The miracles of mama nature
If you had told me a year and a half ago that by now I would not only have given birth to a healthy baby girl, but that I would be stronger and healthier because of the experience, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I thought I was the epitome of “healthy” but then my perception changed when baby T arrived. Becoming a mother has actually provided me with improved health and strength that goes beyond my previous definition of “healthy” and the images we see of “healthy” women in magazines. I have realised that health comes in many forms and just one of them is the health provided by motherhood.
Here’s why I feel stronger and healthier than ever before, and I think most of you mamas will relate!
- I gave birth – I can do anything – After surviving the whole birthing process and the early days of new mama-hood, I literally feel I could take on anything! 100 burpees – are you kidding me – that’s nothing compared to the bouncing on an exercise ball for several hours to get my daughter to sleep, without killing anyone may I add, and whilst singing nursery rhymes! Stamina and strength have gone to a new level, especially trying to do anything after very little sleep. Bring on the marathons, yogathaons and long hikes up mountains. Whether you gave birth naturally or otherwise, you gave birth and that is amazing – your body is capable of the most tremendous things and your baby proves that. I’m a mum – now that’s “strength”!
- There is no “I” in healthy – I used to workout just for “me-time” and I still think that is important, however, for me I also now keep fit and strong because I need to keep up with my family. I have only one 6 month old daughter for now, but she already loves to swim, take long walks outside, dance in front of MTV, take the dog for a walk, bounce… did I say she likes bouncing before – well, she does… it goes on. I feel that staying healthy has become even more of a priority because now I’m a mum – I don’t want to say to my daughter, “oh we can’t do that because mummy is tired!” We live only once so let’s go out and play, dance and run as much as we can!
- A healthier balance – There have been times when my work-life balance has been way out of whack – I have worked too much and I’ve worked-out too much. Now, my proprieties have changed and so has my mindset. Being a mama has provided me with a healthier attitude to life. Yes, work is important and so is exercise, but I won’t beat myself up for not making it to the gym one day, and I carefully plan my work so that I make time for family. Health is not just about “eating clean and training dirty”, it’s also about finding your healthy balance and I feel motherhood has helped me to do this more than before.
- Health by example – As you know, I’m a healthy eater anyway, however, now I am even more conscious to have a balanced diet because baby T literally watches every mouthful that goes on my fork; she copies me! Forget baby-led weaning worries – my daughter went straight to picking-up a spoon and feeding herself, grabbing from my plate. I realised she has been watching me from the get-go. I feel so responsible to eat in a balanced way, and yes, that means the occasional treat as well as plenty of greens. I also make an effort to work-out in front of her so that she can see that physical activity should be a fun part of life – she loves jumping in her jumperoo whilst I squat away, or hiding under my downward dog – it’s fun for her and that’s what exercise should be: fun!
- You are what you eat – a recent study* showed that what a mother eats whilst her baby is developing will later effect how healthy the child becomes, even at age 15 years plus. I don’t eat the way I do because it’s the cool thing to do or because I want more blog followers, I’m eating this way because it’s authentic to me and because it:
- Feeds my baby because I breastfeed and also because she now eats what I eat
- Makes me feel good
- Makes me look good
- Make me stronger and prevents disease
- Helps me sleep and rest well
- Makes me happier
- Sets an example for my family
So here’s to motherhood and to being healthier in a whole new way because of it!
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you some recipes that are tried a tested in my house, that help keep us healthy and save time in the kitchen. To follow more of my recipes you can also find me on Instagram.
NB: Please note, this article is not intended to provide medical advice and you should always consult your medical care practitioner before changing your diet, especially during and after pregnancy.