We live in a world where the “snapback” – a phrase deemed by the social media generation, to mean how quickly a woman’s body snaps back into shape or to its previous pre-baby state, is lauded and seen as a gauge of beauty for many women. As a mother of three, I call bullshit on the entire thing. Frankly I’m weary of seeing photo after photo of celebrities fitting into their pre-pregnancy jeans only days after giving birth. Or donning a crop top on the way home from the hospital. So today friends I’m sharing three reasons to say no to snapback culture.
After returning from maternity leave once, a former co-worker said to me, “You look great; how long did you wait before getting in the gym? I want to tell my lady to get started.” His wife had delivered a week before me. My initial reaction was disgust, my next thought was something violent, and the third wave was sadness for her. Eventually I implored him to be patient and realistic. People need to understand it takes almost year to gain the weight, give women at least that amount of time to try and get themselves back. But moreover, don’t make it harder by pressuring women. The notion that you go from pregnant to abs in a week is causing unrealistic expectations in everyone. And absurd.
With my subsequent pregnancies, seven and ten years older and my womanly shape has settled in.
Over the years I’ve balanced having curves and still being able to briskly jog if the moment calls. But on babies 2 and 3, I started at a solid 130s and ended in the mid-180s. I was asked more than appropriate, if I was having twins. And again I gave birth to two solid seven, near eight pounders. Months later I’m more or less back into my pre-baby jeans, and I’m comfortable-ish. Though I have allowed the pressure to get to me.
Let’s be real for a moment here; pregnant women gain weight. Anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds depending on the woman, and to be honest people need to get comfortable with it. Society needs to make it acceptable to be pregnant and not be required to stay in the gym three to four times a week. This isn’t a message to knock the #fitpregnancy tribe, but rather a call from those who aren’t climbing on a treadmill while a baby sits on their bladder. For some women focusing on fitness just isn’t important and for others it simply isn’t an option.
So you give birth and you don’t immediately hit the gym? It’s okay. Instead of feeling pressured to get your new body back into your old body’s uniform, accept the feat you’ve just accomplished. You’ve built, carried, and brought a human into the world. That’s outstanding. The rest of the world needs to manage its expectations, mommy. Don’t compare yourself to someone who may have a personal trainer, a stylist, and nutritionist. Instead give the boot to the snapback monkey on your back.
Here are a few major keys:
Don’t Play The Comparison Game
I know, we live in a “share everything and share it everywhere” society, it is insanely hard not to put your highlights up against someone else’s. But seriously? Stop that. You never know what sacrifices someone else made to get where they are. While you’re wishing for the body they have, they could very well be wishing to remember what a girl scout cookie tastes like – and honey, that life ain’t for everybody. HASHTAG Long Live Samoas.
Start Where You Are
If you want to make a change – great, cheers to you! But don’t aim to go from couch potato to 1st place marathon runner over night. You’ll only end up feeling defeated, possibly injured, and more than likely back on the couch where you came from. I knew I wanted to get back in shape and rather than running to join the gym, I’ve simply started walking at the park in the mornings. It’s a great way to start my day, plus easy and feasible enough that I can continue without feeling overwhelmed.
Everything In Moderation
My husband will tell you, I love a good cookie. I also like beer. And you ain’t said nothing but a word if tacos are around – I’m IN. That said, I know that moderation is important. Personally I don’t indulge in fast food, soda, and most processed foods as a preference because I am mindful of what I put into my body. But don’t tell yourself you’ll never have another slice of pizza or piece of cake again, alternatively set limitations on how much you can have when you do indulge. Opt for two slices, not the whole pan. Know what I mean?
I hope you find this helpful, and if someone says something to you about snapping back? Hit them with this clapback –