Getting Your Body Back?
Most postpartum fitness classes market themselves as being able to help you lose weight, shrink your tummy, or fit into your pre-baby clothes. But, we don’t market our classes that way. We enthusiastically believe that placing the focus on helping you feel strong and capable, not on the scale or your waist size, is what makes for a wellness-centered, truly supportive postpartum class.
“Yeah yeah yeah”, you say, “that sounds great, but will your class help me lose weight and shrink my tummy anyway”?
And we get it! Every mom feels that way sometimes, and you’re not shallow or vain for longing for it.
For some, the desire to get their old body back is as practical as not wanting to buy a whole new wardrobe. For others, it’s a deep emotional need to feel at home in their body. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum are incredibly disruptive and disorienting, and many new moms desperately want to recognize themselves again. The experience of feeling like your body, or even your life, is foreign, less than, or destroyed is common and valid. And, in a sense, painfully accurate! We do not ever want to minimize the physical and emotional toll of growing, birthing, and nurturing a baby. Wanting to feel whole again, more like the version of yourself you remember before baby, is something all moms go through, and there is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way.
Perhaps even more powerful is the value our culture puts on “bouncing back” after baby. No matter how unattainable or unhealthy it may be, that messaging is everywhere. You can’t scroll through instagram or have a conversation with other new moms without the topic coming up one way or another. We tend to strongly associate happiness, health, fitness, even respect and love, with thin, youthful bodies untouched by the grittiness of real life. Who wouldn’t feel that there was something wrong with their postpartum body under that pressure?
But we believe our job is to help you navigate this minefield of postpartum experiences without reinforcing it with messaging that focuses on changing your physical appearance. In fact, we believe a focus on weight and size can make feelings of brokenness and disconnection worse, especially if our bodies don’t shrink or firm up like we hoped, as if often the case. There is nothing more defeating than feeling like a failure, and we are in the business of empowering mothers, not reinforcing what undermines their chances of feelings good in their bodies.
You body may change as you begin to exercise postpartum. It may lose fat or tone. But, it may not. We are neutral about that either way. What we really want is for you to function better in your daily life. We want to support your road to recovery with pelvic floor strengthening and relaxation exercises. We want you to enjoy running around with your little ones, jumping on the trampoline, or laughing hysterically at their silly antics, not worrying about pelvic pain and leaking. We want you to feel capable of all the holding and carrying that’s required in those early years of parenting without feeling sore and exhausted. We want you to experience the endorphin rush of a good movement session. We want you to enjoy all the well-known benefits of physical activity without being bogged down by pain or expectation. We want your cups to be as full as they can be, and if you’re reading this, you probably understand that moving your body is an important part of that.
That is what inspires us. Not to shrink you or hearken back to a life and a body that no longer exist. We aim to move you forward and help you thrive in your new life.