This post won’t be filled with riding details and pretty ponies posing for the camera (I guess it hasn’t for awhile?) so feel free to get out while you can, if lamenting over body image issues isn’t your thing. Really this post has been an ongoing journal and personal journey for myself in the months following my daughter being born. It is entirely too many selfies in my opinion, sharing these images makes me very nervous, but I want to remember.
When I got pregnant one of the first things I thought about was “oh no-my poor body!”. Because like it or not, growing a baby is hard on you. And apparently I’m vain. While I was pregnant I experienced lava-like heartburn, swollen hands (and feet), and the usual body aches. Still, I was active as I could be, riding in my 6th month, and eating well. After everything was said and done, and for transparency’s sake, I gained over 40lbs. Like maybe 50. Or so.
That’s a significant amount of weight in my book. Big baby (over 9lbs+) or no big baby, I had a long ways to go post-partem. Pre-baby I was an easy size 30L in almost everything, including my favorite pair of tan Tailored Sportsmans. What I know about myself is that I have to be held accountable, so my goal has always been to be able to fit back into the riding clothes I already had. Hence, my TS Challenge was born. I was always told it takes 9 months to grow the baby, it takes 9 months for your body to go back to normal.
Exhibit A: 9+ months pregnant (100% cooked-100% done with the whole thing)
I went into labor a day or so after this picture? The joke was that it was my last work appropriate outfit that fit around the bump. Hence, I was determined to have baby before the next work week.
Exhibit B:One week post-partem. (always brushing my teeth)
I spent the first few weeks looking at my baby, and then looking at myself…and trying to figure out how I still looked so pregnant! At this point I was excited to choke down some food between cuddle sessions with baby girl. Activity was switching from one pair of sweat pants to another.
Exhibit C: 2 Months post-partem.
Actually feeling like a human again, and seeing bits of my body filtering back into place! I was surprised that I actually even gained weight in my legs somehow? While still a bit body sore, I was finally figuring out how to sleep and function on a baby’s schedule. Better food and more activity are finally coming back into the life order.
Exhibit D: 3 Months Post-Partem
I was more comfortable in loose clothing usually, as my body was still shrinking and was making me feel soft! This picture was super scary for me to post at the time, but now I look back and realize that it’s the time frame I feel I started to feel like myself physically. Thank god for the awesome Noble Outfitters tights for giving me some support/confidence. My face was finally less swollen too.
Between months 4-7 I really didn’t feel like there was a lot of change. My body felt better but didn’t look much different.
Exhibit E: 7 months post-partem (in Romhf size 30)
While I could squeeze into these Romhf size 30’s, it required some dance moves to get them buttoned and it really felt tight across the tummy still. But yes-they went on. Small successes!
And finally, exhibit F: 8 months post-partem.
No, I don’t feel the same. I have a hate/hate relationship with my “new” bust line, but I do feel like I have made a huge transformation in 9 months. I really tried hard to not stress; letting the weight letting come off naturally with good food, and being active. I think more saddle time lately has really helped. Overall though, I feel strong, fit and it translates well into my riding. Plus there is a certain pride in making that change in yourself!
Goal to fit into my old size 30L tailored sportsmans?
Exhibit G: 9 months post-partem
Success. And that feels so good!