9th June 2016

If you’re a regular reader of the Jelly Belly PT blog, you might remember that I wrote about my fears for my poor battered body after giving birth, here, back when my little girl was around six months old.

I ‘bounced back’ (I didn’t. There was no bouncing involved) after baby number one but didn’t recover as well following the birth of number 2. At 5 weeks postpartum I was panicking about how my body had fared so I decided, in my sleep deprived state of mind, to go out for a run. Big mistake. All that happened was that on top of all my other worries, I was left feeling that my pelvic floor had turned to mush too.

Anyway, I discovered the Jelly Belly PT Post-natal Restore Course and I learned that I really did need to repair  myself before anything else and sanity was (almost) restored.

So, next month my baby will turn one.

It’s really nice to look back with at how I felt about my body back then, to how I feel about it now.

I have learnt so much over the past six months and my body is getting stronger.

I am still carrying extra weight, I am still not back to my pre-baby shape and size and I’m not worried about it. Slowly but surely wins the race, right?

Here’s 10 things I now know about my body (almost) 12 months after it gave me an amazing (wild, nocturnal) little girl.

  1. It is not broken beyond repair. I don’t need to go into meltdown about it. If I put in the effort in I can change it.
  2. It is a bit different now and that’s OK. It might go back to the way it used to be, it might not. But I wouldn’t swap my kids for my old body so I need to just get on with it.
  3. It responds to pelvic floor exercise. Done properly they do work.
  4. It deserves some expert help. I have learned that it really is worth paying to see people who know what they are talking about when it comes to post-natal issues so that you don’t do yourself further damage.
  5. My mind is stronger than ever. I still struggle with willpower, but when I’m exercising I can push myself on like never before.
  6. It’s strong. Did I mention that both my babies weighed nearly 10lb? It’s been through that ordeal twice and it aint given up yet!
  7. It responds really well when I feed it properly. I know, it sounds like a no brainer but at this grand old age I’m finally learning that I can’t expect my body to feel good and work well if I don’t fuel it right. I think we’re all slightly different in our dietary needs but I know I need lots of iron and a big breakfast, for a start…(overnight oats = slight obsession).
  8. It’s the only one I’ve got. Obviously I knew this all along but really, think about it, no amount of sobbing in the mirror is going to change what my mama gave me, so I’m just going to (no, not shake it) but, I don’t know, shuffle it and be happy!
  9. Absolute total and utter exhaustion is no match for my body. It can still walk under the extreme conditions of having had precisely 49 minutes sleep. It keeps going…even when my mind is trying to throw it off course with thoughts ┬álike ‘urghh I could just collapse, right here in the bread aisle and sleep by the heat of the bakery’ incredibly, my body does not do that.
  10. My brain is the bit that matters. My brain makes the dosh, makes the decisions and crucially will make the decisions about the fitness levels of my body. So, the best thing to do is treat it right, be kind to myself, think nice thoughts and try to get more sleep than 49 minutes rather than attempting to fit in an impossible amount of ‘stuff’ into one day, when I could just go to bed.


Words: Penny Stretton


A postnatal body - 12 months on - Jelly Belly PT