Many moms struggle with the changes to their bodies after pregnancy. Whether you're trying to get fit or just trying to get through the day, Mia Redworth is spreading her message of self-love and body confidence to all the new moms out there.
Redworth is an Instagrammer and mother to a 13-month-old son who is sharing her fitness journey through the photos and inspirational captions she shares. And she's all about keeping it real.
"REALITY CHECK!" reads a recent Instagram post that showcases two side-by-side photos of Redworth wearing yoga pants in what she calls "bloated" vs "posing" positions.
"No one is perfect," she writes. "I have stretch marks from carrying a baba for 42 weeks, a little tummy pouch from an emergency c section, I have eczema from stress on my stomach and spend most of my time looking like the picture of the left! No awful teas that promise the world can fix this, humans just get bloated! It's totally normal and fine to look like this."
Redworth came to her hard-won perspective after being shocked by what her body actually looked like post-pregnancy. Because society so often shows only Photoshopped models and celebrities who "bounce back" from pregnancy within days, she had never seen what a real postpartum body looks like, or even heard anyone talk about it. She initially hit a low point in her self-confidence.
But about 12 weeks postpartum, she started weight training with the goals of building muscle and returning her rear end to its curvy, pre-pregnancy glory. She decided to document her fitness journey for all the other moms out there, but with a focus on self-love.
"I always wished I had someone to look up to on Instagram and as much as I love the fitmums on there, their lives are so unrealistic for most!" Redworth told The Huffington Post. "Not everyone can live in the gym and not everyone will have abs after pregnancy. I thought about how many other women are out there looking for the same thing. After this, I decided to document my fitness journey, all the ups and downs being as real as I would need someone to be."
A centerpiece of her body positive style is that she doesn't worry about clothing sizes or goal weights. In fact, she hasn't weighed herself at all since the day she found herself feeling embarrassed by her postpartum weight at a meeting with a trainer.
"When I got home that night, I asked myself why I was embarrassed at all. Us mothers have it rough enough feeling like a huge uncomfortable whale for almost a year ― then to wake up with a baby, a totally new body and all this self hatred isn't fair! Especially when you add the stress of a newborn. I got so overwhelmed I eventually sat there and said, 'I've had enough!' I had a baby, and no matter what anyone says sometimes your body needs to gain weight. Who cares?"
Redworth also points out that muscle weighs more than fat, which means your weight on the scale can be deceiving when you're getting into shape.