like a lot of women, i have lived in a constant state of diet and fitness routine followed by "not caring" or "letting myself go" and then back to dieting. round and round i went. looking back, i cant really tell a huge difference physically, it was mostly a mental thing. its crazy to look back at a photo and remember feeling "fat" that day. i remember being self conscious and making the decisions to not care in order to move forward with my day or activity. im glad that i was able to change my mindset into not caring what others thought and make the best of it ... but the point is, how did i let myself get to that mindset in the first place? why did i feel the need to overcome the fact that my size 4, 6 or 8 self needed a pep talk to go the beach. i cant count how many times i have said something like "ill just sit my fat ass right here and wait." what the devil! yeah, and the sad part is that i hear that same mentality all around me. i have friends and family that refer to themselves the same way. im not saying i learned it from them, its my own words. i am sad that this type of conversation was my norm. i put myself and my body down constantly. i am surprised my body didnt just shut down from all the negativity.
i am sure you have all read posts about the media's part in things like this. i could talk about it all day long but i wanted to make this post a little more personal than that. i want to talk to you about my journey and how motherhood changed my body image.
today is the day i reached my pre-pregnancy weight. awesome, right?!?! i was so excited that i shared with a couple of people and it felt really weird to compliment myself ... talking good about my body feels foreign to me. then i starting thinking about how much my body has done over the past year. last year this time, i was about 7 weeks pregnant. i was already at a size/weight that i wasnt ecstatic about but i could live with for the time being. i had been through a miscarriage, the holidays and a juice cleanse (only to continue to not take care of myself). during my pregnancy, i did not get sick once and everything tasted amazing. i ended up gaining 55 lbs which as of today, i have lost. after growing a person (still mind blowing to me), i then recovered from a major surgery while my body started to make milk that will nurture and feed my son long after he was born. then after fully recovering from my c-section, this body of mine started strengthening one sit up, one jumping jack and one mile at a time. now, i have completed a 60 fitness challenge and i signed up for my first 4 mile race and im feeling great. my legs and heart feel strong and my mind feels clear.
i cannot share this without giving credit to the way we have been eating. at the beginning of january, i decided i wanted to eat bread with less ingredients. while searching for information, i came across the 100 days of real food blog. i read this post about really easy changes that make a big difference. for the first time, it didnt seem overwhelming to make a lifestyle change. this has had a HUGE impact on my body image. i really feel great and when it comes time to run or take care of henry, i have the energy i need. not because im counting calories or fat grams or anything just because i am making really healthy meals.
i want to remember this feeling. i know i wont always be this pumped, this size, this weight, but i want to remember feeling great about my body and being thankful of the life it provided for my son and myself. i have heard women say they prefer not to have children because of what it does to your body. let me tell you that it does more to your mind and how you view yourself. i am happy to be a mother for too many reasons to count but i never thought about the positive effect it could have on my body image.