My Post-Partum Body
It didn't look the same at all. I didn't recognize myself. Gone was the slender waist. Now I had stretch marks all across my thighs and hips. And no matter what, I couldn't lose the baby weight or the tummy poach. So many of my friends had gone back to their slender selves after babies while breastfeeding...but not me. It was hard to see them and not struggle with jealousy.
So much had changed externally but also internally. So many things that I had enjoyed doing my entire high-school and college years weren't things that I felt like I enjoyed any more. I used to sew clothes and dresses. I loved sewing and designing...but after my body completely changed, I wasn't inspired any more. I just didn't want to design for my new body shape...I wanted my old body shape back.
I felt like I had lost myself.
Finding a New Purpose
I loved taking care of my girls.
But honestly, I didn't like myself anymore. I didn't like my body. I didn't like the person I was inside. But I didn't know how to move forward.
I was also bored out of my mind. I needed a hobby...I needed something to keep my mind busy. I also wanted to make an income from home. It turns out that starting my business was a major tool in my personal growth journey.
Finding Confidence Again
I was on the journey of rediscovery. Discovering what my strengths were again, my talents, and learning to have a healthier mindset for success. It wasn't an instant thing...but slowly over the next few years, I started to change. To become the person I wanted to be.
I wasn't becoming the person I was before I had kids...I was becoming a new and better version of myself. I became more confident, more caring, more focused on service...and that confidence started to transfer to my outer body too. I bought clothes that I looked good in and I got rid of all the clothes that I had worn in high-school that made me feel sad about my body. It was an important step in my journey to confidence. It was hard but it felt so freeing to just accept my body as it was and to love it for where it was instead of constantly hating how I liked in the mirror.
Once I began to accept my body as it was and just be happy with me, I was finally ready to do something about my body. I didn't want to create weight-loss goals or fitness goals out of hate for my current body, but rather out of love for myself. I wanted to lose weight and exercise in order to care for my temple in the best way possible...not because I was frustrated with how I looked. I knew that would be counter-productive.
So I gave myself a whole year to get back to my "before kids" weight. I didn't want to push myself with unrealistic goals or feel like I couldn't be balanced in my diet. I wanted to eat as healthy as I could at home but still not beat myself up if I ate an unhealthy meal here and there. I wanted my weight-loss journey to be as stress-free as possible (for one thing stress just makes you hold on to weight!) I focused on being healthier, not necessarily skinnier...though I did want to lose weight. I honestly didn't know what my body would do after 3 kids anyway. I just wanted to see what would happen...but I wasn't holding my old body over my new body.
The Results of My Weight-Loss Journey
I did succeed in hitting my "before kids" weight before a year was up! I definitely feel way more confident in my body without that extra weight. But my skinny waist may never come back...it is thinner than before but I lost weight all over my body...not just my mid section.
I still have a slight diastasis recti which also contributes to the poochy stomach and is something I need to work more consistently on to finish healing and even though I am eating well and losing weight with my oils capsule, I haven't done the best on my fitness goals this year. Thank goodness, there will be another year for that. This health/weight loss journey isn't over because I still want to be stronger and more fit. Whether that results in a skinnier waist or not, I won't know until later.
But that is not my main goal and that feels good.
I feel confident in my body as it is and I feel confident in myself as a person again. And that matters far more than a skinny waist. Beauty does not come from having a small waist, but rather from a calm, quiet, and confident spirit. That is the beauty that shines forth from our inner soul through our outer body and projects confidence and love to everyone we meet.
I know you will find confidence again when you practice accepting yourself for where you are and growing as a person both with physical goals and emotional/spiritual goals. If you need some encouragement for your journey, follow me on Facebook or IG & let's connect!