Tag Archives: Exercise

Body Image: Post Pregnancy

Since giving birth, I have a new appreciation for my body.  My body is awesome in the truest sense of the word.  I have embraced the many stages and changes that evolve out of pregnancy and see them as positive.  The focus for me, has been on the beauty of carrying life, not on returning to a pre-pregnancy body.  Margaret Lazarus’ documentary film entitled “Birth Markings”  speaks to these ideas.  Her documentary features many different women speaking about their own postpartum bellies which acts as a physical metaphor and reminder of the transformative power of birth.pregnantstomach2

After giving birth to little M, my body continued its metamorphosis as my breasts swelled with milk (so that is what I would look like with implants!) while my uterus slowly shrank back to its original size.  As the weeks continued on, I was able to fit back into my old pre-pregnancy jeans and my little postpartum tummy gave way to a flattish, slightly squishy looking stomach.

My focus, especially during the first couple of months was to build an ample milk supply.  I accomplished this by nursing on demand, keeping my baby close to me, eating well and drinking plenty of water.  I felt no rush to return to my fitness class, walking in the fresh air with my baby snuggled in the carrier was the perfect form of exercise in those early weeks.  I think it also helped that I saw the first year as a grace period for my body.  Looking back in my journal, I see that I returned to my post-natal fitness class when little M was two months old.

8 Months Post Pregnancy

8 Months Post Pregnancy

Then, just prior to a year my body was “back to normal,” which had a lot to do with: breastfeeding and babywearing, a little circuit training (when I had/have time), some jogging and a wholesome diet.  I am still not at my peak fitness level, but that will come in time, besides I am still breastfeeding.

In each of our own [pre or post baby body] journeys I think it is important to take time to think about or meditate on the beauty and  miracle of birth.  By doing so, one can help cultivate a healthy attitude and respect towards one’s own body and essentially life itself.

In truth, I like the changes that have happened to my body because they remind me that I have carried life.  When I see my drooped belly button I remember my pregnancy, little M’s birth and what this has meant to me.  And in the two to three months that followed giving birth, I saw my postpartum bump as a sweet reminder of my rebirth as a mother.  Whether you have stretch marks, loose skin or not, I hope that all mothers reading this, will appreciate what an honour it truly is.

Our Park View

parkviewThis afternoon while the sun was still shining, Baby M and I went for a jog.   I did the jogging and he enjoyed the view from his jogging stroller.  When we reached our halfway point, I put him in the swing at the park and pushed him whilst enjoying the spectacular view.  These are the kind of days that Vancouverites live for.  Just when you think you cannot stand another grey, rainy day, the sun will shine and I guess it makes putting up with the dreariness worth it. parksmile

park

view

Ciao!

Motherhood, A Season

Afternoon

Being a new mother means rethinking a lot of things, priorities naturally shift and old activities are reinvented to go along with this new season in life.  One activity I particularly enjoy is going for walks with baby M.*  Since becoming a mother, my focus has been entirely on my baby. From learning to breastfeed to adjusting to new sleeping habits, everything has and does revolve around baby M, and happily so. This means keeping life simple, for me this leaves little time to practice art, at least the way I used to.  You know, those long hours in the studio, working until two in the morning on multiple, life-size paintings, setting up elaborate staged photos, and mulling over various ideas related to art theory.

Baby M and I

Currently, my photo practice consists of either taking pictures of baby M or baby M and me or pictures of trees.  Trees you may ask? Yes, trees. After baby M was born, I made a conscious decision to take at least one cellphone photo while out for our daily walk. I would take pictures of whatever I found interesting but somehow many of the photos ended up being of trees. I only noticed this when I was scrolling through my library of photos and realized that most of the outdoor pictures consisted of either a tree, a stump or some other foliage. I am not entirely sure of why this sudden interest in trees , but it has me thinking.

Balloons

Trees are of course symbolic of  a great many things and, there are quite a few parallels between what tree symbolize and what season of life I am currently in. Some of these things include: taking root, and creating a little family [tree], as well as growth in other personal areas of my life.

season

Meeting of the Seasons

My cellphone photos are not anything special, rather they act as a bridge between my interest in art and my current focus in life. These little photos that record mere snippets from the everyday, leave me free to do my best work which right now is raising my son and enjoying motherhood.

*For the sake of this blog I will refer to my son as ‘baby M.’