of perspective, that pregnant and postpartum women are at their MOST vulnerable during this time of life because of a perfect storm of societal conditioning and body changes.
Women are taught throughout their lives in this country that our bodies and our appearance determine our self-worth. Perfect bodies are worshipped, expected even. We struggle through our teen and early adult years to be accepted, so we strive for that acceptable beauty standard that we have been programmed to believe makes us worthy.
And then, pregnancy and postpartum brings about BIG body changes. For the woman who still has her self-worth placed on how her body looks, which is SO MANY of us at this age, this will bring about an underlying or even crippling anxiety. This feeds into a desire to control the body as a means of controlling the anxiety.
Because of pregnancy and postpartum hormones, this can be nearly impossible to accomplish.
This frustration combined with that vulnerability leads us to fall into dieting mindset traps that are not only prevalent in the fitness industry, but are specifically MARKETED to feed on our insecurities! And now because of this, restriction patterns combined with compulsive eating can then take over.
Now the baby is here and they’re overwhelmed, exhausted, have less time to devote to themselves, all while being stuck in a cycle of restriction and compulsive eating (or just one of those two) without any clear direction. They only know what they’ve learned in popular culture from fitness and dieting “experts” who have no idea what it’s like for them or only care about selling a gimmick to them.
Even worse, social media brings messages into their mental space like “No excuses!” The guilt is crippling but we start to believe something is wrong with us because other women are doing it.
This guilt and decreased self-esteem, which is most likely feeding body and food obsession, is now robbing us of all mental energy and robbing us of an enjoyable experience of motherhood.
And this is the point where I usually meet these women. Disgusted with themselves, feeling guilty, trying diets and failing at them, and feeling pretty miserable at a time when they should be feeling joy.
I figured out after my fourth that they need a completely different approach that makes them feel better physically, but not at the EXPENSE of their mental health and psychological needs the way most diets and fitness programs are set up.
Not only that, but this time is actually an incredible opportunity to learn to trust and love their bodies, so they can be free of food and body obsession for LIFE.
And this is where I come in.
I remember what it was like. And this experience can be frustrating and crippling, or it can be transformative and empowering.
The fitness industry is full of very bad, highly damaging messages and advice for new moms. If I can change that experience for women, I feel like I owe it to them. And I owe it to my previous self, who suffered through the crippling experience three times, and only had the positive, transformative experience once.
And because now I’m a special needs mom who uses everything I learned then to get through.
This is now my life’s work and when a new mom tells me that she came to me for weight loss advice but left me realizing that she was worthy of self-care and having her needs met and feels free to enjoy life as a mom, I know that my struggle was worth it.