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Yes you, helplessly staring at your new, changed post-pregnancy body. You, who’s having sleepless nights, not because your baby is keeping you awake, but because you can’t come to terms with that extra tyre around your belly.
You, who’s hiding from people at malls, shopping centers, and the neighbourhood so that they don’t get to say anything about how much weight you have put on after delivery.
You, who’s starving yourself to death, just to fit in the pair of jeans you wore before you got pregnant. You, who chooses to wear lose clothes so that people don’t notice how shapeless your boobs have become, thanks to breastfeeding and pumping.
I am talking to you and all those new mothers out there who’re dying in shame just because all the extra weight they’ve put on after pregnancy is refusing to go away. Some of you have spent days, months, even years in fighting the bulge, but you haven’t been able to achieve what you’ve been dreaming of all this while, despite all the cheat diets that left you famished, the long walks that gave you sprained legs and the workout sessions that sapped you of all your energy.
To all you new mums out there I have only one thing to say—enough is enough! Stop punishing yourself. Stop hating your new body that gave you the sweetest thing in this world.
Stop feeling guilty of eating two pieces of cake at the birthday party last night. Stop depriving yourself of all the good food, good mood, and happiness. For God's sake, just stop and think what you’re doing!
Five years ago I was like you. I would starve myself, deprive myself, punish myself to such an extent that I would often be depressed and dejected. And then I would get angry at a whisper of my baby, frustrated that all my efforts are not helping me, helpless that I couldn’t do anything to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. I would snap at my husband at the slightest complaint and just spoil all our evenings and nights just doing that, day after day.
But then I realized that this obsession over my weight was driving me nuts, taking away my peace of mind and making me someone I did not want to be. And so, I stopped fretting over it and decided to embrace my body for the way it is. And believe me, I bloomed.
My mood swings were gone, my emotional eating days were over and as I started to sleep and eat well, something unbelievable happened. I started nearing my pre-pregnancy weight! I was happier and calmer and it was showing on my face, my body and the smile of my baby girl. I bloomed like never before and today when I look back I realize how stupid I had been.
Motherhood is a once in a lifetime (twice for some) experience and instead of enjoying it to the fullest we waste our efforts and energies on things that would not matter in the long run. So, be proud of being a mother and enjoy this time to the fullest. Stop picking up colours that make you look slim (read black). Instead, make your life colourful with all the joys of motherhood.
And don't stress over losing weight, but aim to be fitter and healthier. So what if you're a size 10 or 12! You'd have a healthy heart and body and an even healthier mind. Believe me, that's what we should aim for and even teach our kids. To love our bodies and be proud of how you look.
So next time when you dress up and ask your husband, don't just say "Main patlee lag rahee hoon naa?". Instead, ask him "Main achchee lag rahee hoon ki nahee?"
A healthier, happier mum of a five-year-old girl
Also Read: Your wife needs you: An open letter to all dads
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Avantika Kukreti is a mother of the cutest five-year-old daughter in this world, who keeps on amusing her everyday with her amazing storytelling prowess. She also happens to be a multi-platform media professional with 9 years of experience in lifestyle writing and editing.
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