Spring, and Post Baby Bods
Yeah, I'm gonna write about my body again. It's happening. Probably because it's spring and spring always reminds me of this one spring when I was taking kickboxing classes - no for real, stay with me - and in the middle of the 800th squat, jab, kick combo, the instructor said, "Just think about those swimsuits ladies!" and I almost barfed on the floor (probably from exertion, but you're picking up what I'm putting down). In a word, I hate the "body as achievement" paradigm. You know the one, where the thinnest woman in the room is most valuable but virtue of how much she denies herself in terms of food and free loafing time on the couch. If I'm honest, I hate this paradigm less when I can pass as this woman, but I get all scrunchie-faced when I've got all kinds of extra padding facilitated by a healthy dose of depression recovery and a self-care strategy based on poutine.
So back to spring. Spring means less clothes and more opportunity for the spillage of said extra padding outta all the clothing and such. No one told me that having a baby results in weird back flab (sorry - no one told me that a baby + poutine equals weird back flab), or that that interesting upper belly pouch protrusion above the navel happens to every woman after having a baby inside her because her uterus basically tore the muscles right off the fascia or bone or whatever. I'm not a doctor. Anyhoo. It's kind gruesome. But gruesome or not, I refuse to hate my body. So there.
I'm also not going to talk about loving it because it brought my daughter into the world because, let's face it, that didn't really pan out to be the empowering, magical dream birth I'd hoped for. And if we're making a list of the stuff my body was "supposed" to "naturally" do that it didn't, then we can just add breastfeeding to that sh*tty list. In any case, I've lived in this skin long enough to know that sometimes your body turns on you, and that that's okay, because it usually bounces back.
Bouncing back after a baby is a whole different animal because fundamentally, and I know I've written about this before, your body is CHANGED. ALTERED. TRANSFORMED. So the work becomes making friends with the body that you find yourself with post baby, just like the secret to life is making friends with your sad-sack self before you live a life of fear, anger, and resentment while simultaneously people pleasing your way into the grave. I digress. I also hate the term "bounce back" because, and I know you know this, stuff bounces but it doesn't always return exactly where you left it. Also, bouncing is usually out of the question because of the whole peeing your pants a little thing all the time thing which, honestly, if someone sat your down when you were fifteen and said, "You are going to pee a little bit every time you do anything for the rest of your life if you push a baby out of your vagina," we'd have fewer teen pregnancies.
So spring. Spring makes me confront the eternal issue that I imagine women all over the globe like me lament - that is, just how fit (as in, less jiggly, more apt to wear a bathing suit without a stylish cover up thingy) am I willing to get in the next few months before I have to show my jiggly bits to other humans in order to enjoy the summer by letting air, heat, and sun touch my dry scaly albino lizard skin? It's a big question folks. And one whose answers do not start at the McDonald's drive thru where I may or may not have already been today.
My answer this year is to focus on fitness, despite the fact that I am probably fitter than I have ever been because I lug a two-year old around everywhere I go and I regularly squat with her in my arms so that we can pick up her dinosaurs, her dirty socks that she likes to wear on her hands, or one of her various hats that must be worn at all times for fashion/accessory purposes. What fitness means in this instance was therefore an effort to convince my very kind and patient trainer, whom I trained with only about three times before giving up on the gym altogether, to do an outdoor bootcamp for wimpy pale women like me who need time away from their kids, hate exercise in its truest form, and are really just looking for an excuse to get rid of anxious energy and maybe, just maybe, their mommy pouch which is only welcome to stick around if a baby kangaroo is going to magically inhabit it.
I have attached the poster that I think is BEYOND hilarious and that again, my very kind and patient trainer, allowed to me make and plaster all over social media.
In the end, I guess I'm just one spoiled, couch-loving, jiggly mama roo just lookin' for her joey so she doesn't have to do sit-ups.