I write about things that people don’t like to talk about. And I am doing that again today. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone.
I had my second baby boy six weeks ago. He weighed eight pounds and two ounces and was delivered via c-section.
Six weeks later, my body is still a mess. My c-section scar is very prominent. I weigh about thirty pounds more than i’m used to. I have more stretch marks than I ever thought could possibly fit on my stomach.
When I look in the mirror, I see a completely different person. I have bags under my eyes. I haven’t worn makeup or fixed my hair in a month and a half. None of my old clothes fit me.
So I’m going to say it. I don’t like my postpartum body. And you know what, THAT’S OKAY! I am allowed to be uncomfortable in this new body.
I know that my body created life. That it made a child and that is a miracle. I am in no way discounting that.
But when I look at my stretch marks, I wish I didn’t have them. When I see my reflection in a mirror, I feel a little surprised. Is that really ME? It sure doesn’t look like me. And to be honest, it doesn’t feel like me either. It’s a little overwhelming.
So I am going to do what I always do when I’m not happy about something. I’m going to make a change. I’m going to start working out again. Obviously after I get cleared by my doctor.
It took me nine months to gain the fifty pounds I put on while pregnant. And I know that it will take me just as long or even longer to get it off. And I might not be able to get it all off. And I’m okay with that too. Because weight loss is just a great side effect to feeling healthy again.
I have heard people say that working to get your pre-baby body back is selfish. That you should rest and learn to love your new curves. That you shouldn’t feel pressured by society and the media to “bounce back” immediately.
And I have ZERO expectations of bouncing back immediately. But I do have the expectation of feeling good about myself again. And I feel like myself when I can get a good workout in. When I can spend thirty minutes sweating. Call me crazy but it’s my stress relief.
I’m not going to start working out again just to look better. I am going to do it for ME. I am going to do it so I feel healthy again. I am going to do it to feel strong again. I am going to do it so I have energy again. I am going to do it so I feel like me again. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I have rested for six weeks. I have laid on the couch and taken care of my baby boy. I have napped. I have let my body recover from creating human life. I have watched four seasons of Hart of Dixie on Netflix. I have taken care of everyone else. Now it’s time to take care of me.
After I was diagnosed with postpartum depression three years ago, I took a scary step. I decided to change my lifestyle and put my own health first – I honestly don’t know how long it had been since I had done that. I started waking up before my son and working out in the basement. And I can honestly say it was life changing for me. I was genuinely happy again. I felt better about myself than I ever had. I had energy. I was sleeping better. I wasn’t snappy with my husband. I enjoyed my child more. And a side effect of all that was the weight loss.
It was hard – really, really hard – to get up out of bed early every morning to go work out. But nothing that is easy is going to be worth it. It was hard work. And it challenged me – mentally and physically. And I loved it.
As a woman, we tend to put the needs of everyone else before our own. I have done it so many times. I have spent the last six weeks putting the needs of my newborn before my own. Sadly enough, showering isn’t a top priority for me right now. But the time has come. It is time for me to feel like me again. Time to get my self esteem back. Time to feel confident again. Time to have the energy to make it through an entire day without drinking 19 cups of coffee. Time to smile and laugh and be me again.
So i’m not going to feel guilty for taking 30 minutes out of the day five days a week to work on me. Because that small amount of time will be so worth it. And as a woman, we need to put ourselves first sometimes.
Until Next Time,