10 Ways to Love Your Mom Bod
An Interview with Hannah + Hannah
Hannah Anderson (aka, Dr. Anderson) and I met via a love for small dogs and realizing our lives were creepily and beautifully similar. We even have wedding photos of the same pose, in the same location, one year apart.
Hannah is nerd meets hippie meets fitness model. She's my go-to when I can't understand why my body is doing something or Oliver has some strange sickness or rash. She is a chiropractor and total #girlboss, a wife, mom, and a girl who never wanted to own a business and now owns three.
Hannah has a holistic and healthy approach to being a mom, taking care of yourself, and loving others. She's the healthiest person I know, but still loves me when I'm drinking Diet Coke.
Because health and wellness is so important for moms and kids, Hannah will be contributing on the blog from time to time. For today, we're focusing on "mom bods" and how to love them up.
What are your thoughts on embracing and strengthening mom bods?
I will stand on the rooftops and shout about how awful "Get your pre-baby body back in 12 weeks" articles are. 1. Tissue does not heal that fast. No one is magically "healed" 12 weeks after birthing a human. 2. Everyone, including you, should be in awe of your postpartum body because you just made a human and brought that human into the world, and are probably still keeping it alive. 3. What you look like is no measure of what you're capable of. "Thin" doesn't equal powerful or capable or loving or lovable. 4. As a mom you're keeping the plates spinning for at least 1-2 other people in your world. You only have time to nourish your mind, body, and soul, and enjoy your family. There's no time, and literally no use, for worrying about what you look like in a swimsuit. Even sucking in your stomach is pointless, because it makes your body weak. Find a BIRTHFIT class for more info on that!
What do you think the physical goal should be as a postpartum mom? How do we embrace our new bodies and why should we be proud of that?
As a mom you have an obligation to nourish yourself, and nourish your child. You can do that by adding in more GOOD to your life rather than depriving yourself. Adding MORE nourishing food, MORE nourishing movement, and MORE positive thoughts in your day should be the goal. These things lead to long term health. I want moms to think past losing weight and think more about strength. You shouldn't do squats just so your butt looks good. You should do squats because you need to get up from a chair, or pick things up off the floor for the rest of your life, even when you're an old lady. Same with push ups. Wouldn't you like to be able to get up after a fall, forever? Or lift things over your head, forever? How about running/laughing/sneezing without peeing your pants? Postpartum rehabilitation is important because it give us strength to be independent, active, and comfortable for a long long time. Many women go into nursing homes because they're incontinent which can be contributed to weak pelvic muscles that were never rehabilitated after giving birth. I'd love if moms could ignore the pull to idolize celebrities, and instead set their sights on feeling good about being strong and happy for a long time. Not to mention, moving just feels good and should be enjoyable.
We are total list people. Can you share with us...
ten ways moms can nourish their bodies
1. Belly Breathe. Breathe using your diaphragm instead of shallowly breathing through your chest. Physically this is really great for core stability. Emotionally, breathing with our belly stimulates our vagus nerve that goes all the way up to our brain, and helps us "downshift", rest, and destress.
2. Eat more. As in, eat MORE good stuff like vegetables, clean meat, and healthy fat. If you focus on eating MORE good, it can be less about "bad' foods. You'll also naturally edge out unhealthy food because you'll get full on the good stuff.
3. Stop shaming your food choices. If you look at a food, deem it "bad", then assume you're "bad" for eating that "bad" food, it's not going to end well. It's a constant loop of negativity. If you want a treat, then enjoy it fully. Think about how wonderful and awesome it is that you can enjoy a blizzard from DQ with chocolate ice cream, Oreo, and cookie dough (not that I know anyone with that specific ice cream preference), then hop back on the nourishing train.
4. Read "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown, or at least Google "the story I'm making up in my head is..." It will save your relationships from a lot of unnecessary stress.
5. Go outside... or at least open your windows. You need fresh air. More oxygen makes the tiny powerhouses in your cells go faster, so you have more energy.
6. Take an hour (or more) away from your phone/all screens every day. From a chiropractor standpoint, screens are ruining people's necks, but from a mom perspective - enjoy your kids in the moment more than getting 100 cute pictures of them. Take a few and then put it away :)
7. Get some lab work. Find a health care provider who is familiar with functional medicine that can test your nutrient levels with a functional test from somewhere like Genova Diagnostics. This is CRUCIAL to rebuild mom-bods after pregnancy and nursing, even years later. You made a whole human with the nutrient stores in your body, and you need to make sure you have enough to function well now. This doubly applies if you are exhausted every day, have health concerns, or are planning to make another human. Even if you're DECADES past baby making - our nutrient needs change with each stage of life (teens, childbearing, pre-menopause, menopause...), and it's a great preventative measure that can help you make the most of your life.
8. Move every day. Movement can be like a vitamin as well. You need to move to be well. I don't know any adult who stopped exercising that feels awesome 10-20 years later. The simplest thing you can add to your routine is the Functional Progression created by Dr. Erica Boland - it's 4 parts and FREE on Youtube :) - start it today, and never stop!
9. Avoid the "All or Nothing" mentality. I think women stop working out or eating well because they have this idea that they either need to sweat hardcore at the gym, or prep 5 days of gourmet paleo meals for it to count as healthy. However, going for a walk counts, doing 10 squats while you blow dry your hair counts, and eating pre-cut carrots out of a bag counts. A little nourishment is better than zero nourishment.
10. Don't ignore your gut feelings. If a relationship doesn't feel right, a weekend obligation stresses you out, or the latest mom-trend doesn't blend with your parenting ideas - you don't have to do it. A few years ago, on family vacation, a few of us realized "Wait. As long as you don't break the law, and you're an adult, you can do or NOT do pretty much anything." That took us until our late 20's to realize. LATE 20's. WHAT. It's pretty freeing if you can stick to your guns & personal goals and avoid outside pressure to be something you're not.