August was quite the successful month when it came to my movement challenge. I discovered a new type of workout, Barre, and hit some impressive goals and personal records! I ran outdoors for the first time ever, ran two 5Ks (one outdoors!), and ran for one mile without stopping. I feel stronger than ever, and I’m proud to share that as of today, I have exercised for 60 days straight.
Here’s how August went:
32 hours, 20 minutes of exercise
8, 129 calories burned
55.95 miles “traveled”
One of my favorite moments of exercise was just the other day when I ran my first outdoor 5K. There were moments when I wanted to call my husband and ask him to pick me up, but then the adrenaline kicked in and I made it! I loved stopping at my midway point, the beach, and enjoyed the views. I couldn’t have been prouder of myself in that moment. Onward to September, where I will run in my first race!
For nine months, my body created life. As I watched my body grow, I remember feeling proud. I would go to the doctor and not care about the number on the scale because I knew it was all to build and maintain a safe home for my baby.
Once I hit the 40+ pound mark, I asked my doctor if I should be concerned. I wasn’t overeating. I was trying to stay as active as possible. He reassured me that this was normal, and to just let my body do its thing. When I asked some mama friends, they reassured me that “the weight would fall right off” once I started breastfeeding. (That didn’t happen to me.)
Right before I gave birth to Nora, I had gained 50+ pounds. I put it out of my mind because … well … I was giving birth to Nora! I was a little busy. But as the months have gone by, I’ve battled with “bounce back culture”. I’ve had to buy all new clothes. I’ve spent hours on my phone comparing myself to other postpartum moms, wondering why I can’t fit into my “old, normal” jeans. I would look at myself in the mirror and cry and hate what I saw. I struggled with the fact that I would never return to my “regular” body.
One day (very recently), I decided that enough was enough. I looked at my daughter and thought, “what would I say to her if she talked about her body the way I do?” I would be so sad. It would be heartbreaking to hear her say she hated herself. That she was ugly. That she was afraid to go out in public. So I just said, f* it. F* what it says on that scale. I started exercising and practicing mindfulness. I stopped weighing myself every morning and night.
I weighed myself recently and saw that I’m down 15 pounds, but I’m not even paying attention to that anymore. Now, I’m focusing on strength. On control. I’m slowly starting to look at my body as a marvel rather than a hinderance. This body created life. This body continues to sustain life while sustaining my own. That is pretty fricken amazing.
I see you, postpartum parents. And you are beautiful.