When bodies change with children: loving your new normal.
October 29, 2016
One of our members, Ana, is a lawyer and the mom to a beautiful daughter Roxana. She has always been into fitness and exercised regularly from crossfit to weight lifting to running. Ana found that while she was so happy to be a new mom, she was not happy in her body and the way she felt physically. Here, Ana guest blogs for us about the importance of stepping back and acknowledging that you are different now, but that it is a good different, and that life changes! Read on to hear her advice on loving yourself as a mother.
“Let me let you in on a little secret – you have a NEW normal. Your pre-baby normal no longer exists. Just accept it and move on.” That is one of the best pieces of advice given to me. It means, don’t beat yourself up, don’t look down on yourself, and don’t try to live up to some messed-up standard that the world has placed on you. Just be you, now. It might take you a while to figure out your new normal, but I promise you will get there.
Truthfully, it is a lot easier said than done. Although I heard those words of advice, it took me months to actually listen to them. Once I accepted them, I was so much happier and became a better mother, wife, employee, and friend. Realizing that you are different and your body is different post pregnancy is a tough pill to swallow.
We have this image in our head that we will just bounce back in no time – at least I did. I had this idea that once I got clearance at 6 weeks to start exercising I was going to pick up where I left off. Boy, was I wrong. Pregnancy shifts things around and your body is just plain-old different. You have to find your new balance and be kind to your body. You just went through some major changes – you grew a human and gave birth. That kind of thing not only changes you emotionally, but physically.
For me, I work well with deadlines. I gave myself one year to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight. Well, life threw me a curveball. I ended up having blood clots at 9 weeks postpartum and had to take it easy for 3 months. Talk about life throwing you for a loop. In my mind, I was completely derailed and that was my turning point. I finally listened to those words of advice – you have a NEW normal. My mentality shifted and I realized I just have to roll with the punches.
I still have a ways to go to the goal I have set for myself. But I am happy with where I am now. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, and I know that I am strong, capable, and mighty.
Moral of the story, be kind to yourself and understand that you have changed – inside and out. Make sure to take care of yourself. Use 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour – whatever you have time for that day – to clear your mind and do some sort of physical activity. It can be going for a walk, yoga, swimming, lifting – honestly, WHATEVER makes you happy. Use that ME time to reconnect with yourself and find your NEW normal! Because the truth is, you are wonderful, and your new normal is good.