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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.

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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!

Podcasts, Project Body Love

Polkadotsi Podcast Episode 1 – Jess Mather Indulgent Fitness

Subscribe to Polkadotsi’s Podcast on iTunes

Today I spoke with Jess Mather from IndulgentFitness.com.

Jess Mather if a fitness and rehab specialist that works locally in Orlando, and services the online community with nutritional consulting & customized online fitness coaching. She’s on a mission to help people become empowered, stronger, and more resilient versions of themselves through weight lifting, sustainable nutrition, and by nurturing a positive relationship with themselves and their body.

How did you get started in your business?

I got into fitness when I was about 15, I think I did it more out out of control, so it wasn’t necessarily really unhealthy moreofwhatweloverelationship with fitness and was doing a lot of cardio. Now I’ve more into weight lifting, and that started when I was about 18, and I realised that weight lifting can be really really empowering. And that led to something really special.

When I was 18, I decided I wanted to be a personal trainer. I kept putting it off and putting off and everyone was saying that personal training was going to be too hard, and I was never going to make a living…. So I went to college, and I got a degree in Physical Therapy, which was  good complement – but in 2014, we were about to move back to Florida from Colorado, and I was like you know what, I’m so done with excuses, so I’m just going to do this. I made up the name indulgent fitness.

I chose Indulgent Fitness because I want people to learn how to love movement. And I started really slow. People are always telling you about these overnight success stories, where you launch this cool website, and you have a cool photo shoot, and it’s not really like that at all. It’s like this long struggle. So I just started slow, I started with the blog, I love writing, and it just snowballed.

It’s hard in the fitness industry, because we’re shown all of these posed bodies, and they’re hot and ripped. I was super lean at one point, but I was really unhealthy. I’m not saying that every lean person is unhealthy, I’m just saying that fitness is more than one things. So I take a spin on it.

What would you do if you could change the world?

Well the first thing that came to mind was I wish I could help people listen to each other more. I listened to this TED talk the other day. They were saying that we don’t listen to each others needs. We’re not really a community anymore. I love podcasting and skyping – it’s better communication than back and forth online, and people can get really hissy. It’s tearing us apart, it’s making us resentful.

If I could change the world, I’d just have people freaking listen to each other!

With regards to my business, I help people become stronger, fitter and more empowered. Exercise is more than just exercise. It’s this really strong inner power that we get!

When we dominate something in the gym, like a really heavy kettle bell, we’re SO proud of ourselves. We’re so confident in our bodies, we’re in tune with what we’re doing we stand up straighter, we’re more resilient, we’re so proud of our abilities, I wish I could give that to people.

People see exercise as a tool to look differently. They feel fat in their clothes, they’re miserable, they see it as a tool to look better. It’s so much deeper than that. I wish I could give people that, but it’s so hard for people to realise that it’s a process.

It really helps to have people on a structured program, so that they can see objectively where they’re improving and progressing.
I  track everything my clients do – so I can show them how they’re improving.

If you keep consistently nurturing those positive successes, it keeps you rolling.

What message would you like to leave with our followers?

A lot of time people think that if they reach a certain weight they’re going to be happy with themselves, if you think that’s going to be true, you might be disappointed.

That’s why I’m really crabby about these quick fix fatloss gimmicks I really don’t like them… I don’t want to go on a rant, but they’re not healthy, they’re not sustainable, and they don’t teach you how to be uncomfortable.

I think the most crucial part about self love is the experience and the struggle and then overcoming that struggle.

The magic happens out side of your comfort zones. It doesn’t mean you have to grind and grind every day, but it means pushing just a little. Keep pushing with those successes, keep rolling with those and build something really cool.

You can reach Jess at www.indulgentfitness.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/indulgentlife/

http://www.instagram.com/indulgentfitness

And be sure to check out her eBook series “Eat more Lose More”

 

 

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!

 

Podcast Image (4)

Project Body Love

Love Letters And A Magical Tin In The Kitchen

Sometimes we like to challenge you with little activities that will help you fall more magnificently in love with your body!

After my grandmother passed, I was helping my dad clean up the kitchen, and we found an old biscuit tin. Inside was a stack of handwritten letters between her sister and her, her dear friends and her, and her husband and her.

The tin smelled of my darling grandmother, and the letters did too. They were an absolute delight to stumble across. Her gorgeous, flowing, handwriting and heartfelt letters, written in a time when we took, time…

So here’s a fun exercise I would love you to try; love letters !!

love letters

Set yourself some quiet time, and make your environment as cozy as you can, with lovely music, some incense and make a cup of tea.

For this exercise you don’t need anything special, but if you like stationery and fine things, feel free to get your hands on some lovely paper and pens. Personally, I love brush pens, lots of colour, and a lot of sparkly stuff…

Then all you have to do is write!

  • Write a love letter to a dear friend, tell them how much they mean to you, remind them of how special they are, and picture their face when they open it!
  • Write a love letter to your child either to open now, or to open on a special day…
  • Write a love letter to yourself telling yourself all of the wonderful things you admire about yourself.
  • Then seal those envelopes with a kiss, perhaps a spritz of your perfume, and address and send them.
  • Or fill a tin with little love notes to yourself.
  • Or jot down compliments you receive, and keep them…

What a gift you have just created!

Maybe this is something you could create a habit of? Perhaps you could have your own tin in the kitchen filled with treasures…

 

Photo credit:Julie Edgley

Meditate
Project Body Love

Setting Space For You

Too often we don’t make space for ourselves in our lives. We get so caught up in the day to day obligatory duties that we forget that unless we are OK ourselves, we are unable to take care of anyone else.

One of the simplest methods of self care and self love is simply to set aside non-negotiable time for pampering.

The pampering is great, but the self love part comes from making that time.
We make time for all of the others in our lives, some of them demand time, some of them we give time to.
But it’s equally important that we say “I am worthy of my own attention”

Giving yourself space can be as simple (and equally complex) as learning to say no. Learning to fiercely respect your own time and energy, and not let others impede upon that.

Giving yourself space can be negotiating “me time” with your partner, where you’re allowed to have uninterupted time away.

Giving yourself time and space can be as simple as lighting incense and having quiet time before the family wakes up, or after they go to bed.

Pamper yourself by all means. Take the time to go to the beautician/hair salon or whatever uplifts you, but remember that the conscious self respect is what self love is all about.

Practise it, daily if you can!

Sparkle on!

 

 

Photo credit: Take Back Your Health Conference

Project Body Love

Sparkly B*tch Take Your Damned Selfie And Own It!

If you’re anything like me your phone and hard-drive are FILLED with selfies! How do you feel when you take a selfie? Does it empower you? Do you LIKE taking a picture that you own, you’re in control of and you say what happens with it?
Yeh? So do I.

IMG_1206

A selfie puts you in the picture AS you. You control the  gaze, you control the intention. It’s a way of saying “I look freaking sparkly today and I’m owning it”

Selfies are power baby yeh!

But it hasn’t stopped the entitled body shamers from trying to take us down.

Recently Reddit became home to a vile trend of Photoshop artists who took it upon themselves to “shop” women’s photos to make them appear slimmer.

Like this one of UK model Paulina.

twitter

 

“From Depressed Chub to elegant Fox”

Um, what the actual F**K!

Paulina shrugged the body-shaming comments off, and got the last laugh.

 

“I really love myself the way I am, so those comments didn’t get to me at all,” she added. “I am secure, and I’m a beautiful person, on the inside and out.”

Paulina’s modelling agency New Moon hit back with THIS bad-ass article.

But that doesn’t mean that all women are immune to the venom that pages like this one spit.

We are constantly told that in order to be healthy we need to be skinny. Which is utter bullsh*t! Bodies can be fierce and healthy at any size.

It seems that Instagram is flooded with people who think it’s OK to shame selfies as being too fat, too unfuckable, too skinny, or too whatever.

The simple fact of the matter is the selfies aren’t for them…

In my own case, if I take a selfie, and I share it- I choose to share it for me. I’m not sharing it for anyone to critique ro assign value to.

Here at Polkadotsi we encourage you to eat well, and move your body – because that keeps you healthy on the inside! But how you look and how you define your aesthetic is YOUR business, not ours.

So if you feel like taking a selfie, freaking do it. OWN that sucker.

If you see someone telling a woman that they are anything less than sparkly and fierce, speak out and shut them down. Say NO to body shame!

 

Education, Project Body Love

Body Positive Life Hacks To Help You Love Your Rocking Bod

Oh no! Have you had a blah day? Let’s turn that frown upside down and get to sparkling!!

Enjoy our easy life hacks to help you get back into a space of body positivity!

Speak Kindly

Look at how you are speaking to yourself! Is it how you would speak to your friends? If it isn’t choose kind words. If your thinking is stinking then everything else is going to follow.

If you need a hand, check out some of our body positive mantras!

Change Your State

It’s really tricky to stay negative when you adopt a positive posture. Stand up straight body warrior, shoulders back, big breath, now shake what your mama gave you!

Or try a Tony Robbin’s trick and say something silly and unexpected “Fiddle dee dee my FEET don’t stink today’ (Heel click jump optional)

Shock your mind out of it’s rut by doing something unexpected.

Eat A Banana

Ok, Ok, the science behind the bananas curing depression thing is totally flawed… but if you’re feeling negative because you’re HANGRY, then a banana is a nutrient packed snack that can help boost your blood sugar and help you on your way back to loving yourself!

Turn Up The Tunes

Music is a delightful way to pump up the jam! Dancing optional but totally recommended! Pick tunes that remind you of happy times and make you feel uplifted!

ROCK OUT baby!

Have A Shower

Warm water, quiet time, and nice soapy bubbles?

You’re one steamy soiree away from feeling better!  And you can’t get more body positive than loving on yourself if you get my drift wink wink!

Get Outside

Ahhhh Nature! A bit of sunshine, vitamin D, fresh air, the birds chirping the grass under foot  – if that’s not enough to distract you from feeling blah, then add a bit of a workout!

Smash out some bodyweight workout and release those endorphins! They’re just begging to be free!

One Small Goal

Sometimes great things come from the smallest achievement. I like to try one small workout goal- because it comes with  the added benefit of liberated endorphins!

Try:

  • A dance to one song in the living room
  • A walk
  • A stretch
  • A set of 10 squats or push ups

Bodly love Life hacks

 

Photo credit: Steve Corey

Education, Featured, Project Body Love

An Open Letter To Heidi Klum

Donald Trump told Heidi Klum that she is “Sadly no longer a 10”

Dare we say “eew, gross…. that’s hideous Donald, who the heck do you think you are?”

But we’re afraid that Mr Trump already has an inflated sense of self, and frankly Heidi Klum utterly owned her response check it out:

So it’s with a lot of admiration that we write Heidi an open letter:
Dear Heidi,

There are a couple of things that I need to say thank you for today…

Thank you for demonstrating to women world wide that someone else’s opinion does not matter.  I am so glad that you view yourself as more than a number, and even more importantly, more than someone else’s number

Thank you for demonstrating to my children that women are more than just objects. Even though your industry routinely objectifies, sexualises, and exploits women I am so glad that as an individual you don’t buy in.

I am so sorry that Donald Trump is in a position of influence and power, and his message gleaned an audience, but equally grateful that you used your position of power and reach to shut down his body-shaming with humor, dignity, and grace.

No one has the right to reduce you to a digit, and in doing so reduce all people to numbers that only quantify their appearance.

No one has the right to assign value to your worth by how f*ckable and saleable you are.

I am raising young men, and I need them to know that they have NO right to shame the bodies of women in their lives (nor anyone else’s)  I am raising young men who are inadvertently already consumers of mainstream media, and sadly already aware that skinny, attractive people are supposedly more valuable to society. (Have you ever seen an attractive villain in a children’s TV program?! Have you noticed how hard Enid Blighton fat shames the more slothenly characters in her books?)

Thank you for not buying in. Thank you for redirecting the misogynistic male gaze, and thank you for the giggle.

Sincerely,

The Chloe – Polkadotsi.

 

Are you in the sparkliest group on the web? Join Polkadotsi’s Body Love Forum on Facebook today!

 

 

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