There is such a swirl of emotions after having a baby around your postpartum body. You’re so proud of what your body has accomplished and yet you’re equally eager to “get your body back”. Seeing your body grow, stretch, and change over 9 months is both exciting and scary all at the same time, but after 40 weeks, you’re just so ready to feel like yourself again.
After having my daughter back in 2014, I wanted nothing more than to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and into shape. I even made it a personal goal to return to the football field by the upcoming women’s football season at 6 months postpartum, which I did.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to get back to where my body was before having my daughter, arguably the best shape of my life, and I’ll admit, it had a negative impact on my life mentally and physically. Instead of fully focusing on breastfeeding, my body’s adjustment postpartum, and the transition into motherhood, I was determined to lose weight as quickly as possible. It felt like a race. How quickly could I look like I didn’t just have a baby? I wanted to prove to myself and to others that I could get back into the shape I was in before having kids.
Well, I’m here to tell you, I’m not doing that again! I’m not going to work desperately to become someone I once was. My body is no longer the body it was back in 2013 and it’s amazing how freeing it is to accept that! My body is 4 years older, has had 2 children, and has taken a different shape. I’m not going to work to be something I once was. I am going to focus on the here and now! I am going to say hello to my new body, the body that has delivered 2 children and has carried me through 33 years of life!
Instead of wishing my body looked like it did 4 years ago, I am going to put that body behind me and focus on the here and now. I actually think it’s limiting to focus on my old body. I know my body can get into even better shape, that I can feel even better about myself, and that I can achieve my goals in a much healthier manner!
As I move further and further into my life postpartum, I am focusing on 5 things right now:
1. I am determine to make breastfeeding a priority over losing weight. I am focused on fueling my body for breastfeeding, am working to minimize stress in my life, and am making pumping a priority as I return back to work postpartum. Last time around, weight loss really impacted my breastfeeding experience negatively and I’m not going to do that to myself again!
2. I am making fitness a priority, for my mental health, not for weight loss. Working out is a stress reliever for me, so I am focused on working out as a form of self care, not so I can burn a certain number of calories.
3. I am removing all of the clothes that don’t fit me right here, right now from my closet. There is nothing worse than going through all the clothes that don’t fit me, just to find something to wear. I have put away my maternity clothes, boxed up smaller sizes for a later time, and have purchased a few pieces of clothes in my current size that make me feel great! Now when I get dressed, I know that everything fits and I don’t have to feel bad about myself (this picture is pre-clean out.)
4. I am enjoying every second with my new baby while on maternity leave! Although I am returning to work part time next week, I am going to be home with him a few days a week. I am enjoying going on walks, getting out of the house, visiting some of my favorite shops and stores, seeing friends I don’t get to see often, and snuggling with him. I am recharging and enjoying every second with Kinnick.
5. I am setting new goals and dreaming big. I am so thankful for where my life has brought me and I want to continue to look forward. There’s no sense in looking back or dreaming within a box. I want to think outside of the box, to be honest with myself, and to push myself beyond my comfort zone. It’s ok to write a new story.
For now, this is the healthiest place for me to be. As I move further and further from this pregnancy, I’m sure my goals will change, but for now, these goals make me feel healthiest! And healthy is my focus!