Making Peace With My Body
I love carbohydrates. I know it is wrong, and that they are the enemy of many diets and cleanses, but I absolutely love them. I never met a carbohydrate that I didn't love. This was fine when I was able to dedicate time each day to exercise, but once the kids came around, it became harder for me. I have always struggled a little with weight, mostly because of this love of carbs and wine. Mmmmm...wine....
I knew that getting pregnant would change my body, and I knew that getting pregnant a second time after only a year would change my body even more. However, I was totally unprepared for just how drastic those changes would be. I never had a six-pack or bulging biceps, but after having our second son, I was soft...everywhere. My thighs were bigger...and soft. My tummy was a LOT bigger...and soft. My arms no longer fit in the shirts that I used to wear before pregnancy...and were soft. EVERYTHING was soft. I was starting to hate my body. I was so frustrated that nothing fit, and that the things that did fit made me look like I was still pregnant. I was resenting how much my body had changed. I was allowing satan to steal the joy of my motherhood by only focusing on what I did not like about my body.
I reached out to a friend about this struggle and she was so encouraging and reminded me of what my body had done, and was doing by nursing my baby. I needed to give myself the grace of time. I needed to learn how to love my new body. Now, that does not mean that I can abuse my body, that means that I needed to learn how to love my new body, and then I needed to learn how to take care of my new body. I can't get my "old body back", because my body is now completely different. And that is okay! I love that my body held two little babies and brought them into this world. I love that I am a soft place for them to snuggle up to, and fall asleep on. I had been given the GIFT OF MOTHERHOOD. My body was a testament to that.
There is so much pressure on moms to immediately "get fit" after they have a child. I remember reading about a celebrity who was using a corset to help her get her post baby body back, weeks after giving birth. I could not fathom wearing a tight corset after having a baby. I felt so bad for her. She felt like she needed to get back to this specific weight and size right after her body did this miraculous and incredibly challenging thing. I wanted to hug her and tell her that it is okay to allow a mom time to rest and recuperate, eat, and adjust to her new life and the new family dynamic. If you are a mom that needed that workout 2 days after you had a baby, that is wonderful! Good for you! I am simply saying that if you are anything like me, giving yourself time to adjust is perfectly acceptable, and in my opinion, should be encouraged. I began praying about how I could address this issue, and let Jesus into the conversation. He is the one who blessed me with my body, and then blessed me with pregnancy, so I knew that only He could reveal my true beauty to me. My beauty is not revealed in the number on the scale; or in my dress size. "But the LORD said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart." 1 Sam 16:7. The thing that I need to focus on is clear: is my heart right? Am I loving God, others, and myself? Everything starts there.
I have just started on this journey to get healthy again. We want more babies (hopefully!) and in order for me to have healthy pregnancies, and more importantly, healthy babies, I have to get my own health in order. It will be a slow process, and having my husband on this journey with me really helps. He is, much like in the delivery room, my greatest coach and encourager. This is not about a number on the scale. This is about me being happy with me and embracing every new curve, stretch mark, and jiggly bit that came with having two little babies. It took my 2 years and 2 babies to get here, and it will take me a long time to get to a place where I feel energetic and physically fit again.
If you are in the same boat, struggling with your health and lacking energy to play with your kids, I encourage you to pray about what steps you can take to get to a place where you are happy with your body. I am praying for you. If you are not in a place where your health is even on your radar because you are pouring yourself out for your children, I am praying for you!
What are some ways that you are able to incorporate your health into your motherhood? What are some encouraging words you can share with moms who are struggling with this?
Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved. Diana Resendiz
Image Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved. Karen Padilla