From the looks of Mia Redworth's Instagram feed in the months that followed the C-section birth of her nearly 13-month-old son, you'd never guess she'd ever felt anything insecure about her postpartum body.
But in fact, accepting her postpartum figure, with excess skin, stretch marks, and scarring, wasn't exactly easy. "The shock of realizing what the majority of women look like after a baby hit me hard," she wrote.
Part of Mia's reaction stemmed from super high expectations - she'd never really seen the average woman's postpartum body before seeing her own in the mirror. "It's super hard to find anyone posting about it, so I decided to step up," she wrote.
Despite her willingness to post photos of her figure, Mia still wasn't happy with her postpartum stomach: "Even though I am a size 6 to 8 again and from the side look very slim my skin makes me look a lot bigger from the front," she wrote in a post.
And she didn't love her butt either: "[It] got so flat after gaining loads of weight and [doing] no exercise at all during my pregnancy," she wrote.
So, eight weeks after Mia gave birth and was cleared to work out, the new mom went back to the gym to build some muscle. Because she knew that pound-for-pound, muscle mass weighs more than fat, she didn't exactly expect her routine to result in major weight loss. "My fitness goals have never been to get back to my body before a baby because I had no booty and no muscle," wrote Mia, who took on Tammy Hembrow's eight-week booty program, lifted heavy weights, and more recently, embarked on up Kayla Itsines's 12-week fitness program.
After six months of exercise, she was thrilled with the way her body was responding to exercise, despite isolated moments of insecurity:
Still, Mia had grown used to weighing just 112 pounds before pregnancy when her weight had peaked around 150 pounds. So, despite feeling super proud of her exercise effort and results, she found herself agonizing over the numbers on the scale. "[Weighing myself] got me so down even though I thought I looked amazing for the time, so I vowed to never weigh myself again. [Fuck] the scales," she wrote.
Then, Mia found a new way to assess the body transformation she could see and feel: A few months ago, she'd photographed herself trying on a skirt from her pre-pregnancy days. "I couldn't get close to closing it," she wrote. But recently, Mia tried buttoning the same skirt - and this time, she fastened almost every one. See for yourself:
Still, Mia isn't letting the rogue button that won't quite close mess with her self-esteem. After all, she's learned her lesson, and it's one she wants to share with new moms who've been equally shocked, frustrated, or proud of the way their bodies have transformed: "I was so unfit at a size four," she wrote of her pre-pregnancy body. "Don't get so obsessed with numbers - they mean nothing."
Mia's message extends beyond body weight to clothing sizes, since "you could fit into any size clothing and [still] find issues with your body," she wrote. "Focus more on loving yourself for you, getting rid of the negativity, and challenge yourself on why a clothing size is so important to you. Fitness becomes much more enjoyable if you aren't constantly putting yourself down," she wrote.
So try it - chances are, loosening up will look damn good on you too.
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