In my 34 years of living as a Black woman in the U.S., I’ve only said the words “New Year, new me” once. After failing miserably at my New Year’s resolutions the year I said those cringe worthy words, I realized that it was a phrase used by those who needed a term to validate their own bullshit.
But after my last conversation with a childhood friend, a new mom trying desperately to get her body back to its prenatal glory after having a baby, I’m saying it. Not because I’m validating my own BS, but because I don’t want others to think that I’m validating theirs.
New Year, New Me. And also don’t ask me to co-sign your bullshit.
My friend recently sent a Facebook message to a group of her friends, me included, asking us all to send her encouragement as she gets her health back on track after having a baby. I was excited about this message. After I had my son, I fought hard to get my body back, but I also made a ton of mistakes. Namely choosing not to breastfeed, which is something I deeply regret. I was so excited to cheer her on, and give her any advice, articles, love, and virtual hugs (we live several states away from each other).
The problem? She had her mind set on how she wanted to lose weight after having her baby, and it was extremely selfish and damaging.
She wanted to run every morning at 4 a.m. (I’m assuming after she dropped her son off at a sitter’s house). At first, I didn’t think anything of this, because I did the same thing when I first started working out after baby. But I also know that losing sleep as a new mom can make you susceptible to depression. My advice to her was to not sweat it if she could not make her super early morning workout, and that she should do an at home regimen on the days she chooses to sleep in.
Her response was something like, “I got this, thanks.”
So I was like, “Okay, cool.”
I once suffered from postpartum depression, so I know from personal experience that sleep is numero uno as a new mom. But hey, she said she had that covered.
Then she laid out a 10 point plan on how she was going to lose the baby weight, which included a damn juice fast.
Let me break it down: A breastfeeding mother wants to take on a juice fast.
She’s not losing weight for a job, or social media status, which (oddly enough) burns my biscuits. She’s trying to deprive her kid of vital nutrients for a size 4. The hell?!
But she’s not the only woman who does that, and she won’t be the last. I’m not saying don’t lose weight or get healthy after having a baby, but as a mom, your child’s needs come first. And renewed health should definitely never come at the sacrifice of your child’s well being, or your own mental health.
That said, I knew that if I told he not to do the juice fast, she was not going going to heed my advice, because she’s headstrong and it’s her body. That’s her choice, so good for her, I guess.
But that doesn’t mean I have to co-sign your bullshit. If you want to deprive your kid of important nutrients, that’s your choice. But I won’t be patting you on the back like you’re doing a bang up job, when really you’re being selfish.
I started typing my advice to her anyway: “A low fat diet with lean meats and colorful veggies would be a much better option.” But why? She added me to the group to co-sign her bullshit, not to give her advice.
So I left the group, and rolled up the windows in my heart.
New Year, New Me.