Raise Vegan September 2018 Raise Vegan (2) - Page 29

Many magazines out there today sug- gest you need to “get your body back” post-pregnancy, but guess what? Your incredible body is right there and has always been there. While your body may be different after carrying and birthing a child, it does not mean your body is somehow worse than it was before. If it sometimes feels that way, those feelings are real, but let’s change that perspective, together. There is a movement happening that is attempting to change how we think about ourselves and switching gears to celebrate our incredible bodies instead of feeling ashamed by them. With the help of websites like My Post Baby Body and The Honest Body Project sharing not just photos, but stories, of postpartum women of all shapes and sizes, moms everywhere are learning to love themselves and embrace their beautiful bods. Some- times it’s easier to see this strength and beauty in others, but I invite you to see it in yourself. We just need to take a quick look around and remind ourselves that we’re not the only ones with stretch marks, loose skin, and leaky breasts. Pregnancy affects us all differently. For me, I treasured the opportunity to stop sucking in my belly, to realize I had been doing it in the first place. I’d spent so long wanting my body to be different, smaller, but finally my body was doing something inar- guably amazing: growing another person. I loved that bump, and I promised myself I would hold on to that feeling, would keep loving this body that grew my favorite person in the entire universe. READ MORE ON RAISEVEGAN.COM Let’s be real, it’s hard to find time to even bathe when you’re a new mom, let alone worry about healthy eating and working out. My kid was two be- fore I started taking care of my body. I started flossing, doing almost-daily YouTube yoga (Yoga with Adriene), I told my body, “I am going to keep you healthy and strong, because I love myself, and because I want to be a role model for my daughter.” We have a ritual: I hold my kid, almost four years old, and she rests her head on my shoulder, while we sing along to Kesha’s, “Rainbow,” “Darling, our scars make us who we are.” I want self-love to come easier for her, and I want to remember that I deserve it too. You, yes, you, were once a tiny baby. One day, if you’re lucky, you will be old and gray and wrinkly. Let’s hope to live to see our bodies change and change and change again. “And I said to my body, softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” –Nayyirah Waheed RAISEVEGAN.COM Raise Vegan 29