Monthly Archives:

September 2016

Education, Personal Stories, Project Body Love, Your Body

Post Baby Body Positivity

My babies and pregnancy changed my body forever. Physically, spiritually, and oh did I mention physically?

I gained nearly 35kg in my first pregnancy. I felt enormous, I was enormous, and that was perfectly OK because it was a delightful, healthy pregnancy that produced a delightful healthy baby.

But once that baby was birthed, and in my arms I was so shocked to discover that I still sported a sizeable belly. (and cankles that were out of this world!)

Snap Back, Bounce Back To Your Pre-Baby Shape…

As a youngish mother I felt a lot of pressure to “snap back” to my pre pregnancy state – and as soon as I had the OK from my doctor, I started playing badminton and exercising as much as I could.

I had the voice of a very loved family member in my ear “I didn’t want to have a pot belly at 29, so I did 50 sit-ups a day”  and that pressure to not be the “fat mum” was overwhelming.

My body never snapped back though. It shrunk, but the marks of pregnancy remained…. a tiny abdominal separation that I wouldn’t become aware of for another 2 babies, and a squishy belly stay behind, to remind me of a belly that once held a 3kg baby.

My body never snapped back though.

Baby #2 - Toned, fit, healthy, even tanned!

#2 – Toned, fit, healthy, even tanned! and check out those stretch marks!

The next pregnancy I was determined not to gain as much weight, and I continued playing badminton (with my doctor’s OK) through the pregnancy. I was strong, healthy, fit, and toned. I had a glorious home birth, and my 4.5kg babe made his way into the world with ease.Baby

My body was now slightly more marked, slightly more squishy around the belly…. and the pressure to “snap back” a little further was still there.

Baby number 3 blessed us with an intense pregnancy, during which I was ill, and gained a fair bit of girth (this time I didn’t weigh myself) We faced some intense challenges during the pregnancy, and after a stressful gestation, I finally gave birth to a perfect little boy, who was all of 5kg….It took well over 10 months to get back to a pre-baby jeans size, but my body bore the marks of three pregnancies.

It took well over 10 months to get back to a pre-baby jeans size, but my body bore the marks of three pregnancies.

I went to see a woman who created handmade dresses, and she looked at my soft tummy and stretch marks and said “YOU ARE TOO YOUNG FOR THIS… YOU GAINED TOO MUCH WEIGHT” I took the dress that she created for me (that looked incredible I might add) and sobbed the whole way home.

My body was ruined.

My body was scarred.

I was fat.

I was worthless. I was hideous.

But…. I wasn’t…..

As I pulled into my drive at home I realised that the person with the issues was perhaps the dress maker. And that no matter what marks, and squishy bits and scars I bore – my body had achieved incredible things.

Baby 4 - zero foxes given

Baby 4 – zero foxes given

I found love, and I found positivity in the new curves, the softer belly and breasts, and I made a conscious effort to fall in love with my body all over again.

By the time baby number four quite literally fell into the world, I was SO in love with my body that I never weighed myself. I didn’t have pre-pregnancy jeans, I had delightful skirts that made me feel like a goddess.

I didn’t care that leggings weren’t pants, they made me feel GREAT, so I wore them.

I celebrated my body,  I gave myself time to heal afterwards. It honestly has taken nearly 4 years to rebuild strength, confidence, and continence (gasp) but taking that time and giving myself the space has been so worth it.

Now, I run, I lift, I rest and I truly care for my body.

Copy of read our blog

P.S.

I have this gorgeously supportive Facebook Group that I would love to join!

I wanted to invite you to join my free Facebook group called Polkadotsi Body Love. It’s all about helping women who struggle withloving their bodies and who want to wake up every day, look in the mirror and feel gorgeeous!

Polkadotsi is an incredibly fun and uplifting community where you can fall head over heels in love with your body!!

If this sounds like something you think you would benefit from, you can request access to join here: http://on.fb.me/1NYfrQy  I’ll be waiting there to welcome you to the sparkliest corner of the web!

Education, Your Body

5 Body Positive Pages To Follow in 2016

Do you need some inspiration to fall radically in love with yourself this year? Or do you need some myth busting bad ass science to smash through the woo?

These pages utterly ROCK and in this sparkly corner of the web we are happy to tell you why!

The Militant Baker

Jes Baker the brains behind the Militant Baker is one of my favourite voices in the BodPos movement! Jes is a one woman revolution for body positivity!

The Fourth Trimester 

Viewing post partum bodies as beautiful? YES please! I’d love to see more of that!! Check out the stunning photography and gorgeous BodPos message!

The Moderation Movement

The Moderation Movement would have to be up there in my top 3 favourite pages. Run by Australian dietitian Zoe Nicholson and Jodie Arnot, the Moderation Movement promotes evidence based nutrition, which we totally support here at Polkadotsi!

A Healthy Paradigm

Promoting the Healthy at any size message, this page is worth a follow! Another Australian page in the BodPos movement too, so that’s a big win for us down under!

Fuck Yeah Body Positivity!

Need I say more? This page is all about reclaiming the parts of our bodies that society has deemed unacceptable! Oh yeah!

Benefits of weight training for women
Education

The Benefits of Weight Training for Women (no you won’t bulk up)

There are so many benefits of weight lifting for women!

Weight training was once the domain of sweaty, bulky, occasionally glistening, ahem pardon me, I got a bit distracted!It was once the domain of men, and the weight room at the gym still reeks of testosterone and man sweat, but it’s changing, as women realise how awesome working with weights is for their bodies, their state of mind, and their confidence!

No matter what athletic pursuits you’re engaging in, there are benefits of lifting for you! It’s never too late to start lifting, and weight training benefits all ages. And no, before you ask, you won’t get bulky!

It Protect Against Osteoporosis

Resistance training is one of the best strategies for increasing bone mineral density. Without good bone mineral density, we’re at risk of oosteoporosis brittle, easy to break bones.

In addition to good nutrition, weight training is one of the best things we have in our arsenal against brittle bones.

The main benefits of BUILDING bone mineral density occur right up until our mid 30s, but even after that, it’s beneficial to strength train, to maintain what density we have, and keep us mobile

You Will Gain Overall Strength!

Strength just makes life easy. I’m a mum of four little boys, the amount of lifting, shifting, and shoving that I do day to day is phenomenal. Being stronger just makes life easy.

Jar to open? I’ve got that. Groceries to lug? I’ve got that. Horse to rustle, I’ve.. no wait, that’s not me.

Being strong means we are more independent, we can enjoy our day to day activities more, and again, as we age we’re able to stay more mobile.

 You’ll Reduce Pain And Risk Of Injury

I’m testifying here personally as the long term sufferer of a sacro illiac joint injury… Being stronger, particularly in my glutes has meant that my pain is MUCH less. My range of motion is MUCH better and I’m able to function.

Lower back injuries represent a huge proportion of the pain that people complain about, and much of it can be managed and reduced with strength training.

You’ll Improve Your Performance Across Other Sports

Weight training complements all other athletic pursuits. Those of us who run or play a team sport will definitely benefit from being stronger.

You WON’T Get Bulky

Women simply do not possess the testosterone required  to bulk up like the guys do, without help from medication. Combined with our high levels of oestrogen, the lack of testosterone ensures that we remain non-bulky. Sorry, no Schwarzenegger for you.

You Will Get Some Kick Ass Muscles Though!

 

So you might not walk out of the gym looking like Arnie, but you will gain muscle. Toned, strong, muscles are awesome though, right?!

Education, Product Reviews

EMBRACE: A Body Positive Review

I went to see Embrace, the documentary by Taryn Brumfitt, and I liked it!

Before I delve into the details I like I ought to disclose, I was fully expecting a disappointing experience, and Embrace didn’t deliver. I’m really wary of “One woman’s crusade” type stories, that delve into a small facet of body positivity… I know I know, any body positivity is great body positivity, but I was sceptical.

What Embrace was was beautiful. It followed Taryn’s journey around the world as she explored the different stories of some amazing women experiencing all kinds of body shame, body dislike, and even body hate.

I was confronted by the woman struggling with anorexia, blown away by the beautiful woman with poly-cystic ovaries (as a side note, her eye liner was incredible… I was captivated) and I got misty eyed at the beautiful “mum bodies” who were rediscovering their beauty post having children. There are so many versions of beautiful, and Embrace enabled many of them to see the light.

It was refreshing to see a film that bared all and showed real bodies, real tummies and real vulvas

I was expecting a film that focused on weight as the main proponent of body image  and was pleasantly surprised to see a really diverse range of body image issues explored.  (THANK YOU for exploring trans body image issues, disabilities, and poly cystic ovarian syndrome!)

It was refreshing to see a film that bared all and showed real bodies, real tummies and real vulvas. As pointed out, most women never get the opportunity to see their own labia, and talking about what’s normal really helps start breaking down the body shame.

I really enjoyed the indignant huffing from the audience as a plastic surgeon told Taryn her nipples should be in the centre of her breasts, and the fat from her butt could be injected in her lips… And I’m proud to say that I too participated in the round of applause at the end.

I guess you could say, #IHaveEmbraced.

Education, Podcasts

Podcast Episode 7: Your Beauty is not My Beauty and that’s okay

I am super passionate about spreading the body positive message, but I’d like to point out a trend I’ve noticed and have even been guilty of myself.

Taking other people down, to feel your own beauty.

And I have been guilty of it. I’ve been guilty of assuming that the overweight woman doesn’t exercise, or that the skinny woman doesn’t eat. It’s a horrible judgement, and I’ve been really conscious of working on it.

We’re conditioned to it everywhere – in movies, magazines, and the media – we shame women for their appearance. And it’s enabled, ridiculed, and okayed… Except, it’s NOT okay, and it never has been.

  • Healthy isn’t a size, and nor is beauty.
  • We don’t need to fat shame/shape shame other women  to uplift ourselves
  • We are so damned powerful when we actually uplift one another
  • Judgement serves no-one, and hurts us all.

The next time you find yourself judging someone else to lift yourself up  – pause, look at why you need to shame someone elses’ appearance, and really ponder.

You’re enough without taking someone else down, and when we band together and lift one another up, the world really is a more beautiful place.

 

Your Beauty is not my beauty