Sunday, 25 September 2011
Getting your Groove Back Post-Pregnancy
I remember during my first pregnancy that despite the glowing skin and thicker hair, I couldn’t wait to have the baby and then get back to my size eight dress size again. A few days after I had had my daughter, a friend who had a little boy commented on how funny one your body looked for a few days after you had a baby. I smiled, but thought, it wasn’t very funny at all. I had felt terrible – I still looked pregnant.
When I got home, I complained to my mum that even after I had the baby I still weighed much more than I did before. She laughed saying “What did you think, that the extra two stone was the baby?” Over time I managed to bring my weight down to a level that I could live with, but I still didn’t look the same as I did before, almost as if someone had taken me apart and re-arranged me I used to think.
After three children, born over the course of four years , I started to feel plump, unattractive, and frumpy. I didn’t think I could lose the excess weight I had gained and I knew I could not afford a whole new stylish wardrobe. Inspiration came eventually when I was on maternity leave with my youngest son. I spent the first three months with a nasty case of the baby blues, as this lifted my thoughts started to turn to the way I looked and dressed and getting my act together for when I would go back to work.
As I wore abayah, I felt that my options for looking smart or professional were limited. I also couldn’t afford lots of expensive designer shoes or bags. I came across a modest fashion website (Precious Modesty, now called We Love Hijab) one of the earlier hijab sites and one that made me re-think my perspective on the way I dressed. I remember in one post the sister who ran the site called an abaya our version of the LBD or “Little Black Dress” – versatile, easy to dress up or down and perfect for any occasion.
That got me thinking. With my simple abaya’s, stitched by my mother, as a blank canvas, I could create a new look every day with the things I already had. Black trainers and a small square hijab for the weekend when I was on the go with the kids, kitten heels and a silk scarf when I went out for dinner with hubby, smart shoes and a patterned scarf for work and fun florals and pretty pumps when meeting friends or going visiting. I started to enjoy putting my outfits together and it showed in my confidence and the compliments from other women.
Over time though I have come to the realisation that getting your groove back is not about spending money or being thin. It is about learning to like yourself regardless of the way you look, being grateful for what you have and making the most of it. All of the abaya’s scarves and accessories in the world are not a replacement for genuine self-confidence or self-worth.
‘It is God who made the earth a fixed place for you, and heaven a building, and He formed you, made your forms beautiful, and provided you with pleasant things’ - Al-Quran(40:64)
“He created the heavens and earth with Truth, formed you and made your forms beautiful and to Him is the homecoming" - Al-Quran (64:3)
“He made beautiful everything He created” - Quran (32:7)
“Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.” - Sahīh Muslim (911)