To the Mamas

**I’m sharing a portion of a post that I wrote last year on another blog of mine. I want to share it here because the message is still so relevant. Postpartum was a difficult adjustment for me. But I found hope and I’m here to share it!**

Loving the Skin You’re In- March 2021

About 8 weeks post Nora’s birth, I told my husband that it was hard to adjust to my post- baby body. Everything felt different. Everything looked different. I would look at pictures and remember what it felt like to be in that old body. “If I could just get back to that, I would be happy.”

One day while looking at one of those pictures, I had a revelation. I remembered how I actually felt when I had the body I “wanted”. At my lowest percent body fat, I still. wasn’t. happy… My arms were too bulky. My cheeks were round. My waist wasn’t tiny enough. What about that bulge on the side of my butt? It may sound absurd to read these things. It feels weird typing them but I’m telling you these are real thoughts that I have and do struggle with. 

On this journey of learning to love my body, my personal highs and lows have shared two things in common: the constant nitpicking of my appearance and a hyperfixation on food. The what, when, how often. And while the name of what I was doing nutritionally changed, all of my highs consisted of obsessions with eating the right things and avoiding the bad things.

I did a nutrition plan with a company that put it together for me. I counted macros. I cut sugar out for 30 days (off and on). My lows would come when I had gained weight, been eating all the wrong foods, or just decided one day I wasn’t good enough. It was a vicious cycle, where one would feed the other.  I have since found so much freedom in my relationship with food and I have so much more to share on this topic, but it’s another post for another time. I still struggle with the nitpicking.

So now that I’m 4 months postpartum, there’s a whole new layer of complexity to add to this. I’m so uncomfortable in this new body. Even if you take the aesthetics out of it, I’m still uncomfortable.

I miss doing the activities that I love and being pain free and strong. Sometimes I want to pretend that I didn’t go through birthing a child. I want to detach from everything in the mid-region of my body including my C-section scar.

I want to pretend that it doesn’t feel like something is literally falling out of my vagina. (Yes, I said vagina on the internet. I have zero shame about it.)

I keep feeling like something is wrong with my body. That’s why it feels like it does. I feel angry toward my body for “letting me down”. My head knows that my body has done this INCREDIBLE thing called carrying, birthing and breastfeeding a baby….but instead of being in awe and filled with gratitude over what it has accomplished, I feel angry. Angry that I’m not “bouncing back” like I wanted. Angry that I’m not in control. I just want to do what I want to do!

May 2022

So here we are, a little over a year later from my original post.

And while I’m still working through this stuff, I’m in a much better place. Such a big part of progressing on this journey to healing was processing my anger, hurt, and disappointment. And also building trust with my body and facing toxic beliefs about my body’s ability to heal.

This is where connecting with my pelvic floor physical therapist, Dr. Aimee Bailey (aka the pelvic yogi) and my personal trainer, Kate Johnson, helped tremendously! Both Aimee and Kate helped me to realize that those feelings were/are very normal and validated them. They also brought hope into the picture. They’ve helped so many women on this journey to get back to doing things they love, and doing those activities symptom free. I’m no exception. Finding the right team of people to support me on my health journey was critical.

That’s why I’m on a mission to educate and empower all of the mamas that I can on their journeys! As Coach Kate tells me often, “You are strong, capable, adaptable, and resilient.” You are all of those things mama!

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