How to get your body confidence back after a baby - Juice Daily

How to get your body confidence back after a baby While doing sweet FA in our activewear

I don’t want to bang on about it but I look like shit at the moment.

I mean, I know it’s natural to be carrying all this extra weight after a baby and human reproduction is wonderful and I should be glad and grateful and rah-rah-bloody-rah, but let me tell you it’s no fun to look in the mirror and survey the damage.

Luckily, I’ve done this baby thing before and I’m pretty sure I’ll bounce back. Eventually. But in spite of my feminism and my commitment to my own positive body image, (particularly in front of my daughters), it can be a downer when the lady in the mirror is so different from the one I want to see.

A few years ago my ex-mother-in-law told me something amazing.
We were sitting outside a surf club in Queensland wearing dripping wet swimmers and soggy towels, waiting for our kiosk food to arrive. There were side orders of hot chips, promises of ice-cream, and the late-afternoon sun was lengthening the shadows.

She was my ex’s Mum, an excellent lady with grandkids running around everywhere – and we were hanging out during one of those perfect Aussie summers.

She said, “I didn’t swim for about fifteen years. I thought I was too fat and I didn’t want to be seen in bathers, so for more than a decade I didn’t go in the water.”
It had been scorching that day.
“What a waste,” she said.
“What made you change your mind?” I asked.
“I didn’t lose any weight,” she said. “I just stopped caring!”


I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ve been trying to get back in the pool. My youngest baby is six weeks old and my body is kind of mushy and soft, like a cheap pillow that’s been run through the wash. I need to exercise but I’m sore in strange places. I leak breast milk at unpredictable times, like when taxi drivers can’t find the airport or whenever Liam Hemsworth appears onscreen during the ‘Hunger Games’ movies.

Top 5 worst places to accidentally lactate

1. While touring an industrial cheese factory

2. Midway through shooting your new Tinder profile pic

3. At a children’s petting zoo while cuddling a hungry baby goat.

4. During auditions for ‘The Bachelorette’

5. While re-enacting Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ video on the display beds at IKEA
So, the pool and the beach beckon. Swimming is gentle and appealing exercise and I can probably get away with no one noticing a bit of low-key lactating. (Please don’t overthink it: Your local pool is not cloudy with human breast milk, trust me.)

The only problem with getting in the water is it means squishing this poor body into tight and revealing swimmers when my body is as far from “bikini ready” as you can get.

It’s easy to say from the safety of my desk and my air-conditioning, “Don’t worry about what other people think.” But does the best exercise for my body right now have to involve wearing the most revealing active wear?


  • Workout with other mums for free on Bodypass


When I think about those women doing the grocery shopping and picking up the kids in their active wear, I have nothing but admiration. Those outfits show EVERYTHING, and if the sudden need arises to do weights or sprint to the shops, they’re wearing the right gear.



But seriously, why waste time being self-conscious and apologetic for how you look? Who cares what you look like? Are paparazzi waiting in the bushes and sand dunes to photograph you? Are strangers ogling you as you get in the water? Is the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE casually watching from afar to make sure you don’t have any rogue lard lumps?

The sad and honest truth is that most people are too busy thinking about themselves to give anyone else – and that includes me – a second thought.

And here’s something else: We’re all getting older. Chances are, we’re only going to look worse in future than we do right now.

Most importantly – one sure-fire way to look and feel better is to GET IN THE POOL.

Just, maybe – don’t swallow the water.


  • Workout with other mums for free on Bodypass
Yumi Stynes

About the person who wrote this

Yumi Stynes

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Yumi Stynes was planning to die young, leaving behind an unfit and bloated corpse until an epiphany sent her on a health journey that continues today. She's been interviewing rock bands, actors, chefs and other inspiring creative types since 2000 and most days can be found going for a run, cooking incredible food or trying to make someone laugh.

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