Carrie Underwood says she hopes to start focusing on what her body CAN do, not what it can’t
Carrie Underwood gave birth to her second son, Jacob, on January 21. Three months later, she’s opening up on Instagram about her body struggles post-baby. Regardless of who you are, what size you are, or how you feel about yourself — if you’ve given birth, you know this feeling. Deeply.
“I’m going to be honest, ‘bouncing back’ after having Jacob has been much more difficult than after I had Isaiah and I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately,” Underwood writes. “I go into the gym and I can’t run as fast or as far. I can’t lift as much weight or do as many reps as I could a year ago. I just want to feel like myself again…for my body to feel the way that I know it can.”
It can be so frustrating to accept that after you deliver a child, you need to treat your body with so much care and take things slowly. Especially once we feel like we’re “healed” and are given the OK by our doctor to exercise again — you just want to feel like you used to, get back to your old routine. Your “old” body. But that’s simply not how it works for many of us.
“As I was working out today, I realized that for the past 11(ish) months, my body has not belonged to me,” she says. “It was a perfect home for Jacob. And even now it belongs to him every time he drinks his milk.”
And she’s absolutely right. Channeling those post-birth feelings about our bodies into more positive thoughts isn’t easy, but we owe it to ourselves to remember what those bodies are capable of. Growing the tiny little humans we love more than life itself. Feeding them. Comforting them. Nurturing them for all their lives.
While she was pregnant with Jacob, she revealed she suffered three miscarriages after the birth of her first son, Isaiah. She says the pain of what she and her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, were enduring juxtaposed with the image she presented to the world, which is what inspired her newest album’s title track, “Cry Pretty.” The lyrics in the song talk about living through personal strife but putting on a smile — something Underwood would have to do for work, without anyone knowing what she was going through.
Now, most of us don’t have to prepare for concert tours or red carpet events after we’ve had a baby. That’s just a whole added layer of pressure and frustration me and my black stretch pants are very glad we don’t have to consider. But Underwood’s message is for all of us, regardless.
“Right now I make a promise to myself to start appreciating what my body CAN do and stop focusing on what it can’t,” she says. “I promise to stop analyzing every angle and every curve and every pound and every meal. I’m going to keep staying the path because it is a journey and as long as I’m always working towards my goals, one day I’ll reach them. I’m going to take it day by day, smile at the girl in the mirror, and work out because I love this body.”