Postpartum body image and Joys
I have so much to share that it was difficult to narrow it down for this blog post. Every day my life is enriched by four little loves. Whether it’s a new strategy, perspective, or idea my kids teach me something new each day. What’s so amazing about that? I can honestly say that one year ago I was so worried about things that, in the BIG picture, really don’t matter much.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been very fit and super competitive. I don’t think I have ever gone for a leisurely bike ride. Or, ran a race “just for fun”. No, my life revolved around training, begin fit, and most importantly, looking fit. I lost all of the pregnancy weight from Cameron and William very fast and regained some momentum with training. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, my health suffered as a result of that. After I had the girls though I was expecting a slower return to my previous “fit” self, I thought I would achieve my goal shape by one year. But, that has not happened. Life is different now and I fought that for a while, continually readjusting my training and varying my macronutrient intake. But, I still have a much higher body fat than I have ever had and I am not able to train at a level I would like because of my overstretched abdominal wall. This really bothered me for most of the year until I started to take a good look at all that I have accomplished. Now, here is how I view my “situation”…
-Though I am not as lean as I was, my function is much greater than before.
-I can carry my girls in my arms or on my body in some way for 3+miles while giving my boys an intermittent boost on the bike. (That’s Maddy on my shoulder above and a water bottle in my shirt.
-I am still nursing my girls and helping them grow.
-I have a well-functioning pelvic floor and core that are continuing to improve every day.
– I have a pretty high-stress tolerance and I accomplish an insane amount of work consistently every day.
These are a few of my self-reflections and I do all of these things with my “new” shape. The reason for me sharing this is because I know that I am not alone. I am always working on learning for improvement both for myself and others. But, I have also learned how to appreciate very much and accept where I am.
One of the new joys in our house is celebrating the boy’s great cycling skills. Cycling was such a huge part of my life for years, it is a real treat to share it with my kids. We are tracking our mileage with the goal of riding across North Carolina. Each night the boys ride 2-4 miles while I either pull or carry the girls. It’s a great way to get some extra movement and family time.
Our other new joy is watching our garden grow! It’s very important to me that the kids learn to appreciate where our food comes. I also want to fill them with as much nutrient dense veggies as I can. So….here is what we have so far:
My handy husband built two rows of raised beds beneath our back wall. They hold melons, tomatoes, winter squash, summer squash, fennel, cucumbers, red cabbage, carrots, basil, Dino kale, red Russian kale, Swiss chard and eggplant. We’ve also planted 50 sunflowers!
The bottom of the yard has our corn box which also holds tomatoes and onions. Then we have blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and red skin potatoes. All of my herbs are on the front porch along with potted kale, bell peppers, and fennel. The front side yard has more blueberry bushes.
I have been using the herbs in smoothies all spring. But, we just harvested the first batch of greens yesterday morning.
I added some beautiful chopped swiss chard, dino kale, chives and oregano to scrambled eggs. It was a super fast and easy breakfast that filled four little tummies. I paired along with sliced strawberries and an almond biscuit.
I hope this post reaches the eyes of some other Moms that may be searching for something. Remember that it’s a process. Enjoy each moment and you will too will find the joys.