It’s a weird and wild feeling to be at the very beginning of the next phase in your life.
When you realize that you are about to jump head long into a bunch of firsts … all the while, you will be closing the door on some very heavy lasts.
The last time you are in labour (for most women this is a good thing, for me, it hits a tender note because … as much as my labours are long and painful, I look forward to them with excitement).
The last time you bring a new baby into the world and hold a person who is mere seconds old.
The last time you struggle through breastfeeding, the last of the new born snuggles and sleepless nights.
The last newborn diapers, wipes, baby clothes and binkeys.
So many lasts …
And yet, there are new and terrifying firsts.
The first postpartum workout that punctuates your “new” life.
The first meal plan and workout clothes that you bought to give you a boost to get your butt moving.
Your first set of big goals and that first moment of hesitation as you begin to wonder … will you be able to do this?
As I peruse the Pinterest boards, tagging (or pinning) all the outfits that catch my eye, as I try to identify what my personal style will be like, as I silently wish that with every Pin said outfit would magically appear in my closet … my mind starts to consider who I will be.
When I am finally “me”.
What will my body be capable of, what am I willing do to regain the strength, the definition, the confidence I once had, and will I be able to exceed my previous levels of “confidence” found in my youth, and actually come to a place where I love my body?
Can I work through the difficult stuff that threatens even my first step on this journey?
Am I willing to admit, humbly, that I cannot do the things I used to do (at least, not yet)?
And, am I focused enough on the goals, on creating a life that is healthy, active and full of promise, when all my habits, all the build-up and “training” I have been doing to date has me on a trajectory for being the next contestant on the Biggest Loser 2025?
Do I have what it takes, and will I ever find comfort in my body? Pride in what it’s accomplished, and a sense of peace with the way it functions and how it looks once the dust settles.
I honestly, have no idea.
I have no idea if I will be ok with what has gone on over the last six years.
Over five pregnancies, rapid weight gain and loss, over trying so hard to push out our first child that I literally caused myself a hernia, over having to have a c-section, tearing, stretch marks that look like a map straight out of a world war two soldiers pocket (meaning it’s wrinkly y’all, like a well worn letter from a loved one).
Will I be able to see past my now droopy breasts that, annually (because that’s how often I seem to have children) get so filled with milk that they could feed a small African village, breasts that triple in size two days after having my babies, only to deflate into something that is reminiscent of that meme of the orangutang?
But, I’m willing to find out.
I am willing to push myself a little more everyday without expecting overnight results or perfection.
I am willing to extend myself grace when I find myself in maternity jeans well into my six (or ninth) month postpartum simply because any “normal” pair cuts right through the middle of my mothers apron which does NOTHING for the figure, the outfit, nor my sense of self-esteem so why do that to myself.
I am willing to ask my husband for help, to confess that I don’t feel sexy, that I am worried I may never feel sexy, and that I WANT to feel sexy … without baby making, and that each step will require his support.
I am willing to start at the beginning again, lifting less than I expect, running slower than I am accustomed to, in getting winded before my time because I know that you have to start in order to improve.
I don’t know if I will fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, all which have been long since donated because there was no end in sight when it came to the making of babies … I don’t know if a fitted top will still show all the muffin tops, the rolls, and the unmet expectations of my “ideal” pregnancies … I am not sure what I’ll look like or how it will feel but I am willing to find out.
The thing is, this journey of discovery will require patience (of which I do not have an abundance << ask anyone). It will require grit and a LOT of grace. It will be uncomfortable and *probably* not a whole lot of fun, in the beginning.
But I’ll remember, it’s just the beginning. And I have to start in order to get where I want to go.
So, today, I press play on the workout I committed to, I will drink another bottle of water (because I am likely behind in my consumption) and I will take a moment to look at myself in the mirror in my underwear and appreciate this body for what it’s done, to thank it for the hard work it’s put in over the last six years and to allow it time to heal and change.
It took six years of back to back to back pregnancies to get to where I am, several more with poor diet habits and mentalities toward food, a LOT of trying to hide behind a “big personality” when I wasn’t confident in a body I should have loved. This journey will take time.
And that’s ok.