Mom's Honest Postpartum Fitness Photo: 'Not Everyone Can Live In The Gym'

by Sarah Hosseini
Originally Published: 
Image via Instagram

“Not everyone can live in the gym and not everyone will have abs after pregnancy.”

Many moms struggle with their postpartum bodies. The shape, the numbers on the scale, the stretch marks, the scars, the cellulite – we could literally go on for days (sadly). But one mom on Instagram isn’t about that life, and she’s set out on a fitness journey that we can all be inspired by. Her weight loss secret weapon? Hint: it’s not a diet or ridiculous gym schedule.

Mia Redworth has a 13-month old son and is currently serving up the most refreshing and radically honest approach to postpartum fitness. Her fitness regimen? Mostly self-love, patience, and body acceptance. One of her recent Instagram posts is a side-by-side photo of her posing versus not posing. The photo on the left shows a visibly more “bloated” belly (her words, not mine), and on the right, a flat tummy.

“REALITY CHECK!” reads the first line of the caption. “Bloated vs posing, no one is perfect.”

In the post she explains that she carried her baby for 42 weeks, has a tummy “pouch” from her emergency c-section, and has eczema on her stomach from stress. Then she drops a truth bomb.

“It’s totally normal and fine to look like this,” she says. “Stop thinking everyone on Instagram looks like how they do in pictures 24/7 because 98% of the time they’ve taken 100 pictures and picked the best one to upload.”

After giving you the most refreshing reality check, she hones in on what’s really important when reaching fitness goals post-pregnancy.

“Stop being so harsh on your bodies. You’re gorgeous and perfect with your imperfections, a bloated belly or while you’re posing looking your best. Self love is the most important thing to give yourself so stop fighting it.”

Many women get very caught up in the whole postpartum “bounce back” trope (present company included). We mostly see celebrities getting their pre-pregnancy bodies back seemingly in a blink of an eye. Many of us know deep down that this isn’t reality because we don’t have a 24/7 staff: nannies, cooks, personal trainers, etc. But, yet, we fall into the trappings of negative body image and unrealistic fitness goals anyway. This is exactly what Redworth is trying to combat by documenting her radically real fitness journey.

“Not everyone can live in the gym and not everyone will have abs after pregnancy,” Redworth told The Huffington Post. “I thought about how many other women are out there looking for the same thing. After this, I decided to document my fitness journey, all the ups and downs being as real as I would need someone to be.”

One scroll through her Instagram account will have you nodding your head because everything she says is super relatable.

“F*ck scales,” she writes while urging people to not track their fitness progress via dress sizes or numbers on a scale.

“Clothing size isn’t everything, and although this shows my waist is getting small, because of building my bum and thighs, they’re always going to make me go up a few sizes, just look at how short this skirt is now.”

Redworth is all about slow and steady progress and the belief that the goal should just be something you’re happy with – not necessarily what you were pre-pregnancy.

This is her side-by-side photo of newly postpartum versus 7-months postpartum.

“The shock after my C-section, then the shock from having a postpartum body you never see online (but is the most normal after having a baby!) was all too much,” she writes. “But, after a few months feeling low I had to pick myself up and sort it out.”

She adds, “Hating yourself, being negative, and beating yourself up about it won’t change anything.”

True that.

Not only is she relatable, she screams self-love from the mountaintops which is really inspiring. Her documented journey is a testament to the power of loving your body and seeing where that gets you – instead of punishing it.

“How to get a bikini body? Put on a bikini,” she writes. Redworth admits to feeling insecure in this post, but then made a simple yet poignant observation.

“…there will always be something to complain about so why keep complaining?” There’s your mantra as we get into spring time and the pressure to get a bikini body starts to mount.

Beyond bikini season, she has advice for moms everywhere that you could apply everyday of your life.

“You have all the time in the world to change anything you aren’t happy with, but you only get one chance at making amazing memories with your baby, so never take that for granted,” she said. “Love yourself despite any flaws and enjoy your life as much as you can. You’re beautiful.”

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