I finally did it. I wore a two piece to swim lessons today.
I thought I would feel self-conscious. When that didn’t come, I thought I would feel invincible. I guess I did a little bit, but what I really felt was something I hadn’t felt about my body for a long time– comfort.
I was a “big girl” before I got pregnant. I was losing weight in preparation for getting pregnant, but my losing weight prompted more practice which led to…not an accident, per se…a surprise.
So, 50 hour labor, c-section, pre-eclampsia, and 52 extra pounds later, we had our little angel.
I had an amazing personal trainer to help me lose the weight, an awesome nutritionist, and a super supportive husband. The thing is, I wasn’t losing weight as fast I wanted to.
I would see all of these other moms on social media talking about their “post-baby bodies” and how they were the picture of a “mom bod.” But they were SO SKINNY. I hated that I was so jealous of them. Honestly, I’m so happy they could lose the weight and look so good, but that wasn’t me. It made me feel like a fat-ass who, despite all of the work I was putting in, would always just be disgusting.
I had already suffered with depression, so my feelings towards my weight made it even worse. If I didn’t lose as much as I wanted to, it would have a “Fuck-it, I’m binge-eating because I won’t lose it anyway” day. Those days turned to be more frequent than I wanted. I went to the gym less often and dove into work, using that as an excuse not to work out.
Then, I met with my friend and personal trainer (after not seeing her for months).
She asked a simple a question, “What are your priorities?”
“My family, work, then myself.”
“Okay, are you being all you can for your family? Are you being as healthy as you can be for them?”
No, I wasn’t. I started with the excuses of work and my commute and time and raising a toddler. She listened understandingly. “Okay, but what are your priorities?”
She got me. I started to look at myself, the things I was doing, and the unhealthy person I was. I looked at myself in the mirror after I huffed and puffed up the stairs or after I needed a break carrying my daughter. I was just unhealthy. I was stressed. I was depressed.
So, I started to eat better (a combo of low-calorie and Keto). I started to go to the gym a bit more frequently, but not as much as I would like. I started parking further away at the grocery store so I had to walk more. Honestly, I started just being more conscious of what I was eating and how much physical activity I was doing.
Then, I started looking at myself again. Yes, I was losing weight, slowly, but it wasn’t about the numbers anymore. I wanted to just love myself and be healthy. I started taking vitamins and pre-planning meals. We started cooking more at home, which helps our health and our budget. I started going outside more. I started to stop comparing myself to others and to look at how I can be the best version of myself: this crazy, caring, horrible mom.
Yes, I’ve lost some weight, but most importantly, I have really fallen in love with myself. I’m not super skinny, but I’m trying to be healthy. I feel good and I feel strong. I have a mom bod, and I think I’m fucking beautiful.
Honestly, I just really want my daughter to love who she is and how she looks. How can she be confident in herself if she has a mother who constantly body-shames herself? My weight does not define me as a role-model, my habits and attitude do.
Getting healthy is a process. I’m slow to lose weight, and that’s okay. I ate Chick-fil-A right before I wrote this. It’s not about ALWAYS being on my A game– that pressure just isn’t realistic. It’s about being aware of what I’m eating, how I’m exercising, and really, just loving myself.
I’ve got a way to go until I’m the level of health I want to be for my daughter, but I’ve got step one down: loving my mom bod.