By Team MUTU’s Kay
You’re scrolling through Instagram and you stop in your tracks at the sight of a #fitspo before and after photo.
Darn it! You think to yourself. She looks amazing!
It’ll either motivate you or make you feel like crap if you aren’t where you want to be post-baby.
Don’t get me wrong, before and after photos have their place. They can motivate, give hope, help you to relate and feel represented. They help to share a story of success and celebrate that person’s achievements.
But, a lot of the time it’s not the full story.
I could easily share a before and after photo and I’d no doubt receive some well meaning comments and pats on the back, congratulating me on my perceived “success”, because I’ve shed some pounds, my tummy looks flatter than it did and my legs look toned from squatting down to pick up my baby, and being consistent with MUTU Intensives. I’m nearly 10 months postpartum now and I “look” like I’m pretty much “back to me”.
But, if I shared a photo it could never show my journey in its true light and portray everything I’ve achieved.
The visual stuff didn’t matter to me when I was unable to enjoy sex because it was SO painful.
It didn’t matter when I’d spent months (and still continue to do so) seeing a Pelvic PT, teaching my pelvic floor to relax and just let go.
It didn’t matter when my confidence was in tatters and I couldn’t see a way out.
I didn’t want the toned thighs, the washboard stomach and weight loss. I just wanted a body that worked, did its job and made me feel good again.
I am in NO WAY shaming anyone who chooses to share a before and after photo.
Go ahead, mama! You totally deserve to celebrate everything you’ve achieved and inspire others with your incredible results.
We regularly share before and after photos across MUTU social platforms. They really do serve a very important purpose in our work, but we must never forget, a lot of the time it’s not the visual stuff that’s important.
How can you show the progress someone has made when it’s more than just flattening a tummy and losing weight?
How can I present my progress when my biggest strides have been in no longer feeling pain, feeling more in control of my pelvic floor, finally feeling like myself again. None of which can be presented visually.
So here’s my before and after.
BEFORE: I felt so sucky. I cried most days because I thought I’d never feel good again. I was uncomfortable, felt embarrassed, alone and I couldn’t do the stuff I wanted to do. I was dealing with symptoms that made me feel way out of my depth, caused pain and a fear that I wouldn’t ever feel like me again.
AFTER: I am only in the last month feeling more connected to my body and more like me again. I am no longer in pain and my pelvic floor is feeling SO much better. My PT says it’s like a different pelvic floor to the one she saw at the start. Go me!
I’ve been given the go ahead to start slowly jogging for 5 minutes at a time and my core has never felt stronger. I’m less frightened of this process and am now grateful I’ve been on this journey. I have way more respect for everything my body has done and a better understanding of how my body heals. I feel stronger and more badass than ever.
Now that’s the kinda progress I’m talking about!
Next time you feel like you aren’t making strides because you don’t “look” a certain way, think about all the progress you may have made in how you “feel”. If you’re about to start your journey, write down where you’re at, how you’re feeling and any symptoms that are bugging you. Keep it safe and revisit this in a couple of months time.
Take a before shot too, but don’t let that be the only way you measure the success of all your hard work.