I have to admit that after having my second boy, Brando a little over a year ago, I had a hard time loving my post-baby body. When you have a hard time loving your body, you start to have a hard time loving your wardrobe, then you start having a hard time leaving the house, then depression sets in and it can eat you away (though in my case I did try to eat the depression away and heck that certainly didn’t help).
I know that there are resources for help and I strongly advocate that anyone even feeling slightly lower than usual reach out for help immediately. For me though, I was too strong to admit that I needed help, and even speaking to friends or family about how I “was thinking about scheduling a doctor’s appointment about it” no one seemed like it was some huge deal that I needed to fix immediately, so it got put on the back burner til one day I finally came out of the fog. It took about six months, I separated and got back together with my husband in that time frame and also put on an additional 30lbs. We moved, I ate a ton of pizza, and before I knew it we were 1 month away from my son turning one and I actually weighed MORE than when he was born.
While there are so many other aspects to depression that I can’t even begin to tackle in one post, I want to share with you all some things that helped me clear the fog, and get back to who I am. Things that helped me feel better about myself when I was at my worst. I need to state that I’m in no way, shape, or form a medical doctor I’m just sharing my personal experiences with you to help give you a voice to relate to.
- I started making my bed every morning. This is so silly to some of you I know that, but for me, an unmade bed was just as tempting as a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. It was an open invitation to laze about, to crawl back in when the boys went down for their mid-morning nap, and it called to me with a power that I can not even describe. hahaha . So, I started making my bed the second my youngest woke up. I’d get him fed, set him in the floor with some toys, fluff up the pillows and straighten the duvet. It’s crazy how just that 3 minute tweak in the morning made such a huge difference. Forcing me to get out of bed and stay out got me moving from the second I woke up, and ultimately helped me start my daily routine that I follow now.
- I also FORCED myself to exercise. Only 30 minutes, only every weekday. Sometimes things would be crazy and I’d have to break that up into 10 minute segments, but I started actively making an effort to regain some of the health I was losing. Remember that line in Legally Blonde?! “Exercise produces endorphins, endorphins make you happy…” Well, I certainly wan’t HAPPY to be doing burpees and moutain climbers and there has been a TON of modification along the way, but I do feel much more confident in my body now because I know I’m on the right path. I wore high-waisted bikini’s and those super trendy cut-out one pieces on my family beach vacation this Summer with PRIDE. I ran in the water and sat my wide butt right down in the sand to play with my kids with not one care about who was looking at me or might be judging me, because I know that I’m putting in the work, and if I don’t lose 1 lb at all, I’ll still be confident knowing that my eating and exercising choices are 80% of the time the best possible choices I could make. Knowing what my body can do makes me so much more confident.
- I bought the next size up. This was one of the biggest hurdles for me, but like I broke it down before: I wasn’t fitting into my clothes well, and I didn’t want to leave the house because of that. I didn’t want to look lumpy or like I was wearing a tent. So I bought the next size up. Having clothes that actually fit my body for what it is now, and were COMFORTABLE because they ACTUALLY FIT, allowed me to get out and do more. Ladies, as a personal stylist I’ve said this to my clients over and over again, but being on the other end of it now I understand how hard it is to justify. I know the weight is going to come off at some point and then I’ll be stuck with these clothes that are too big, but you know what?! At least I’ll feel good about myself for these few months I am in the larger size. At least if someone invites me to brunch I can accept without having to stress about what to wear. I have more than leggings and my husband’s tee shirts to strut about in!
- I got ready everyday. I wasn’t going anywhere, I literally got dressed and put on make-up so I could sit in the backyard and watch the kids play, or run through the Starbucks drive through. Allowing myself to spend that time on ME, whether it was a quick 10 minutes or an all out half hour make-up party (thank you new Naked Palette) made such a difference. I started seeing who I was again, not this shell of who I used to be. I know it’s not important to everyone, but if you find yourself feeling down one day give yourself a little mini-makeover, take that time for you and trust me, it will make the biggest difference in your day.
- Set Goals. When I first decided to stay at home with the boys I was thrilled. Taking a much needed break from the retail world is EXACTLY what I wanted. After B’s newborn honeymoon phase wore off and I was at home with a 3 year old and a 5 month old reality hit me: I’m literally just keeping children alive everyday, and while that job is important, I need something else to do too. I started with goals for my home, I made over different areas of it room-by-room, scouring Craigslist and YardSale pages for the right piece I could re-do to complete each project. When I was done with that, I set cleaning goals. Then I moved on to major life goals- where do I want to be in 1 year, 5 years? Having small tasks to work on daily lead up to making the major life changes. Even if your goal is just cutting out pizza one day a week, or making a meal entirely from scratch, having a goal to work little by little each day to achieve really helped me regain the sense of worth that I had been missing. I even have a job interview on Monday at a real estate office because I made it my goal to get my real estate license in February and I succeeded!
I want to make it clear again, that I strongly advocate anyone who really feels depressed to reach out to a friend (you can even holla at me! if you don’t know me find me on IG : @_XOXOB) and get some help and also consult with your doctor about how you’re feeling. These are just some tricks I picked up along the way as the fog was clearing from my head. They didn’t cure my depression, but they definitely boosted my self-confidence enough for me to have open dialogues with the ones I loved about how I was feeling which was ultimately what I needed: to talk it out. Remember, you’re the most beautiful person in the world and you are SO loved.