It has been awhile since part one and for good reason. I wrote my story and thoughts on getting back in shape after having Jett when I was about 2.5 months post-partum. (That post here) Although I had seen a lot of change in the way I looked and felt, I still was (and still am) on that journey to feeling like I am in my "old body" again. In these past few months I have seen even more changes in my body with lots of hard work and consistency - but realized I needed to have some mental shifts as well. I think it is easy to caught up in the aesthetics side of postpartum weight loss. We all want to look and weigh what we did before baby, and for me that was always what I was striving for - that magical number on the scale that would exclaim "hey! you are back to normal!" I still haven't quite gotten there and some days that would really get to me even though MOST of the time I felt good mentally, and proud of what I HAD accomplished.
The other day, Brandon brought up an excellent point when I was speaking about "getting my body back". He asked "what are you getting it back for?" I didn't have an answer to that question....What was the goal I was chasing ultimately? Instantly I realized I needed to look at this whole postpartum weight loss journey differently. With a lot more grace and a lot less criticism. So before I get into more informational stuff (part two) with the hopes I can help/inspire/motivate other new mamas. I wanted to write some thoughts to set some groundwork first. Here a few things for ya!
first things first - hey mama you just grew a human!!!
I feel like this is proclaimed a lot, but it didn't quite register with me until I experienced it. I will randomly stumble on old baby bump photos and think about how freaking miraculous it is that the female body can GROW a baby... a tiny person.. in just 9 months time. No matter where you are now - whether you have lost the baby weight or not, you mama, created a miracle! You have automatically earned an unlimited amount of grace, and a badge of honor.
what is your starting point? what are your goals?
This is one I think about a lot. I am very aware that your fitness goals are very different from my fitness goals which are also very different from the next mamas fitness goals. There definitely is no "one-size-fits all" step by step process that we all should be following. It may take some women a lot longer to realize their goals than others. Our starting point has a LOT to do with this. Were you in shape before baby or is working out still relatively new to you? I realize how lucky I was that I had no issues during pregnancy that prevented me from working out. I am a firm believer that this helped postpartum weight loss and body tone IMMENSELY, but I also realize that not all women had this option! And that's okay! Starting a new routine is always difficult, probably the most difficult being a new fitness regimen. Even though maybe you feel like the road is long and tedious ahead... I am here to tell you that consistency may be key, but whatever effort you CAN give, is what matters.
Grace, Grace, Grace
We are all over critical of ourselves. What we see in the mirror is probably not what others see.I have my insecurities just like you do and all of us do. In the past I have felt guilty about having body insecurities because I know I shouldn't. Pursuit of perfection will always leave you feeling like you come up short. What instead I have learned (and try SO hard to practice) is accepting your insecurities - not to work on getting rid of them, but instead to keep them and keep them filled with grace. You are worthy of feeling good, and you are also allowed to be imperfect.
Hard Work, there's no getting around it
There's no easy fix, there's no shortcuts. I am proud to say I work HARD to get the body I have today. It hasn't come easy by any means and I haven't always been fit. I was a pretty unhealthy teen who dreaded exercise and loved to eat junk food on the couch. My fitness journey has been 12 years in the making - my goals constantly changing as I learned more about myself and learned more about fostering good habits. I have my off days.. even off weeks. I expect my goals to always be changing and my journey to continue for the rest of my life. I believe that ultimately all I have learned THROUGH fitness and healthy living breathes so much good to all areas of my life, and it has now become one of my biggest life's passions. If you take away just one thing from what I have to share about taking care of your body is that its WORTH it. Both the short term endorphin kick from a sweaty spin class, and the long term benefit of what you gain from a lot of hard work and determination. It is worth it and YOU are worth it.
Part two is coming!... Things I have learned, what my fitness regimen looked like for the weeks and months after Jett was born, and what it looks like now. My favorite exercises and classes. Healthy food ideas, and more! Plus if you have anything else you want me to cover - let me know in the comments or send me a message email@example.com