After I had my second son I completely lost my body confidence. My significant other was of course still wildly enamored with me and would make amorous moves at me all the time. He was still head over heels and still had the hots for me but I would, sadly, be very defensive and had even become quite prudish.
I wouldn’t make any sexual advances toward him and at one point, I even felt uncomfortable being naked around him. “But why,” you ask? That’s completely asinine, right? Considering I am the mother of his kids which means he must have seen me naked at some point – and I must have been comfortable with it right?
The thing is, I became extremely self-conscious about my body. My body confidence had completely gone through the door. I had gained 40 pounds while pregnant and this was on top of the 25 pounds overweight I already was before getting pregnant. I did lose some of the baby weight after giving birth but not enough to make me feel sexy.
My belly was no longer “bikini ready”. I had developed recti diastasis and joint pains – especially in my hip area (pregnancy and birth of my second kid was quite rough). When Babe would look at me and see beautiful and sexy, I would look in the mirror and see fat, unattractive and just plain old ugly.
I share this experience because I know a lot of moms struggle with body image issues postpartum; and even years after giving birth, some moms still struggle with it. If you are one such mom, I wanna share with you a few tips to help you regain your body confidence: to help you feel sexy again.
Tip # 1: Lose weight
I’m starting off with what sounds a bit harsh but hear me out. One of the main reasons we lose our confidence is because our body no longer looks like it did before pregnancy. One of the main reasons for that (in addition to the fact that there was a living human being inside us) is that we gain quite a bit of weight.
Now let’s get something straight, I am in no way saying that you should not love your body as you are now. Because you should. For crying out loud you made life! That is a superpower and something you should own with confidence!
But if you currently feel uncomfortable in your body – at least for me this was the case – shedding a few pounds will (or should) help you to feel like you are returning to your old self.
Just be sure to have realistic expectations and instead of following fad diets, make lifestyle changes you can actually stick to. In future posts, I will cover the subject of weight loss in more detail, including tips that helped me personally.
Body Confidence Tip #2: Workout
Piggybacking on tip number one, working out is amazing. If you are trying to get your confidence back, then working out is the way to go. Now, I separated “lose weight” and “workout” because you can lose weight without working out.
And if you’re a super busy mom, you probably don’t have a lot of time to work out in a way that sheds weight fast enough. And that’s fine. I mean, who am I kidding? These past few weeks have been so hectic for me that I barely have time to scratch my own butt, let alone time to work out every day.
But the reason I say you need to work out is that exercise does a lot of amazing things for your body. Not only does it help you to lose weight and improves your overall physical health, but my favorite thing is the fact that it has been proven to improve your overall mood by releasing serotonin in the body. It even helps to increase your libido, boosts dopamine levels and fills you up with those “feel good” hormones.
With more “feel good” hormones in your body, you are bound to be in a better mood overall. Better overall mood equals a more positive body image. More positive body image equals bringing sexy back! ?
Getting in shape helps you to feel a sense of achievement. It helps you to feel proud of yourself and your body in general. Just be sure to be realistic and gentle with yourself. You can always increase intensity as you get fitter and more comfortable with regular workouts.
Body Confidence Tip# 3: Wear sexy clothes
Yes, I know. You don’t “feel sexy” so you’re just not in the mood to dress sexy. But first of all, you are. And second of all, this is all a part of the process of retraining your brain.
Here’s the thing, we often dress the way we feel (at least I do). When we feel confident, we pull out that outfit that communicates to the world just how confident we feel. When we’re feeling a little sexy we wear that dress or jeans or skirt that complements that feeling. Not because we’re dressing for the world, just because we like doing it. It is what it is. ??♀️
So it goes without saying that doing the reverse can prove true too. It is important though that we dress for our body types. Instead of wearing something because it is “trending-sexy” or it is “supposed-to-be” sexy. You have to ensure that you are dressing for your body type and wearing what makes YOU feel sexy. Even if that’s baggy jeans and a t-shirt – but please be honest with yourself.
Tip #4: Find comfort in knowing your man finds you sexy
This was probably one of the most important things for me. Knowing that he was still hot for me. Knowing that he still found me sexy. Feeling as though I was still desirable to someone – even though I really didn’t feel like it. That made all the difference.
I feel I need to say this – although I think it is quite obvious – this is not to say that your self worth or value is dependent on someone else’s ability to see it. Hence points 1, 2, 3 and 5. Instead, what I am saying is that you should take comfort in knowing that you are still desirable to your significant other.
This is a real confidence booster because I think deep down, we all wanna know that we are desirable. So the fact that your significant other still finds you appealing is something that you can use as a catalyst on those days when you feel frumpy. But even if that is not enough, remember tips 1 to 3.
Tip #5: Enjoy yourself (touch your body, enjoy your touch)
Above all is enjoying your own body. I recommend setting the mood for yourself. Spend some time alone with yourself. Scented candles, a hot bath, dim lights, soft music, baby oil, body oil, body creams – whatever gets you going.
Look at yourself in the mirror. I remember doing this step while working on rebuilding a positive body image for myself. I would stare at myself naked in the mirror and just remind myself “You are amazing! And you’re freaking hot too!”
You see, tips 1 to 4 are useless if you don’t believe them. It doesn’t matter how many compliments you get, if you don’t believe you are beautiful – if you don’t believe you are sexy – it won’t matter.
Start small. Find one thing on your body that you really like. It could be as simple as your smile – or your hair color – and focus your attention on that. After a while, start looking for more things you like about your body: your eyes, your skin tone, your nose, your silhouette. Compliment yourself on those things. All the while adding more and more things to the list.
This is a technique I used while in college to develop self-esteem in the first place and it is the same technique I used to rebuild it after I had my second child. The power comes from the positivity you feed your brain.
When you retrain your eyes to not focus solely on your flaws but to also see your beauty – and trust me, honey, it is there – you find that over time, even the things you thought were flaws, start becoming things you appreciate. For example, I hated my stretch marks. Now I wear them as a badge of honor!
At the end of the day…
We all struggle with body image issues from time to time. There is no shame in that. But the way I see it, you have two choices: wallow in self-pity or gain your confidence back. The latter sounds a hell of a lot better to me.
When you feel good about yourself, you show up in the world confident and ready to take life on. Confidence is captivating. Build yours.
While you’re here, poke around the blog and check out the related posts below. Remember to like and comment. Share your tips on how to build confidence back so we can all inspire each other. Join the discussion in my Facebook group of other amazing women! Remember sharing is caring so pin it, tweet it, whatever you do just share this post.
Thanks all for your support! ??