She realized that post-pregnancy weight loss can require a lot of patience.
Expecting a post-pregnancy "bounce back" is unrealistic, and trying to reach weight-loss or strength goals can be frustrating. (Even someone as fit as Emily Skye admitted to being frustrated with her post-baby body progress.) But even if you're aware of that fact and have a body-positive outlook most of the time, one little incident can tank your confidence. For new mom Jocelyn Steiber, that was stepping into a dressing room six months postpartum.
In a recent Instagram post, Steiber recalled walking into a dressing room to try on lingerie, feeling amazing. But when she looked in the mirror, her mood changed. "In that moment, my confidence dropped," she wrote in her caption. "I wanted to cry. My belly was soft and protruding out, there was even more cellulite on my legs, my hips had widened, my boobs were completely different sizes (she prefers left over right), my shoulders ached from breastfeeding, I acquired new bags under my eyes from the lack of sleep. Who was that person in the reflection?" (Related: Chrissy Teigen Says She's "Still Super Insecure" About Her Post-Baby Body)
9 months Pregnant ( actually 41 weeks) vs 9 months Postpartum // There was a moment in there I thought I’d never be me or love my body again. I was in a dressing room about 6 months postpartum and the lights were extra shiny. Walking in, I felt amazing and wanted to buy some lingerie. I remember being in the dressing room, staring at myself and the difference of my pre/postpartum body hit me. In that moment, my confidence dropped. I wanted to cry. My belly was soft and protruding out, there was even more cellulite on my legs, my hips had widened, my boobs were completely different sizes ( she prefers left over right), my shoulders ached from breastfeeding, I acquired new bags under my eyes from the lack of sleep. Who was that person in the reflection? I was crazy about my daughter and for the most part embracing my postpartum body but that moment was hard for me. I missed my body. — a lot of moms told me “Nine months out, Nine months in” and they were right. Now, 10 months postpartum, I’m finally feeling like myself again. It took that long!! ⠀⠀⠀ The biggest thing has been the realization its ok not to bounce back right away. My body grew a human. I can’t compare myself to other moms who were back in their jeans within a few months ( they rock too!) BUT that’s them — not me. It took me 9 months to feel like myself again and that’s ok
That wasn't the first time Steiber had felt frustrated. Trying to fit into her favorite skinny jeans has been a continuous drag, she says. At four months postpartum, she decided to go on a diet because she wanted to slim down for the start of bathing suit season. "I've had every eating issue in the book restrictive eating, over-exercising, everything, and so I haven't dieted in years, but it got frustrating with this extra bulge everywhere," she tells Shape. But when she started cutting carbs and refraining from snacks, her breast milk production also dropped. "My breast milk plummeted and I was like you know what, this is not the time to diet," she says.
Steiber thinks her frustrations have a lot to do with comparing herself to other moms, both women she knows personally and women she's seen on Instagram. "Some women seem to have a little pouch for like a month or two, and then they’re like 'okay, I'm back.' So that got a little bit frustrating for me," she says. "You remind yourself every body type is different, but it's hard to see in that moment." (Related: Why This Fitness Influencer Accepts That Her Body Hasn't Bounced Back Seven Months After Pregnancy)
Ten months postpartum, she's starting to feel like herself again, more because of a mental shift than because her body changed, she says. Her new mindset inspired her to share the before-and-after for other women who might be struggling with weight-loss goals. "The biggest thing has been the realization it's ok not to bounce back right away," she wrote. "My body grew a human. I can't compare myself to other moms who were back in their jeans within a few months (they rock too!) BUT that's them—not me. It took me 9 months to feel like myself again and that's ok."