Nutrition & Weight Loss
The experience of abortion varies from woman to woman. For some, it may bring a sigh of relief and for others, it might start an extremely saddening episode of life. Whatever may be the case, abortions bring with itself a wide variety of emotions and bodily changes. These bags of sudden changes are difficult to cope with.
Women face incomparable levels of difficulty to manage the stress and additional pressures from near and dear ones as well as societal stigmas. Sometimes, they self-sabotage and fall into the pit of shame, guilt, and regret.
All these psychological and physiological responses of the body and mind can be traced back to the hormonal changes in the body as well as other contextual factors like the woman’s thought process behind the abortion, the social support that she has in life, and the environmental factors that add to the levels of stress.
Generally speaking, abortions are of two types – induced and natural.
Induced abortions are intentional ones. There may be a wide variety of factors like the choice of the mother, unhelpful environmental conditions, unhealthy fetus, etc.
Natural abortions or spontaneous abortions are commonly called miscarriages. Miscarriages are very emotionally painful for women who want to become mothers.
Apart from the various emotional responses, women also experience various bodily changes like fuller breasts, sensitive nipples, swelling of legs, as well as an overall increase in body weight. It is important to remember that this weight gain due to pregnancy or abortion is completely normal. It is a valid and healthy response from your body. Hence, there is no need to push yourself to lose weight. Neither is there any need of judging yourself for a normal reaction of your body.
Some sources also say that weight gain after abortion may make women more vulnerable to eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia. Some women fall victim to eating disorders because they feel the need to lose weight to become more attractive. They associate the idea of being attractive to another chance of getting pregnant.
On the other hand, some other women because of the feelings of shame, guilt, and regret punish themselves by way of eating disorders. It is a vicious cycle of toxic living and eating habits tied in with negative emotions.
If you know anyone who may be going through the same struggle, offer them compassion and support. Listen to them without any judgment, and encourage them to seek professional help. If they seem apprehensive about the idea of reaching out to receive professional help, you may help them to join a support group that matches their needs and demands.
Know that, you are not alone in your struggle and your journey. There are various professionals offering pro bono services and all you need to do is reach out!
However, if you are somebody who has had an abortion and is trying to find ways to lose weight healthily, read ahead!
1. Eat healthy: The most important thing to remember when trying to lose weight is not to cut down on portions, rather eat healthily. By eating healthy we mean, eating more nutritious food like fruits, green vegetables, foods rich in protein content as well as foods that give you all the vitamins required for a healthy body.
Remember that after an abortion, your body receives a shock. It is still trying to process the removal of the fetus which is why it takes time to return to the before-pregnancy shape and size. When your body is in the healing mode, it deserves all the nutrients to get back into its old state as soon as possible. This is why it is recommended to eat nutrient-rich food after an abortion.
2. Don’t skip meals: Another mistake that most of us make while trying to lose weight is that we skip meals. We usually have this notion that if we don’t eat, we won’t get fat. Well, your body does not work like that. Your body needs a supply of energy so that it can complete its metabolic, muscular, cognitive, and other daily functions and activities. The food that you eat supplies energy to your body.
If you skip meals, your body starts changing the carbohydrate of your body into fat to gain energy to fulfill its daily functions. It actually works in the reverse way of our beliefs. Hence, you need to eat and move around or go about your day normally. Most nutrition experts suggest eating something every two hours to stay healthy.
3. Hydrate: One of the most important and taken for granted actions, which the internet describes as a “life hack” is drinking water! An adult human being needs at least 8 glasses of water in a day to save themselves from dehydration. Water has too many benefits. It washes out the toxins from your body, helps in maintaining the physiological balance of your metabolic environment, and has a lot of benefits for beauty too!
For instance, it will add a healthy glow to your skin, it prevents breakouts, and would make your skin look supple and smooth. All the more scores for attractiveness and feeling good!
Did you know that hydration is also very important to keep your brain healthy?
If you engage in mentally strenuous tasks or find yourself chronically stressed then you must start drinking more water. Hence, hydration would bring in positive emotions to your life thus reversing the negative emotional impact after the experience of abortion.
4. Exercise: One cannot stress enough on the importance of exercising. It brings positive changes to both your body and mind. The release of endorphins after a good exercise session will keep your head happy, and the positive impact of moving your body would help you in your goal of losing weight. Remember that when trying to inculcate an exercise routine in your life you do not have to jump the gun, that is, you may choose to start small.
Start with ten minutes of walking, stretching, running, or dancing and with time keep increasing the time duration. Consistency is the key. Any form of exercise including yoga will prove beneficial if you do it regularly and consistently.
5. Seek professional help: This may sound unhelpful to a lot of people but try it before discarding it. You may seek out professional health experts with experience like nutritionists, dieticians, trainers who will help you by curating a specific diet plan along with an exercise routine perfectly suitable to your individual needs.
Throughout your journey of losing weight, stay gentle, and kind to your body and mind. The numbers on the scale do not mean anything. Know that your body has been very supportive of you, all these years and it shall stay with you forever. Do not forget that all bodily changes after an abortion are normal and okay.
There is no need to rush through the process. Healing is not linear; this journey would take time but you will soon meet your healthiest and fittest self. Never forget that slow and steady wins the race! (Here, your competition is only you).