Mum on the Run shares pictures in an effort to urge moms to love the body they have right now
Having a baby is awesome, but there’s no question that doing so forever changes your body. Sure, you love your kids and don’t regret having them, but for some of us, it’s hard not to feel a bit wistful for the way your body looked in the days before someone called you Mommy.
Laura Mazza of The Mum on the Run knows all too well what it’s like to look back fondly on your pre-baby body. But she also knows that looks can be deceiving, and there there’s so much more to being happy than what we see in the mirror. In a recent Facebook post , she shares a before and after photo showing her weight gain since becoming a parent and talks about why we should all strive to accept our bodies as they are.
In the post, Mazza gets brutally honest about her self image in a way that many of us can relate to. “This isn’t a before and after shot of weight loss,” she writes. “But it is a victory shot.” The picture on the left is her before she had children, and the one on the right is her currently, as a mom of two.
“No stretch marks or scars from belly button piercings,” Mazza writes of her body before baby. “A belly button that was high. A flat stomach.” We all have the things we miss about the ways our bodies looked before pregnancy. But at the same time, while she had a body that she was proud of and people envied, Mazza knew she wasn’t healthy. “I was always on a diet back then…I ate no carbs, and barely any vegetables.” Her diet was so strict that it made her sick. “I ended up hating meat, and was always suffering from heartburn.”
And while she was proud of the way she looked and was happy with the positive attention she received, there was still a part of her that felt like she wasn’t good enough. “But still I looked at this photo, this image of myself, like I was fat. There was nothing wrong with the way I looked.”
A-freaking-men sister. How many of us wasted years of our lives feeling self-conscious about our bodies and would now give anything to have even a single day to parade around in that body again? Me? I would go back to college and wear the crop top I always thought I couldn’t pull off and so obviously could.
Fast forward to today, and to the picture on the right of Mazza in all her postpartum glory. She knows she weighs more and looks differently than she did before she had kids, but she feels healthier and more balanced now. “This body, it’s not a result of just meat. It’s a result of eating everything. Fruit, vegetables, carbs; pasta, rice, cakes, chocolate… Sometimes 20 chicken nuggets.”
In spite of the fact that she’s healthier in this new body than she was in her thinner, leaner one, and in spite of that fact that this body has accomplished so much by bringing two children into this world, Mazza explains she still struggled with self acceptance. “This body didn’t deserve sexy underwear, or a new wardrobe,” she writes. But eventually she realized that it’s she who’s worthy, not the body she’s in. “Above all, THE person should be celebrated. Healthy bodies should be celebrated. Healthy should be what we strive for.”
How a person looks in a photo is not an indication of how healthy they are. She’s not saying that people should give up on fitness goals, but there’s a right way to do it. “I still want to look like the first photo, no doubt. I miss that body, it makes me sad. But I want to get there in a healthy way, mentally and physically.”
“I want to be proud and at peace with this body. And I want to like what I’ve got now.”