Letting Go of the "Mom-Shell" and Accepting My New Body

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Every now and then I come across an article and say, “Sister, you are speaking my language.” One of these stories came out a few days ago.

Before I get to it, here’s a little background. I once had a Twitter message from some guy I didn’t know that said. “Lisa are you pregnant? If not, diet, diet, diet.” I wasn’t pregnant. But I had given birth to my second child about six months earlier.

Yes, that’s a real tweet.

Yes, I thought as I stared at the portly man’s Twitter photo, “What the !(@?”

And yes it bugged the heck out of me.

He sent it to my work Twitter account, the one with my public persona as a CNN anchor/reporter, @LSylvesterCNN.

I wish I could say I was secure enough to laugh it off and move on. But it stuck with me. I went on a diet, started blogging about Losing 20. I took up kickboxing. I lost some of the weight.

Then life got busy with kids… and work… and more kid stuff and I gained some of the weight back. I have struggled lately to get to the gym. And that takes us to where I am now efforting still to get my pre-baby body back.

(My children are now 4 and 2).

To this I just read ”Can A Mom Get a Break,” an editorial in the New York Times by Janice Min, editorial director of the Hollywood Reporter.

It raises the question: Why all the pressure to be a “mom-shell,” aka mommy bombshell? Hollywood celebs seem to bounce right back post-baby. Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen.

Afterward they grace the cover of various magazines with headlines like, “How I lost the baby weight in two months.” “My secrets for getting my body back.” The pictures show no sign of stretch marks, no signs of a muffin top, no signs that 60 days prior there was a baby in there, kicking to get out.

Maternity Curves

It seems that the window from when a woman has a baby to when she is supposed to shrink back to her pre-baby size has narrowed.

Taking nine months, a year, or longer is considered unacceptable, especially if you are in a career (and there are many professions out there) where how you look is considered by the people doling out promotions.

I’m all for being healthy for reasons based on longevity. And I will continue in earnest to try to eat healthier, exercise more and slim my pudgy parts.

But I’m also accepting that for me… maybe there’s a new reset.

Maybe I will just weigh more now than I did before I had children.

It’s not about “letting myself go.” It’s letting go of an image of a body that may or may not fit with who I am and where I am in life.

 

Photo Credit: mcgraths.

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