I’m 4 weeks postpartum. I gained more weight this pregnancy than I ever have. I am down over 30 pounds, but when you’ve gained 60, that feels like a drop in the bucket. I’m actually below my pre-pregnancy weight from my last baby, but I had high hopes this time I would get a lot of the weight off quickly.
But, if I was being honest with myself and all of you, I would have to say that I always feel this way about this time postpartum.
I start thinking I need a whole new wardrobe because I have nothing to wear; or better yet, I need to drop 30 pounds overnight so I can wear all my old clothes. Then I think maybe some new makeup or a brand new hairdo would make me feel better. I start reading diet books, cut my hair way too short, buy a bunch of clothes I really don’t like (because I don’t want to spend money on clothes that won’t fit me after I’ve slimmed down), and cry myself a river every time I have to leave the house because I’m just not satisfied with anything.
But guess what…
No diet book, new wardrobe, or new hairdo will fix what I’m feeling.
It’s a little bit of head, a little bit of heart, and a whole lot of hormones telling me that the shape I’m in is something to cry over.
Now, I can tell myself a million times over that it took 9 months to get this way, so why in the world would I think a few weeks would be sufficient to get back to the way I looked before, but I’m one of those people who needs more than some overused adage to feel better. I’m a practical, give-me-something-I-can-hang-onto kind of person.
Here is what I’ve finally learned that is worth hanging on to…
For years, I saw a healthy weight as an end point. I would journey until I got there and then forget the journey and do something else. And during those years when I couldn’t seem to reach the end point, I begrudged every step on the path because I never seemed to be getting anywhere. That was because I wanted the journey to end. I didn’t want to be on this diet-focused path forever.
I also saw pregnancy as a time to completely turn tail and run head long into my obsession with food. When you consider I’ve been pregnant 13 times and birthed 9 full-term babies, some of those with barely a year between, you can imagine how discouraged I became after every baby, wondering if I would ever reach my goal, my end point.
It’s taking me some time to wrap my brain around HEALTHY being a way of life, but now that my husband and my son have maintained their weight losses for over a year, I have a better grasp of what healthy looks like in the long term sense of the word.
Reaching a healthy weight is sort of like birthing a baby. There is a long journey to get to the place where you hold that precious little one in your arms, but the journey doesn’t end there. You keep taking steps on down the path of motherhood.
I won’t be at my pre-pregnancy weight by my 6 week checkup, but that’s because I started a lot lower than most of my other pregnancies. I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m going to need a lot of determination and motivation to stay focused and make this journey part of my life and not just something I do for a little while.
The shape I’m in isn’t something to be discouraged by because it’s just part of my journey. It’s the place I am now. I am choosing to be a fit mama even when the shape I’m in feels far from it because I am choosing to live healthy!