Anna Strode wants every pregnant woman out there to give herself a break; which is why she recently posted a photo on Instagram to show us the real side of her own pregnancy.
Last week, the fitness blogger and mother of two shared a side-by-side image of herself at her home in Melbourne, Australia. On the left, she’s smiling and posing in workout gear, looking … well, pretty much perfect. And on the other side? She’s on the couch in her PJ’s with her hair in a bun — while devouring an ice cream bar.
And in her caption, Anna has a reassuring message for her followers: “Sure, you might look at my page and see images like the left and think this mama works out all the time … but I’m here to tell you NO. That’s not how things go, and I don’t believe anyone should live without a little bit of life’s indulgences!”
Anna goes on to say that the photo on the right, which her husband snapped of her, represents how she lets herself indulge a few days a week.
“I’m a REAL mama, with REAL pregnancy cravings and REAL battles of accepting how my body changes through life’s journeys,” she says. And at the end of her post, she shares one powerful reminder that we could all: “We’ve only got ONE life — I encourage you to find a happy, healthy, sustainable balance.”
And what a simple, yet beautiful message that is for all of us to hear — pregnant or not.
Anna’s photo has already received several thousand likes on Instagram and a ton of praise from moms who have positively connected with her message. And as she tells Babble, she’s loved seeing the response so far.
“Yes, I have been surprised,” she says. “I am, however, glad that the response has been positive and I’ve been able to help others feel comfortable to treat themselves too!”
This isn’t the first time Anna’s chosen to publicize the vulnerable side of her pregnancy journey — just last year, she made headlines for sharing a photo of her excess tummy skin after giving birth to her twin boys. For Anna, her goal is to help empower mothers everywhere to love themselves while they experience the chaotic changes of motherhood. While she usually does this by sharing the positive impact exercise has had on her, she also seeks to balance that with the realness of having down time and listening to her body.
“I want mothers to be able to relate and see that beneath all my workout videos and pictures, I still treat myself when I feel like it — and that’s totally okay!” Anna tells Babble.
Anna originally created her Instagram page to gain support as a new mom, and now she’s hoping to give that same support back to the mothers who visit her page. With 75,000 followers (and counting), I’d say she’s well on her way!
“When I first started my Instagram, it was always with the intention of sharing the ‘real’ me,” Anna shares with Babble. “I didn’t want other mothers looking at me and thinking, ‘Why does her life look perfect?'”
In addition to chocolate bars, Anna says she’s also been craving carbs a lot lately — a refreshing statement to hear. But Anna’s dedication to keeping it real — as well as healthy and balanced — has certainly paid off — she has now become a much needed role model to mothers everywhere.