The Body I Have this Summer

Credit: David Martino and Mary Carpenter

There were only two times in my entire life when I was happy about gaining weight and watching my belly grow – first, when I was pregnant with my daughter and then my son. As soon as my babies were born, I wanted my old weight and flat belly back right away. Let’s say that losing the baby weight takes time, but how long does this process take? My oldest will be 4 in July, and I am still 165 pounds, 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. It should be perfectly fine only if I was not pretending all this time that I am happy with the body I have now. In reality, I want to be slimmer and 155 pounds again. I want to go to the beach wearing a two-piece swimming suit and walk with the confidence of a Victoria Secret model!

But how can that happen if for the past fours years I have been making excuses to not be in the best shape of my life?I have no time to work out…I have two children now…They are just 13 months apart… I have no energy…I have to catch up on sleep…I have nobody to watch the kids while I exercise…My children cry when I leave them at the kids’s zone at the gym”. As it looks like Summer doesn’t care about my excuses, it has arrived one more time. But now, for the first time, I am tired of being self-conscious of my body, especially of my belly that once upon a time used to be flat. I am tired of that old BIG black bikini (looks more like a shorts) from when I was very pregnant and that pre-pregnancy top that doesn’t fit me quit well anymore. I am tired of  preferring to be inside the water hiding and quickly covering myself when outside.

Inspiring sign at Target’s swimming suit department

What if I could feel different about my body? What if I could let go of that body I had in the past and fully accept my 165-pound one? What if this Summer I could embrace this amazing body of mine that created two new lives, and love it the way it is right now? With this reflection in mind, I am happy to say that two weeks ago I finally – after four long years – bought a new two-piece bikini. After fours years, I am letting go of the pre-pregnancy body in the past and the body I wish to have in the future and focusing on the present! I invite you to do the same.

Back in day, before having children, and less than 155 pounds.

To be clear, I am not getting a free pass to stop exercising or to adopt healthier eating habits. I am actually inviting myself to love my 165 body while I am in action to transform it. My transformation plan includes – Zumba on Monday mornings at the YMCA (I invite you to join me if you are in Tampa – FL), Orange Theory (one hour interval-training exercise) on Wednesday mornings and a 30-minute-run on Fridays. My husband has been invited to be my accountability partner and he said yes. I am not making big changes on my diet, but I am open to it. For now, I am staying away from sugary foods and drinks and adding leaf salad (without the dressing) to my daily menu.

Join me in the journey of exercising and eating healthier, one day at a time. I know that this combination will result not just in looking and feeling better, but also in having more emotional balance and more energy to play with my children and do things that I am committed to. Feel free to inspire me and other moms by sharing your physical exercise routines, eating habits, and successful stories or struggles in losing the baby weight.

Finally, this is the first part of a two-piece post. In the next one, I will have a few mothers share what has been working for them to gradually lose and maintain weight after having children. I can tell you that there are multiple ways of accomplishing this goal. One of them might be just what you (and me?) are looking for. Stay tuned…


Author: theoctopusmama

My name is Ana Rubenstein. I am a mother willing to inspire other mothers and to be inspired by them. I have two children and I often feel just like an octopus with its 8 tentacles multitasking and juggling the many hats I wear in life. Wife, daughter, sister, friend, Zumba instructor, and motherhood blogger. Nice to meet you, I am the Octopus Mama.

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