“You’re Not Broken, You’re Not Alone:” What Kelsey Wells Wants Women Battling Postpartum Depression To Know

The PWR trainer shares how she healed her own mental health and body image issues.

Content warning: This article discusses eating disorders, body image issues and postpartum depression. If you or someone you know needs support for an eating disorder or body image issues, contact the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673 or butterfly.org.au. If you or someone you know needs support for postpartum depression, visit PANDA.org.au.

After giving birth to her son, Kelsey Wells found herself struggling with postpartum depression and body image issues. While trying to perform a resistance workout for the first following Anderson’s arrival, the PWR personal trainer discovered that pregnancy had transformed her once-strong physique into something unfamiliar.

“[I was] so far from how I remembered my body moving and function,” reflects Kelsey on our podcast, Uninterrupted by Women’s Health Australia.

“I had downloaded this body-weight workout and it looked so simple and easy. I started the session but I couldn’t do a situp and I couldn’t do a pushup. I did two lunges and was out of breath,” says Kelsey.

Instead of being able to breeze through these exercises like she once could, Kelsey crumbled into her mat, crying quietly in frustration, while trying to suppress her sobs so her baby wouldn’t wake.

Listen to Kelsey Wells on our podcast Uninterrupted by Women’s Health Australia on Apple and Spotify. Post continues below.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Postpartum depression is incredibly common but for something so widespread, we’re barely speaking about it.

In Australia, around 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression, according to not-for-profit medical research organisation, Black Dog Institute.

The relationship between body image and postpartum depression is complex and seems almost symbiotic in nature. To say the waters are murky when it comes to deciphering what causes what in this chicken-and-egg scenario would be an understatement. Some research suggests low self-esteem and poor body image as contributing factors for postpartum depression while other studies say that it is, in fact, postpartum depression that causes body image issues.

Read: Postpartum Hair Loss: Why it Happens and What You Can Do About it.

Following her own journey working through postpartum depression and body image struggles, Kelsey has become an advocate for seeking help, as well as for reframing the way in which fitness is promoted to women.

“I want to say to any woman or mother out there [dealing with postpartum depression or low self-worth], you are so strong and there’s so much beauty and bravery in seeking the help that you need and deserve. You don’t have to go that alone,” says Kelsey.

“Vulnerability brings connection and connection brings healing,” she continues.

While Kelsey knows firsthand how regenerating the power of movement can be, she also knows too well how powerful the fitness industry can be in fueling the perpetuation of problematic body image behaviours.

“It’s an unfortunate truth that the way [fitness] has been packaged and sold primarily to women over the last few decades is really quite toxic overall,” says Kelsey.

Kelsey believes that fitness programs for women need to shift from primarily focusing on aesthetic goals to moving in pursuit of better mental health. In her own practice, Kelsey found this mindset shift to be an absolute game-changer when it came to working through postpartum depression and repairing her relationship with her body.

And, that’s exactly what she hopes to share through the programs she’s developed – like PWR.

“[Once] I was exercising out of an effort to help my heal instead of out of hate for my body, it made all the difference,” says Kelsey.

However, that mental shift didn’t come easy. In Kelsey’s own journey, emotional support from her husband as well as medical advice from a doctor played key roles – which is why Kelsey so strongly advocates for seeking help.

Want to hear more about how Kelsey overcame her postpartum depression and worked through her body image issues? Tune in to the latest episode of our podcast, Uninterrupted by Women’s Health Australia.

If you or someone you know needs support for an eating disorder or body image issues, contact the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673 or butterfly.org.au. If you or someone you know needs support for postpartum depression, visit PANDA.org.au.

Source link

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!

spot_img

Related Articles