As many of you know, I had my first baby approximately six weeks ago. And while I’m in so much love with my baby girl Aria Lee, I have been going through all the emotions postpartum. And not just due to the mombod.
Let me start with, being a single mom is hard. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and I’ve been blessed to have the dad be present in Aria’s life and there to help. But waking up everyday knowing my daughter needs me for basically everything is tiring. My arms and shoulders hurt from breastfeeding. My core is in shambles from pregnancy and birth. My legs feel like they weigh 100 pounds each. My body feels like it went to war and back. I mistakenly thought postpartum working out would be like starting from scratch. I’m starting from negative scratch, despite working out while pregnant.
Getting my head right
But beyond the physical struggles, so much more has been occuring in my mind. And my mindset has always been one that I focus on the most. I know what power thoughts can have over everything. For example, in college I was weighing about 120 to 125 pounds and somehow still thought I was chubby and would skip meals because of it. Something small like my mind caused me to skip meals, lose weight, and become skinny. Not a pretty picture. Everything I do is to become stronger and to be strong. Average is ok, for the average person. I want to be strong, even if I’m not skinny or thin. Even if I weigh on the higher end of my “appropriate” weight for my age and height.
So when I gave birth, I also lost an organ I spent ten months growing. An organ that contained many hormones. I lost all my sanity. Soon enough it felt like the world was crashing all around me. I cried myself to sleep. An onlooker would think, of course you’re exhausted from a baby that’s waking you up every 2-3 hours. But it wasn’t that. Remember I’m that crazy girl who chooses to run long and run far. I’m that crazy girl who chose to work out twice a day, 5-6 days a week. I’m that crazy girl who isn’t quite sure who she is when she isn’t sore from a good workout.
Adjusting to postpartum life
Apart from the exhaustion, I had to learn to be patient and loving to myself. Like everyone, I wanted to bounce back overnight. I wanted to lose 25 pounds in a heartbeat. I wanted the quick fix. But being a personal trainer, I know there’s no such thing. So I had to tell myself one step at a time. Even if it’s just baby steps, I know it will take time. I know it took me ten months to get this mombod and so I should realistically give myself at least that much time to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy.
I also need to focus on the positive things in my life and not let the negative things drag me down. Why get stressed over things I can’t control? Instead, I take things one step at a time. I may not be able to accomplish everything in one day, but making progress of any sort towards my goals helps me remain calm and positive.
I’ve been blessed to find and join a strong mom’s community group through Fit4Mom in my local area. I would highly recommend finding something similar for all new and old mom’s alike.
What do you do to stay positive? How has your postpartum life treated you?