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Letting Go of Perfection

Why you'll never look like Heidi Klum

by Heather Cabot  |  1927 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Heidi Klum burst my bubble this week. The Project Runway host, Victoria's Secret model and mother of three mercilessly threw cold water on my fantasy that with enough will power and working out, my postpartum bod could one day resemble hers. In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, she said, "You can't kid yourself," when it comes to bouncing back to being model slim if, pre-baby, you didn't start off like that to begin with.

Really? Yup, it's true.

Seriously, I do appreciate her candor. The fact is, it's hard not to feel a little deficient when one doesn't emerge from pregnancy looking like one is ready to strut down the catwalk in skimpy lingerie. But with the celebrity baby bump obsession running at full throttle these days, few newish moms can resist aspiring (no matter how unrealistic) to look like preening Hollywood goddesses when they walk out of the hospital.

So, with Heidi in mind, here's a little pep talk for my peeps -- those women who are healthy and strong and still don't wear a designer sample size. Let it go! All of this pressure to be perfect takes a lot of the joy out of this new phase of our lives. Frankly, it's not just the happy moments we're missing while we pore over tabloids promising to reveal the post-baby diet secrets of the likes of Christina Aguilera and Denise Richards. All this focus takes a heck of a lot of energy -- energy we need just to make it through a typical day of mothering.

I'm not saying this is easy to do. You can't walk into the supermarket without all of those headlines screaming at you about who in Tinseltown is thin or fat these days. And let's be honest, it is a guilty pleasure to kick back and page through the photos (Stars... they're just like us. Not!) But fun aside, we can try to be a bit more mindful of setting realistic goals and turning our attention to what's really important -- being healthy and centered for our families. Letting go of perfection (or the tabloids' image of perfection) can really go a long way.

Of course, the push for perfection transcends fitness and body image. There are women who believe they have to put a hot, home-cooked meal on the table every night, or women who feel that, unless they make partner and manage to get to toddler class once a week, they are "bad mothers." We all have our hang ups about what it means to be supermom. But as the authors of Mothers Need Time Outs, Too advise, we need to take stock of what is really important and go a little bit easier on ourselves. They share some tips in this week's issue of The Well Mom, including my new favorite: "Accept imperfection, perhaps even revel in it."

About the Author

Heather Cabot, Founder & Publisher, The Well Mom

Read more by Heather Cabot

3 comments so far...

  • Thanks so much for this article. I try to help people realize that better food choices and exercise are not intended to "make you skinny like _____" but to increase your quality of life and longevity! Well said and very encouraging article!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MortonPixie on 5th June 2008

  • I think you said exactly how so many of us feel. Personally, I'd love to get in really good shape -- as I was so long ago! However as a working mother, trying to raise a family and run a household, I find it difficult to find the hours it takes to maintain a fantastic figure. Great article!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BlapherMJ on 5th June 2008

  • Great point and beautifully put. Thanks! I so agree. I'm no Brittany Spears fan...but I was offended by all the talk of her being overweight and out of shape a few months ago. My god, I detest the girl, but the photos I saw of her she had a great figure considering she's had two kids! Okay, the rest of her looked like a train wreck, but just generally, her figure looked good. So, yes, bottom line: I think women are under much more pressure to have super-flat stomachs and it's unrealistic for most of us.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 4th June 2008