Mom’s Side-by-Side Fitness Photos Show Why Social Media Perfection Isn’t Real

Many moms struggle with the changes to their bodies after pregnancy. Whether youre 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 shes 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! Its 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 doesnt worry about clothing sizes or goal weights. In fact, she hasnt 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 isnt fair! Especially when you add the stress of a newborn. I got so overwhelmed I eventually sat there and said, Ive 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 youre getting into shape.

Recently, Redworth decided to make a point about clothing sizes by posting two photos of herself trying on a pre-pregnancy skirt. In the first photo, from a few months ago, the skirt doesnt even come close to fitting. In the second photo, she is able to button all but one button, but the skirt has gotten much shorter due to her now more muscular butt and thighs.

Trying on my pre baby clothes I used to be a 4-6 (UK size) before having a baby and around 8st. I was obsessed with my weight and hated my body After I had my 9lb baby at 42+weeks and could go back to the gym after recovering from a c section, I was 10-11st. It got me so down even though I thought I looked amazing for the time so I vowed to never weigh myself again. F**k the scales. My fitness goals have never been to get back to my body before a baby because I had no booty and no muscle and with weight lighting I'm going to be bigger, I'm building muscle and THATS OKAY! I tried on a old skirt for fun a few months ago and I couldn't get close to closing it but yesterday I could do up almost every button! I love keeping track of progress like this. Clothing size isn't everything and although this shows my waist is getting small, because of building my bum+thighs theyre always going to make me go up a few sizes just look at how short this skirt is now don't focus so much on sizes it's all about if you're happy with the way your body looks. I was so unfit at a size 4. Don't get so obsessed with numbers they mean nothing, you could fit into any size clothing and find issues with your body. Focus more on loving yourself for you, getting rid of the negativity and challenge yourself on why a clothing size is so important to you. Fitness becomes much more enjoyable if you aren't constantly putting yourself down. Reward even the smallest victories #postpartumfitness #postpartum #fitmum #realitycheck #csection

A post shared by MIA ELIZABETHMAY REDWORTH (@miaredworth) on Mar 14, 2017 at 8:20am PDT

She urges her followers not to focus so much on clothing sizes and numbers.

Dont get so obsessed with numbers they mean nothing, you could fit into any size clothing and find issues with your body. Focus more on loving yourself for you, getting rid of the negativity and challenge yourself on why a clothing size is so important to you. Fitness becomes much more enjoyable if you arent constantly putting yourself down.

Redworth points out that clothing size says nothing about your health, adding that she was very unhealthy from starving herself when she was a size 4, but has gone up a few sizes in jeans since building up her leg and butt muscles.

She also regularly pulls back the curtain on the different poses, angles and tricks that people use on social media to make their bodies appear a certain way.

On a collage of three photographs of herself from behind, she writes, Instagram is full of posing pictures especially fitness accounts so I thought I would post a different kind of #transformation picture. Me posing 10 months ago vs now and to show you guys what my bum actually looks like when I stand normally without tensing or doing the infamous butt pose.

Redworth says we need to stop comparing ourselves to pictures and people online, and pierces the bubble of social media perfection by pointing out her own stretch marks, cellulite and scars.

She says her son is her motivation to stay positive, because she never wants him to see her appearing unhappy with her body or to have to tell him he cant go swimming because she feels insecure in a bathing suit.

You just have to sit and think, Would I let a stranger say the things I say to myself in my head? and Would I want my child to ever think these things about their own body? and the answer will always be no! she says.

My sweet pea is almost 1

A post shared by MIA ELIZABETHMAY REDWORTH (@miaredworth) on Jan 9, 2017 at 9:51am PST

And whether you have fitness goals you are trying to reach or are just learning to accept your body as it is, her advice to new moms is the same.

You have all the time in the world to change anything you arent happy with, but you only get one chance at making amazing memories with your baby, so never take that for granted. Love yourself despite any flaws and enjoy your life as much as you can. Youre beautiful.

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