I wanted to feel sexy again. I had had two babies in three years and my body had undergone complications on top of that. I was breastfeeding. I was 30 pounds heavier than I was when I got married, and I was BONE. TIRED.
But none of that mattered. Deep in my heart I knew that the candle I needed to re-light had nothing to do with my appearance but with re-connecting with my inner fire as a woman.
I needed to feel alive again, and it had nothing to do with diet, exercise, or anything like that. Although I love exercise and physical activity, making your body look a certain way is definitely not going to guarantee anything. No. It is something deeper.
This is how I found my sexy again.
Recreate “The Hot Zone”
In the human mind we have something called Emotional memory. Recent research has indicated that it’s not actually the things that happen to us that powerfully determine our memories and their hold on us, but our perception of those things as they were recorded in our sensory memory. Our deepest impressions come to--and stay in--our memories via our senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. We can re-create the feelings those memories induce by revisiting the sensory aspects of those memories.
So how do we apply all this psychology-speak to feeling sexy again?
We re-create “the hot zone.” The hot zone is the time in your life where you felt desired, sexy, adventurous, exciting, and alluring. Take some time to think back to what time period that was. Were you dating? Were you single? What music was popular then? What kind of makeup did you wear? What color was your hair? What was happening in your life? What made you feel those awesome feelings?
As much as you can, try to bring some of these things back into your life. When I was needing to reconnect with the way I felt when we were dating, I made a play list of the music that I loved when my husband and I were first falling in love. As I listened to it, I felt all those feelings start to come back, because music was a big part of our new relationship. I felt young and alive again. I even went out and bought a dress that was similar to the one I felt the best in when were out doing things that single people do till all hours of the night. I found some of the fragrances and beauty products I wore and I started wearing the again. I don’t know if he noticed, but then I wasn’t really doing it for him. I was doing this for me. To remind myself that I am still that fun, lively, sexy, mysterious girl I always was.
Become a student of your body…
Track your cycles and get to know the times where you feel the most self-confidence and most self-assured, but also the times when you feel insecure, physically run down, or moody. Tracking your fertility and learning how your body works naturally is incredibly empowering. As you do this, over time you will see patterns emerge and you will discover certain times of the month that you struggle and other times where you feel joyful and confident.
Clear your schedule of non-vital activities during the times of the month that are harder and make some you time. Plan some sensory recovery activities (hot-zone recreation) for the times when you feel a little more motivated and on top of things. There are many ways you can learn how to track your cycle but the most effective and studied is the FAM method, which has many more specific methods underneath its broader umbrella.
I’m serious, write it on your calendar. Think back to all the little ways you and your beloved used to flirt and create steam and try to recreate that a little bit in your text messages, emails, and greetings. Set a reminder on your calendar to do this a couple of times a week. It may feel awkward or vulnerable but those feelings are a part of the scenario when you are dating and help to build that sense of excitement that sometimes goes sadly missing in our relationships after babies.
Make greetings count…
One thing I realized few years into the family building phase is that my husband and I were rarely even kissing anymore. I don’t mean a peck here and there. I mean a longer, more passionate kiss. The kind that used to happen before there were small humans invading our bed every night. So hold on a little tighter tomorrow and don’t pull away. Kiss him for a little longer than normal. You will both feel energized.
Do you love to paint? Start painting again. Every chance you get. Do you love politics? Get involved as much as you can in local and municipal causes. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is passionate and is using all her creative force to do something she feels strongly about. The details will look different for each mother as she is able but do make a sincere effort to get a little lost in something you truly love and that makes your heart beat a little faster.
Change something big…
Change has a way of kicking off momentum in our lives. Have you always wanted to run a 5K? Sign up! Don’t worry if you are slow or doing it whilst babywearing. Nobody cares! Just sign up! See what happens when you force fresh wind to blow on you.
Really love your body…
Ok so it DOES have something to do with your body. It has to do with you stopping all the negative self-talk. I know it seems cliché but for goodness sake girl, you have created life. Is there any more powerful creature on earth than a mother? Stop saying awful things in your head about the wobbly bits or stretch marks or your skin or your tired eyes or your dull hair. Just STOP IT. You have made and sustained human life. You were made to be used up, not preserved. Life is for living and you were meant to have a sexy, fulfilling, and energetic one!
Lauren resides in Oklahoma with her husband and two children. She is a birth worker and an aspiring writer. In her spare time, she loves to work out and spend time perusing old and new bookstores.