I couldn’t wait until I had my last baby, finally I could loose all the baby weight and keep it off! Finally I could have my body to myself and life would be easier! Unfortunately when I finally got to that moment I found my body was tired and wanted to keep the form of pregnancy because it’s what it knew best from the last 10 years. But also my stress is higher than it has ever been trying to take care of 10 kids, so it was harder to have the mental strength to change my habits. In essence, life was not as easy as I pictured it would be!
I’ve been writing for a while about wanting a good healthy relationship with my body, for this amazing body who did extraordinary things and now looks and feels different. I tried and I tried to will myself to love this new body the way it was. I knew what to say and what to think, and yet I had a hard time when I looked in the mirror or saw a picture of myself. It was at the beginning of the year that I knew I needed to lean into those feelings, not simply push them away out of shame. I needed to grieve that old body of mine. I needed to grieve the body I thought I’d have. I needed to be sad and disappointed and then I could truly move on.
So I grieved, honestly it only took a day or two of feeling sad; a good cry or two and then I was done. My next step was to remind myself this new body of mine would take time and effort to reach the goals I wanted to accomplish. In this new mindset I’m not really concerned with a number on a scale, only caring because I know some of my goals can’t be accomplished until that number goes down. I want to run again. I want to be able to dance around freely and with stamina. I want to have the energy and stamina to give my kids a run for their money in sports, bike riding, or hiking. I want to be active. And all those things are hard with my body the size that it is.
Knowing my goals, I was able to make a plan. I’ve lost weight, about 300 lbs to be exact, over the years after each pregnancy, and I’ve done it a few different ways. I’ve restricted treats and watched portions, counted calories, watched macros, and they all had similar results but I would never be able to sustain them long term. So I decided on more of a lifestyle change, something that I could sustain and didn’t feel like punishing my body. I took my knowledge from many different ways to lose weight and created something that felt good to me right now, but it might change over time as I change or my body.
I start each morning off with a glass of Kefir, because I know it’s good for my gut health, it tastes just okay, and it sustains me until lunch. For lunch I found a yummy salad that has a good balance of macros and again keeps me full until my next meal. If by chance I do need something I’ll grab a handful of cocoa covered almonds, because I like the chocolate flavor but its healthy and keeps me full longer. Then for dinner I’ll have what my family is having but with half a plate of veggies or fruit. For date night I eat what I want with reason. At first I said I’d have a treat once a week, but throughout the month I realized one week I’d eat something just because it was my time to eat a treat but not really wanting it. So I decided I could have something if I REALLY wanted it, and to not over indulge. It was important to listen to my body to see if I actually wanted it, and not just eat it because it was there.
Will I mess up? Most definitely, I already have multiple times. But instead of beating myself up about it or saying heck with it and eat ALL THE FOOD, I pay attention to how my body feels and chalk it up as a learning experience. I try to remind myself this is a journey that will take time and to not leave the path just because it’s hard or I tripped. My knew favorite quote I heard recently is: I haven’t come this far, just to come this far. Let that sink in.
I haven’t come this far, just to come this far. I’ve reached my goal of bringing all my babies to our family, I’ve done the hard part to start this journey, and I’ve created momentum. Don’t stop now. Don’t give up on me or my goals. I can do this, with time and patience, but I can do it none the less.