Real Talk: Body Image!
Every once in a while I put a post up about my “truth” which I look at as a deeper view of the real me. Well, here is another one and I am excited to share it because I know it is a REAL thing amongst women, especially postpartum. AND…we should dedicate some “real talk” to it.
I have been in fitness all of my adult life. It defined me for a long time. After I had my first two babies I felt like part of my identity had been taken away. Sure, I still had the same knowledge I had before, but I did not have the physique and I was scared that I would not be sought after as a trainer. I worked really hard to recover that physique despite my better judgement. I ended up creating a dysfunction that took me years to recover.
Even though, I loved being a mom, I still struggled with my new shape and level of fitness. Gradually I came to a new focus of health and recovering function instead of physique.
After my next two babies, I did not lose the baby weight like I did with my first two. This was intentional. After my first two I had such a difficult time with hormone regulation and poor physical function despite a lean physique I was not going to let that happen again. My diet was fully centered on nutrient density and caloric sufficiency. It most definitely worked when it came to milk supply, level of function, blood sugar stability and hormone regulation.
Despite ALL of those amazing things which were wonderful and precious. I still have been plagued by this sense of loss from my current shape.
I went in for a physical because two months ago I developed symptoms of a rectocele. This was the first immediate pelvic floor symptom I experienced other than having a diastasis. I got checked by my women’s health physical therapist who confirmed a grade 1 rectocele. Now, I was pretty sure what led to this sudden development (more on that in another post) so I took the steps to correct it (again, another post! And it worked. Six weeks later, I was rechecked and there was no sign of any prolapse. GREAT NEWS!! I still wanted to make sure all was well, so I went in to get checked by an OBGYN. She also confirmed no rectocele.
So here is my Ah-ha moment… I don’t really get on the scale because I have it packed and I can really tell what the situation is by looking in the mirror and my clothing. So, I had a general idea of my numeric weight, but not an exact number. Based on the doctor’s numbers, I am 15 pounds over my weight when I became pregnant. At one time, this number would have stressed me out and made me question my capability as a trainer. But, it did not! Not even a little! Here is me saying…. I did not even stop my conversation with the nurse to make a comment about it.
On the way home in my minivan (that is still a bit more of a life change to wrap my head around… a minivan. I am getting there after 6 years of ownership), I reflected on my visit and my peace finally with me.
Here is the awesomeness that makes up my function:
I have two sets of smart, perfect, healthy twins.
I have great endurance to manage all of the household duties and the kids all day, every day.
I have great blood sugar stability and no cravings.
I enjoy and look forward to every workout.
I can ride my bike, run and swim pain-free, with great form and continue to get stronger.
I have no prolapse and functional diastasis.
I have good digestion and I am pretty dialed into what works well for my body nutritionally.
I have better focus and stress tolerance.
I sleep really well.
I regained my fertility and I have a great libido.
Now… when I stack all of that awesomeness up against 15 pounds… which one will I choose? Which one is a sign of health? To me the answer is obvious! All of those ten bullet points were once missing when I was super lean. Do I want that back… nope! Not for one second!
Stay tuned for more ladies and how I know that I am not alone here!