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Skinny, But Strong… My Way (Skye)

June 2, 2010

So, here I am again, this is my second post, my first is here.

Now that I’m 13 months post partum I feel the need to share with you all something that has been amazing for my body…
I didn’t say too much about my body in my first most so I will give you a bit of an overview now.
I grew up very very skinny till I hit 16, things suddenly popped out!! you know how that goes I’m sure:) and being the shy, self conscious girl that I was I fell into a downward spiral of bulimia/anorexia for the next 7 years, either starving for months on crazy diets or bingeing and purging all day long.

When I met my now husband (he was hitching a ride!!) I had finally come to a healthy happy balance and was basically a veggie loving mungbean worshipper!!
3 months later I was wondering why my boobs were getting bigger… haha! we were surprised and happy though, it was all happening so fast, we were living together out in the rainforest and about a month earlier I had asked him to marry me! some things are just meant to be.

I was constantly nauseous and tired for the first 3 months, a never ending hangover. I went from health nut to having ice-cream for breakfast. My weight started at about 52kg/114 lbs, I’m 5’5 tall, and I went up to 58kg/128 lbs in the first 3 months.. I was very curvy:)

We married when I was 12 weeks along and about a 2 week later we moved across the country to be with my family for support.
Slowly my appetite disappeared as my last few months of pregnancy were in the height of summer, I weighed 63 kg/139 lbs at 41 weeks.

So, as I wrote in my first post, I had a magnificent home water birth, completely drug free despite excruciating back labour due to having a sway back.. I still feel so proud that I birthed my baby myself, I took him from the water and absorbed every last drop of beauty in that experience.

In the last few months of pregnancy I did a lot of research on natural birth etc and happened to stumble across a whole new view of parenting, part of which is wearing your baby… so, I bought a ring sling and a stretchy hemp wrap and oh how I love them! I have never used a pram, I don’t use playpens or things that hold, swing or bounce… instead I carry my baby boy where ever we go, shopping, bush walking,hanging washing, dancing, vacuuming, doing dishes, cooking, in the shower etc etc… he is always with me viewing the world from my perspective, he is involved in my interactions, learning language, gesture and movement and I have the pleasure of observing him grow..
Not only is it wonderful for him but the changes I have seen in my body are amazing!! I have never been so strong before, as my son grew so did my strength, I am now 46kg/101 lbs and my son is 12kg/26.5 lbs, so you can imagine what kind of a workout I get when I go for a 4km walk:)
The idea that you need to leave your precious one in the care of someone else or at child care so you can trudge of the the gym is, in my view, ridiculous! Seriously, put your bub in a sling, wrap, mei tai, whatever and go for a walk, better yet, dance around the house! you will feel it, trust me and your little one will LOVE it!

I’m not saying this will change stretch marks or bounce our boobs back to their former position, what I am saying is keep your baby where they belong, in your arms, and create a strong body while doing it.. think about it, how could it not have a positive impact on your body?
I honestly believe this is how nature intended it to be, just like breast feeding contracts your uterus, it just makes sense, don’t you think?

Now, I know there are going to be those who are defensive about what I have written here, just as many were about a previous post about flat bellied mums, I have posted this only to give a new perspective as I haven’t read any other posts about the positive effects of wearing your baby and well, I feel so strongly about it that I just had to share…

The proof is in the pudding, so to speak… so here are some pic’s of me.

12 months pp swimming with my son
13 months pp sitting under a tree
13 months pp strong arms

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17 Responses to “Skinny, But Strong… My Way (Skye)”

  1. Tracy Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I love your post, I have struggled with depression and self insecurities since being a little girl and after going through post pardom depression as well it’s hard to veiw things as beautifully as you have….thank-you for your post :)

  2. Jess Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I feel like you’re right about it being natural to carrying your little one around, and keep them where they belong.

    That being said… Not everyone is as lucky as you are. I carry my daughter around (25 lbs right now) and my right arm is rock solid from carrying her with it. Though thats about the only physical improvement I’ve gotten out of it.

    She loves listening to music and we dance around crazy all day and chasing her around is mucho cardio, but fortunately it doesn’t take the place of a solid workout for me.

    I wouldn’t change it though. I’d rather run around the house and dance to silly songs with her than spend the time away on a treadmill at the gym!

    Regardless of the positive physical effects (which not everyone gets), the emotional ones are enormous and far more rewarding! :)

  3. suzanne the shortcake Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 8:34 am

    hooray for ap mums! you look great!

  4. Lindsey Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 9:10 am

    lucky

  5. Colleen Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Do you put your little one down at all? While babies definitely benefit from being “worn”, they also need time on the floor to learn important skills like holding their heads up, sitting, crawling, walking…exploring their environment. I LOVE my ring sling but my little one also loves just being able to play by herself (or with us) on the floor and get into stuff (mostly stuff she shouldn’t!)

    You look fantastic, by the way!

  6. skye Says:
    June 2nd, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Colleen,
    He did indeed spend time on the floor “tummy time” wriggling around gleefully!
    Indi is an exceptionally strong little fellow, wearing your baby does’nt hinder their muscle development in the slightest, it actually helps it… there is a lot of good info in the book “continuum concept” if anyone is intrested in learning more…

    Hi Jess,
    So glad you would rather be with your munchkin than at the gym! ..just curious though, you say only your right arm had change from carrying her but did you try putting her in a wrap on the front of you? its much more balanced for your body..

    And Lindsey,
    Well indeed, I am very LUCKY and am gratefull everyday for my sweet Indi boy, my amazing husband and this healthy body of mine which I have put much effort into!!

  7. Mariah Says:
    June 3rd, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Even pp, your body is absolutely beautiful! i gave birth to my son naturally as well, albeit in a birthing center. i also had horrific back labor, but was told it was most likely because my son was descending into my pelvis with the back on his head along my spine.

    I wanted to congratulate you for a natural birth! you son and you body, and your experience into motherhood is truly an amazing one!

  8. Jess Says:
    June 4th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I never had a wrap. I looked into it, but there were so many and they aren’t cheap

    I just hold her. I now regret not switching from my right arm to my left every now and again, but she’s a wiggle worm and I’m terrified of dropping her so I need all the strength i can get!

    I’m due with my 2nd in dec and I’m going to seriously re-think spending money on a good wrap so I can keep up with them both without worrying about the lack of strength in my left arm

  9. Christie Says:
    June 5th, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I’m a proud baby-wearer and long term breastfeeder (on to bubba number 2 now), didn’t help me at all with my weight. But love both experiences more than anything :) :)

  10. Lauren Says:
    June 5th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    You look fantastic! I loved wearing my baby too.

  11. TracyKM Says:
    June 8th, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I’m so glad to finally see someone write a post about babywearing. I’m forever leaving comments when a mom says she ‘doesn’t have time to exercise’, that babywearing IS exercise. It was the best thing I did with baby #3. I had a long daily walk to pick kids up from school, with her on my back. My arms, shoulders, butt and legs were awesome. This was my only exercise, but yet I climbed to the top of the rock wall on a Royal Caribbean cruise–on my first try!
    You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a carrier. You can make a wrap from a bedsheet, without sewing. If you can sew, then the sky’s the limit. I sewed all my own carriers, and wore her daily until she hit 35lbs. I’m currently designing a weighted backpack to mimic babywearing to get a better workout during my walk.

  12. skye Says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Its so great to hear from other mums who “get it”… and who also understand that weightloss and building a strong, healthy body isnt rocket science!!!!

    My post wasnt so much about loosing weight as it was about becoming strong, I have never had such muscle tone before and its because I WORE my baby and MOVED my body EVERYDAY!
    Though, as I found out,breastfeeding really does help with weightloss as does eating simple, healthy, REAL food, -I love this quote from the book ‘Food Rules’…”eat food, not too much, mostly plants”- and when you do these things on a daily basis and it becomes a natural part of your life you WILL see positive changes in your body, you will feel good too:)

    It seems to me that women respond much more positively to others who have done some full-on workout with an odd name or gone to the gym everyday to lift weights or whatever… why?
    Why cant we just let things be simple, easy, natural?

    Im so glad some folks out there got something positive from my post, I hope that maybe some have been inspired to look into baby wearing, there are so many beautiful slings, wraps and mei tais out there and thay neednt be expensive, as Tracey mentioned.
    Just look at how tribal women go about it:) and anyway, its heaps cheaper than buying a pram!

    So, to sum it up, Im proud to be a skinny, strong, baby-wearing, homebirthing, breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, non vaccing, co-sleeping, bare footed tree hugging hippie!!!
    Good luck to you all.

  13. sady Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    its not exactely a ‘new’ form of parenting, and there is nothing wrong with putting your baby down, to catch a break, feeling the need to take a break, or ‘vaccing’ your kid, i hope you mean to spread positivity in your post, but you might make some mothers feel a bit inadequate

  14. Skye Says:
    June 14th, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Sady, “Attachment parenting” was a whole ‘NEW’ veiw of parenting for ME, it was something I had never come across before, you have taken my post the wrong way which is sad because it is actually very positive!

    I dont believe I ever said it was “wrong” to put your baby down, I actually wrote in an earlier comment that my son had tummy time, and yes, we all need a break sometimes… all Im saying, quite simply, is that carrying your baby and moving your body makes you stronger! what is so hard to understand here???

    As for making other mums feel inadequate, well, I wrote this post to HELP others, to open some eyes to another way that, from my point of veiw, is easier and just makes sense.
    If some choose to be defensive or negative then that is their choice and that is fine…
    But Im going to make it very clear to you that Im not here saying Im the best mum in the world, I have crappy days too with a teething toddler, sleepless nights, piles of laundry and saggy, stretch marked boobs like most mums!

    But I am a very proud mother, Im doing my best and I just wanted to share what has worked well for me, something POSITIVE instead of bemoaning about the above mentioned saggy boobs etc…

    So Sady, hope I cleared things up a bit for you, cheer up a bit:)

    By the way, “non vaccing” means “non vaccinating”

  15. Avril, Skyes Mum Says:
    June 14th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Well Hooray to you my precious daughter Skye, mother of the adorable, gorgeous Indi boy. I am so very proud of you, you have embraced the challenge of being a first time mother with amazing open mindedness, and determination to make a difference not only in how to parent, but to help others overcome obstacles and challenges. You certainly have had many of your own, and what an awesome job you are doing. Spread the Love and Joy of being a mum, it is the most rewarding experience one will ever have, and certainly the most demanding and challenging. YOU GO GIRL.. keep up your research and your extraordinary creativity too. May you always have sunshiny days. xoxox

  16. philli Says:
    June 19th, 2010 at 2:53 am

    i bought a sling when i had my baby and thought it would be great and that i would take her everywhere in it unfortunatly i had forgotten about my VERY week back and found even having her in it for 5mins while i put the washing on agonising. i was devestated. i keft it for a while and then got a sling that i could use on my back so that it would be easier for me. This would have worke fine but my lil girl decided that she really doesnt like being carried in the sling and would just burst into tears if i put her in it im really gutted as i feel ive missed out on this experinece! i fell let down by my body i even struggle carring her for short periods of time because of my back. do you know of anyways to strenghten your back slowly?

  17. skye Says:
    June 20th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Philli, sorry to hear you have had such a hard time with your back!
    I would recommend that you see a physiotherapist who could give you specific exercises, there may be other things going on with your body such as posture etc that may be creating weakness issues with your back, also, perhaps you could look into doing some yoga? nice gentle exercise…
    Another thing I might add is that wearing your little one in a sling wont be doing your weak back any favors as the weight is all on one shoulder and will be pulling things out of alignment.
    A wrap or mei tai would be much better for you as the weight is distributed evenly over both shoulders and the back is supported by the crossing straps, might also be a bit more comfy for your little girl… hope this helps, good luck:)

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