One of the greatest feelings in the world is pulling on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and being able to zip them up without the help of any power tools. (Of course, this is second to pulling on a pair of nice and stretchy yoga leggings, but who's counting, right?) If you're a feminist, though, you will probably wonder if you can still be a feminist and care about getting fit after the baby comes. And the simplest answer is that yes, you definitely can, even if a lot of people might think otherwise.
It turns out, that awesome feeling of pulling on your pre-baby jeans isn't necessarily about feeling like, "Oh thank god, my body is finally not ruined and awful again." It's more like it's symbolic that having a child has not, in fact, meant the irrevocable removal of everything you once knew to be true and good about your life. Like, if you can reclaim those jeans, it's weirdly a sign that your baby is merely an addition to your life, not the bulldozer that demolished it. Between pregnancy, birth, and maybe breastfeeding, you spend a not-small amount of time offering up your body to the service of creating a new life. There is something so rewarding about feeling like you have control over your body again.
Really, the two — wanting to work on your body after having a baby and being a feminist — shouldn't even have anything to do with each other. Being a feminist, strong with values and ideals, is awesome. Deciding to be healthy and get your body to a place where it feels its strongest and best after having a baby? Also awesome. There is nothing in the feminism handbook that says you're not allowed to care about how you feel or even how you look. Mostly because there is no handbook, but a basic understanding of feminism should tell you that getting fit after having a baby doesn't make you a bad feminist.
The fact is, feminism is about empowering ourselves to make our own choices and live our best lives, and for most of us, "getting fit" really just means "working hard to bring my body to a place in which I feel healthy, strong, and like I'm functioning at my best." It's about loving your body — not hating it. And what's not feminist about that? Here are a few other very legit reasons why getting fit after a baby does not make you a bad feminist.