Day 7 of 21 Day Ayurveda Challenge

Happy Transformation Tuesday everyone!

I thought I’d take this opportunity on this most glorious of days of the week and chat about what my 21-day challenge has been like thus far. Spoiler alert: challenging but satisfying.

So what’s been been so hot and cold about it? Well 1st I will say I’m enjoying a book on Ayurveda immensely, have learned a few lessons the hard way and continue to integrate Ayurveda more and more into my days! Here’s the scoop:

1st: Book Review

“The Ayurveda Way: 108 Practices from the World’s Oldest Healing System for Better Sleep, Less Stress, Optimal Digestion and More” by Ananta Ripa Amjera (found here on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ayurveda-Way-Practices-Healing-Digestion/dp/1612128181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495227119&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Ayurveda+Way+Ananta+Ripa+Ajmera)

I must say that I quite enjoy this book; it’s composed of 108 short essays around Ayurveda, the hows and the whys without inundating the reader with pages and pages of history. Each essay is short, sweet and to the point with recipes, tips and what not. This makes it easy to keep reading (you know, “oh just one more chapter…” and suddenly it’s after midnight!), these short essays also make it easy to stop and pick up where you left off without having to commit to a 40 or 50 page chunk before you stop reading for a bit.

The essays are divided into groups (Introduction to Ayurveda, food as medicine, spices, beauty, mindful eating, etc.) which makes for a nice progression from start to end. Though I must say that while this is a nice book for someone new to Ayurveda (like myself), it may not be a book you’d want to start with if you had never done any reading on Ayurveda to begin with, or if you are someone who likes to know the particulars of something before you jump in. The information is presented neatly and written with the average reader in mind; you don’t need a English/Sanskrit dictionary next to you the entire time.

The book doesn’t help you find your dosha, discuss what each dosha is, their specific foods/diets/exercises, etc. This is more of an overarching book that discusses things appropriate for everyone. (Though if you are more loosey-goosey than I, you might enjoy a book with over-arching ideas to incorporate into your life before you get to know and integrate things at a more granular level)

All in all, an easy read that I could see myself going back to when I want to get “back to basics” without going through every molecule of Ayurveda.

Pick it up from your local library and give it a read!

2nd: Mistakes Learned

So I’ve definitely made some mistakes already- unknowingly but that’s my own fault! I leaped before I looked!

  • My golden latte guffaw
    • I found a recipe for “golden milk” or a “golden latte” in which you let milk simmer with spices and enjoy warm. The issue I had is when I saw the recipe I thought the ratio of milk to spices looked off but I ignored my gut and didn’t really shop around to find other recipes to check out their ratios. The recipe called for turmeric, cinnamon, a bit of pepper all to be mixed into a big batch of spices in which you would simmer 2 tsps of spice mix into 2 cups of milk. Let me tell you 2 tsps is TOO MUCH! The milk was so bitter from turmeric-overload my mouth went yellow and I had to toss the rink 3 sips in! Save yourself the spices and overly-bitter taste and maybe try a ratio of 1 tsp spice mix to 2 cups milk to start.
  • Mix Master: some foods don’t mix
    • I didn’t realize that some foods shouldn’t be combined with others in order to promote optimal digestion; here I was, putting whatever was on the “approved” pitta food list into my mouth however I pleased. Little did I know that I was too ahead of myself and was mixing cheese with beans when they don’t go! For a nice chart of what to combine and what to avoid I found this site to be helpful: https://www.ayurveda.com/pdf/food_combining.pdf
  • Eating without my mind and other principles I missed
    • So not too far in, I’m making changes, sticking to my food list and found myself ALWAYS hungry! “WTF??” is what I asked myself and when I dug around the internet I came across others who found the same thing! It turns out there were even more principles I was missing. So now I’m following these guidelines and lo and behold! I’m not starving all the time!
      • Eat with awareness (or mindfulness) – I definitely wasn’t doing this. I would stuff my face until I was too full instead of eating until I wasn’t hungry anymore. I was also eating in front of the TV or computer which meant I was distracted the entire meal!
      • Slow down –  nope, I wasn’t doing this either. I’m a champion food-scarfer. If there’s a time-deadline to get a meal down leave it to me to beat the fastest time out there!
      • Chew well – surprise, surprise another principle I wasn’t following. In fact, I now realize I’m more of a “take 3 bites and swallow the meal” kind of gal, which is part and parcel with the fact I wasn’t eating slowly or mindfully!
      • Do not wash your meal down with a drink- another one I’ve been guilty of for year. Eat my meal THEN have a big glass of milk or cold water (both of which are no-no’s in Ayurveda. Icy water and combining milk with meals slows your digestive fire). No wonder I’ve always been such a food-maniac when it comes to mealtime; I’ve been eating all wrong for years (my mother was right…), instead I should enjoy a beverage an hour or so before my meal and then enjoy the meal by itself.
    • All of these things are a hindrance to your digestive fire which, according to what I’ve read, means your body isn’t fully absorbing nutrients from meals. When you don’t digest properly, you don’t absorb the food-goodness which means your body burns through what you’ve eaten more quickly making you hungrier, faster than you should be. Think of it like stoking a fire with gasoline instead of a big block of wood- either way the fire will burn but the fire stoked with gasoline will burn too quickly to keep you warm or cook anything over, while the fire stoked with blocks of wood will burn more consistently and slowly, allowing you to have a source of heat and coals for much longer. (others I’ve read is some sources but not in others to consider are no snacking, eat at consistent times of day and set aside specific and quiet times to eat)

3rd: Integrate the changes slowly – going “all in” when you already have a schedule that a baby wreaks havoc on can be more stress than it’s worth

Now this is one I “got” from day 1- instead of trying to do everything by the book right off the bat, I started by committing one meal a day, the largest meal (lunch) to be 100% pitta-friendly while making changes gradually to breakfast and supper. What I’ve found is as I continue to learn about Ayurveda, how I should be eating and what not, I’m more inclined to continue to integrate more and more of it into daily life. Now my breakfast and lunch are both 100% Ayurvedic-friendly, I find a smaller portion can keep me fuller, longer (which means I spend less time trying to get food into my face which means I’m not distracted by my stomach = more time to either get other things done (like write this post!) or more importantly, have extra quality time to snuggle and talk with my baby!  (nothing like baby smiles to keep my heart full!) This leads me to the next point:

4th: I find myself wanting to incorporate more and more of it; not just the food!

The more I incorporate Ayurveda into my life, the more I want to keep going. It’s not just the food; it really is a whole way of being that is neither dogmatic nor nonsensical. It’s all about balance, what makes sense for you and taking care of yourself so you’re around for the long haul 🙂 I’m being more mindful, slowing down, taking time to enjoy the little things (day to day tasks as well as a little baby!).

I’m even enjoying getting back into yoga with a short-term goal of being able to properly perform Monkey pose (AKA the splits). I’m not there yet but I’m getting there. I’ve got lots and lots more to learn and work into my day beyond the diet-aspect. Getting my groove back with taking care of me is a hard rhythm to get into, especially as a mom where the credo is “kids 1st, moms last” but I think it’s worth-while. Moms who take care of themselves are still great moms!

There you have it folks; the “Coles notes” of what I’ve learned 1/3 into this 21-day challenge. I’m happy with where I’m at and how far I’ve come! (notice that no where in this post do I mention my weight or my measurements? This entire challenge is about taking care of myself and feeling better through eating. I’m not tracking my weight or my measurements- if I lose anything then great!)

Enjoy your Tuesday everyone and we’ll catch up again later this week!

I Keep On Runnin’, Keep On Runnin’

Ah starting a new fitness routine from zero; is there anything quite as frustrating as thinking you’re in better shape than you are, and then discovering those first few steps on the treadmill, peddles on the cycle, reps with a free-weight, or push-ups on the mat prove you otherwise?

I can tell you from my own experience I was ecstatic when my doctor gave me the OK to start exercising again and I was sure that I would have only regressed in my training a little bit since my pregnancy and delivery…. Nope. So wrong.

You see, when my husband and I found out we were expecting I stopped running altogether at about week 10 and traded my runners in for a swim suit and yoga pants, preferring prenatal swimming, aquacize and yoga for my workouts. Now that it’s just me/myself/I in my body I was REALLY looking forward to getting my stride back- well I’m sorry to say that between not running at all for months and months, and carrying an extra 30 pounds post-delivery, my stride seemed to be a myth.

So what’s a gal to do when you’re not only starting from zero, but it feels like you’re starting at negative 10 because your body has definitely changed? Start slow. In fact, toss your ego out the window and start way slow.

(And for the record, the picture of the hippo running is a reference to how I feel when I exercise; no one else is a hippo in this reference but me! 🙂 )

So here’s what I did to get back into the groove of exercise, and eventually, I will be running again (which is my favourite activity by the way- if you don’t love running, you don’t have to do it!)

Step 1: See your medical professional for the green light to proceed

I know the last thing I wanted after all the exams I had throughout pregnancy and delivery was to subject myself to another pelvic check, but man am I glad I did. My doctor confirmed that indeed I was healed enough to start exercising gently and that it didn’t look as though prolapsing would be a problem for me. But not everyone will walk away from their delivery like I did- some of you might be in danger of prolapse so check with your doctor to make sure whatever your desired exercise is, that you’re in the clear to start doing it!

Step 2: Start with something gentle

As much as I wanted to lace up and hit the treadmill 3 weeks after my delivery, I didn’t. In fact I didn’t dare to try to jog at a slow and barely non-walking pace. I started with some gentle yoga exercises with a heavy focus on my core and pelvic floor. Man am I glad because my core was basically something I dreamed I had; it definitely needed some attention. I’m also very glad I listened to my doctor and did some pelvic floor exercises! (So many times I wanted to fixate on how my body looked and compare it to how it used to look that I almost forgot it’s what’s going on the inside that counts!)

Step 3: For now don’t run; just walk

Yup- I’m feeling ready to run (in my mind) but my body definitely isn’t. My doctor said things look good enough to start GENTLE exercise but suggested holding off on anything high-impact until she checks things over again in a few weeks. Having a baby is a crazy and amazing experience but it is a traumatic experience (especially for your body); no need to rush into anything high-impact! So for now I’m just walking. And not walking marathons either!

Yes my A-type mind has been trying to negotiate new terms so I can hit the pavement faster, but despite what my mind wants, my body continues to put on the brakes (and for the record, I totally tried to jog a bit this week and was immediately taken aback at how hard it was and that I was clearly overdoing it for me. Remember that thing I said about taking care of your core and pelvic floor? When I tried to lightly jog on the treadmill, I was unpleasantly surprised to feel how loose my core had really become, and how much more strengthening of my pelvic floor I needed to do. Nothing scares you back to reality like the feeling of your tummy jiggling and flopping like a fish, or like you might pee yourself if you take another step at that pace.) Which brings me to my next point…

Step 4: Listen to your body

If your mind is like mine, it’s competitive as f*ck and has a series of deadlines and goals it wants to meet sooner rather than later. Sorry mind, body is in charge now and we need to listen to it. Pay attention to your body; be mindful of what you feel and what’s going on as you start to get into the groove.

Is something hurting? Is something aching? Is something throbbing? Does something just not feel right? Listen to what your body is telling you and know it’s OK to put on the brakes, slow things down and if you need to, stop and get it checked out.

We only get one body (at least until science makes some serious science-fictionesque advances…) so take care of it. And in case you haven’t noticed a trending theme, BE GENTLE to yourself! Go easy- you don’t have to get your pre-baby body back right away, or at all if you don’t want to.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post detailing progress on my 21-day Ayurvedic eating challenge and recipe review; take care out there!

All About That Ayurveda – 21 day challenge

Hey there!

Now I don’t know about you lovely folks but with breastfeeding a baby around the clock as well as pumping to encourage supply, I have found I’ve been doing A LOT of reading and listening to books on tape while I’m glued to my now-claimed spot on the couch. (There’s also only so many daytime TV and late-night infomercials I can watch on the ole boob-tube) Thanks to our local library which offers many an e-book I’ve found something that has recently sparked my interest: the wonderful world of Ayurveda!

What is Ayurveda you ask? Well it literally translates from Sanskrit into the science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge) and it originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. It’s foundation is the belief that a person’s health and wellness depends on a delicate balance between your body, mind and spirit with a focus on striving for and maintaining good health, rather than fighting disease and symptoms of illness. It includes a large focus dedicated to diet depending on your type or dosha. But Ayurveda is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle with a diet component.

(Side note: I once attended an Anthropology lecture where the focus was the differences of medicine: east vs. west. Now I’m really paring the substance of the discussion down here but something I thought was very interesting was the proposal of differences in their methodologies. In western medicine the body is treated like a machine, in which faulty parts of the body can be replaced and addressing symptoms, instead of the cause of the problem.  Have a bad hip? We can replace it! Suffer from a heart attack with damage to your arteries? We can replace those too! Heck we can even take body parts from one person that they are no longer using, or have multiples of and put them in a sick person so they can use them!

The eastern philosophy of medicine puts a heavy focus on prevention and paying attention to the whole person rather than just the body/machine. The root of your symptoms is addressed rather than just the symptoms. You’ve also got a mind to take care of, you’ve got a spiritual side of sorts to take care of and these two other parts need to be taken into consideration and taken care of alongside the body!)

Anywho, I had briefly read about Ayurveda when I was a young pup in my very early twenties but never bothered to really dive into it; with reading time on my hands, a baby on my boob and an e-reader with space for a new book from the library I thought why not give it an honest read-through? So I did- and found my interest piqued.

But before I get into the challenge I’m setting up for myself, there are a few things you should know about Ayurveda. Let’s start with a very high-level overview Ayurveda:

1- Body/mind types:

  • Ayurveda is not just diet based on your dosha or type/constitution but your dosha does determine what you should be following for optimal health. There are 3 doshas (very nicely explained and outlined here: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/learning-ayurveda/intro-to-ayurveda/)
    • Vata
      • composed of air and space; think thin person, creative, tendencies towards indecision.
    • Pitta
      • composed of fire and water; medium person, sharp, tendencies towards anger
    • Kapha
      • composed of earth and water; thicker person, purposeful, tendencies towards greed

(Now I am WAY oversimplifying the doshas and for good reason: I’m not an authority on the matter. In fact, I encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions! My focus of this post is more about what Ayurveda will mean for me in this challenge!)

2- Balance the mind-body

  • This does not necessarily mean YOU have to meditate to strengthen and balance the connection but it is a good way to do this. (Mindfulness is another great way to strengthen this connection!)

3- Sleep

  • The body needs sleep. Period. A lack of sleep causes a whole slew of imbalances such as hormonal, mental and physical (think of how hungry you get, how foggy your mind can be or how uncoordinated you get when you’re over-tired! Parents, I’m thinking of us! Kids keep us up at all hours and yet we still have to get up and be responsible for ourselves and the kidlets each and every day!)

4- Exercise

  • Each dosha responds differently to various forms of physical exercise; depending on your constitution going for a run on a cold morning might be torture for you! And for the same person who loves an early morning run with a chill in the air, the idea of following a Tai Chi class could bore them out of their mind.

5- Tendencies towards disease

  • Each dosha, when out of balance, will potentially present itself in various forms of disease (for instance, the Kapha dosha has a tendency towards sluggishness, and the imbalance might present itself as a weight problem on the heavy side, or diabetes). The goal of Ayurveda is to bring the dosha back into balance which should help with addressing that particular disease.

(Here are some great resources to help you learn more about Ayurveda:

Now on to the good stuff: what’s my dosha?? Cue my love for quizzes, like a teen cracking opening up a “TigerBeat” magazine to find out which of the boys from “Home Improvement” should be my boyfriend! (Spoiler alert: of the 3 boys the magic of magazine quizzes determined I should date J.T.T! EEEEEEEEEEEE – so dreamy!!) Just to make sure I got it right, and to see if there was any great difference between results, I took several quizzes to help me determine my dosha. Like about 7 or 8 different quizzes. They all gave me the same result; phew! No complications there 🙂

Now if you look at the title of this blog you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I’ve a dual dosha of pitta-vata (that’s right, I’m fiery, decisive, creative and impulsive; what more could you want in a blogger?). Www.banyanbotanicals.com indicates that for a dual dosha of vata-pitta one should: follow a vata-pacifying regimen during the fall and winter seasons, during the change of seasons and especially when the weather is cold and windy. Follow a pitta-pacifying regimen during the spring and summer and especially when the weather is warm.

Since we are transitioning through spring and into summer here in Canada I will be following what is required for Pitta.

So what about this 21-day challenge? Why 21 days? What am I adhering to anyway?

Well this is my own 21-day challenge where I will focus on following the Pitta-pacifying diet only to stay in line with the season. I say diet-only because with a newborn at home I have other schedules/routines to become accustomed to; I’m not in a position to commit to a specific way of eating, plus meditation, plus working out, plus, plus, plus, plus! So for my own sanity, as well to make sure I can put some actual focus on this and give it the ole “college try”, I will stick to watching what I eat and go from there. (Who knows- maybe I’ll be a total convert and will keep it up. Maybe I’ll come out of this 21-day challenge and say, “none of this is reasonable to do for me. Thanks but no thanks.” Besides, eating is something I have to do no matter what. Meditation, exercise, etc. are things I should do but might have to take a backseat depending on how life goes. But eating is a must. Baby steps.)

So why 21 days? I picked 21 days because 2 weeks is too short, 28 days seemed too long but I’ve done varying challenges before (daily plank challenge, squat challenge, etc.) and 21-days seems to be my attention-span-sweet-spot for determining if I like something, can keep it up, and if I need to make adjustments without having put in more time than necessary to arrive at the decision.

I must also offer some disclosure: I also felt I could commit to this because when I saw what the food-choices were, they were realistic both long-term as well as in the immediate future while I nurse a newborn and get to know what being a mom is all about! (A local public heath nurse once said to me, “whatever your feeding routine is: e is breastfeeding only, pump/bottle, if you need to supplement with formula or breast milk from a bank- just make sure it’ works for you. If the routine doesn’t work, or it’s taking a toll on your personal health then it’s time to re-evaluate and make a choice based on what’s good for you and baby!”  <- this was about a feeding routine for the baby but I feel this sagely wisdom applies for a feeding routine for me too!)

Now for the guidelines (not rules!), but guidelines for embarking on this self-issued challenge that are principles of Ayurvedic eating:

  • Follow the pitta-pacifying foods according to ayurveda for 21 days starting today (it’s important to note that there’s nothing that seems to be an absolute NEVER EVER EAT list- except maybe drugs/poisons? But instead there’s an “avoid” list which I will be following)
  • Eat only when I’m hungry
    • Don’t eat if you’re bored, emotional…or other things that aren’t hungry!
  • Eat in a calm and comfortable spot
    • avoid eating with distractions (like TV, laptop, etc. we tend to eat more when we aren’t paying attention to what we’re putting in our mouths)
  • Eat until you’re full, not stuffed
    • Don’t eat until you’re uncomfortable, eat until you aren’t hungry any more!
    • Be present when you eat
  • Eat real, quality food
    • No franken-foods, avoid the processed stuff; stick to using fresh ingredients where possible
    • Foods should be at least a little juicy or a little oily to facilitate digestion
  • Don’t eat fast
    • Eating your meal should be a delight, not a race (where possible- though there have been times when I have my baby in my lap and a sandwich in my hand, I’m enjoying a bite to eat when I hear a sound that changes the game. A gurgly sound that signals that my son is about to mess his diaper in a mustard and chocolate pudding kind of way. So what do I do? scarf down my sandwich FAST so I can eat before his diaper becomes an oil spill!)
  • Eat at a regular time
    • If you can, stick to a schedule where you can expect to eat meals around the same time
  • Make lunch your biggest meal

So there you have it! The guidelines I’m sticking to for the next 21 days! (Before and after pictures to come as well as reviews of recipes based on my dosha, struggles, and victories)

I also plan on continuing to read up on Ayurveda throughout the challenge, because, hey- I’ve got time to read and why not continue the learning!

Stay tuned for updates, recipes, info and more sports fans!

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday!

Babies and Bikini Bods

Congratulations mama!

You’ve gone through the toils and turmoil of getting bigger, growing a human larva within you, and a delivery of some sort; time to get that pre-baby bikini body back, right? Well, only if you want to. And if you don’t, that’s cool too.

You see, like you, I too am going through the motions of getting a schedule with baby set (you know- sleeping, eating, diapers and what not) and the other day I found myself hopping on the scale to see how much weight I’d lost since delivering my son a little over a month ago. What did my wondrous eyes see? I ONLY LOST 6 F^*$ING POUNDS!!! WTF??? Despite delivering an almost 9lb baby plus after-birth I had managed to put on some weight from delivery to now. My ego took a shameful hit.

That’s it! I need to get back into shape. I need to exercise, eat better, make better choices otherwise this will be harder and harder to lose these pounds.” I scolded myself that  day, and for the days to come. <- a very “hot blooded mama” moment indeed.

Fast forward a couple of days when the hot- blooded-yet-still-logical-mama took over this cycle: you see I stepped on the scale again and saw I lost a whopping quarter of a pound since the previous weigh-in and realized that prior to delivering my son my doctor expected me to gain weight. Not a ton of weight, but 30-40 pounds. And that’s exactly what  I gained.

Now before we proceed much further let me be clear this isn’t a post about how I intend to get my pre-baby-body back, how I’m eating better (no more midnight, 2am and 4 am cookies for me though. Womp, womp.) or have finally gotten the OK from my doctor to start to exercise (gently) again. Nope- there’s already plenty of articles out there about how YOU CAN get that bikini bod you’ve always wanted after having baby. I should know; I googled the sh*t of of that topic, desperately ready to get rid of this sweet saggy pouch-tummy and flabby thighs. I spent a good part of an afternoon in bed after feeding baby, reading how I could get back into shape without ruining my milk supply when that “logical-mama” brain kicked in again and said to me:

Hold the phone- only weeks ago you were expected to gain weight. You were told you should gain and you did. Then after you gained the weight you went through a physically traumatic event called birth. A person came out of you. And now you feed this little person around the clock, barely getting any sleep yourself and here you are worried about how you look? Worried about when you’ll fit into a certain wardrobe again? FORGET THAT NOISE! Think about what you need to be healthy physically and mentally. If some desired weight-loss is a bi-product that’s great but it shouldn’t be the focus.”

Apparently “logical-mama” is also known as “fairly-frank-mama” because I sat in bed and cried a little bit about that. (oh the joys of hormones and what not, right?)

Isn’t it a funny thing that while we are pregnant people are always encouraging you to eat more because it’s for two, that milk shakes will cure heart burn, and then after the baby is out there’s this immense societal pressure to undo all of that and get back into shape so you can hide the fact that you grew a person? Now no one I know was saying out loud that I needed to get back into shape except me. But I saw it in magazines, in articles, in the mommy Facebook groups encouraging each for trying to get that pre-baby body back and it’s ridiculous that I was giving that sh*t a moment of my precious thought-time.

No matter if you are a 1st-time mom, or adding a new sibling to your bunch, whatever every mom is going through is different than what she was doing before. Think about what a huge adjustment that is- a new mouth to feed, sleep lost, schedules thrown out the window, diapers, wipes and visits, oh my! Then on top of all of this, somehow the next thing on a mom’s mind is getting back in shape? What the hell was wrong with my thought-process that I was worried about losing weight for the sake of looking good. Not feeling good, not as a break from mom-things, but for the sake of vanity and my ego. Ouch.

Pre-baby I worked so hard to let that sh*t go, took up running and yoga as a cheap and effective method of decompressing mentally at the end of the day while doing some good for my body and here I was thinking about looking good. Admittedly I do have a pre-baby wardrobe set aside that I’m itching to get into again because there are some really choice pieces waiting to be worn and I don’t want to spend more money on new clothes when I have a perfectly good wardrobe waiting for me.

(As I sit here re-reading what’s written I must admit that I can’t believe how ridiculous I was for fussing over wanting to get back to the good ole days of my former body.)

Now so far I’m dong a decent job of talking myself out of these damaging thoughts of wanting to lose weight for the sake of looking good but what about all those moms who are facing even more pressure than I am? Those moms who have people telling them, out loud, to their faces, that they need to get back into shape, to lose that tummy/those saddlebags/whatever? Who was on their side to say “Girl- you only got to do something if you want to! If you love how you look now then celebrate the f*ck out of that! You don’t have to do a freaking thing about how you look if you’re happy and healthy right now!”

I don’t proclaim to be the gold standard for anything so ladies, let me be your silver medal! You don’t have to do a damn thing about getting your body the way it was. If you’re happy and healthy now then don’t let anyone tell you to do something about how you look. You are fierce as f%ck and the way your body looks does not determine your worth. Wear 2-piece bathing suits, let your stretch-mark be seen (if you have them and are cool with people seeing them). If you want to get into an exercise routine and your health care provider says you’re in the clear to partake, then go for it! If you just want to focus on being a mama then you be the best mama you can be!

The idea that women need to go through the immense changes of being pregnant then go through the traumatic event that is birth (regardless of how that baby comes out) and then after that we are supposed to adjust, lose sleep and yet function like a normal human, take care of the baby and then get back into shape like we have a swim-suit competition to prep for is bullsh!t.

Mama you are beautiful the way you are and any changes you make that result in muscle being built and/or weight loss is just gravy because what matters is you taking care of you! And as you read this, remind yourself to say this to a mama you know if she seems like she needs t be reminded about how awesome she is.

Ladies our worth is not measured in dress sizes. Please remember that!