life coaching, messy momming

Why I Quit My Postpartum Fitness Journey (and you should, too!)

She hadn’t slept all night.  She was refusing to sleep all day.  It seemed like every forty minutes or so was punctuated by the sound of her crying.  Since midnight.  She was as overtired as I was stressed out, and the combination left us both exhausted, frustrated, and irritable.  I didn’t have time to workout.  Did you hear that?  Despite what you’ve read on every beachbody coach’s post at one time or another, I didn’t have time to workout.  Not even those 30 minutes that somehow really do get you into shape.  And do you know what else?  I didn’t have the energy to make my lunch from scratch.  I grabbed what I could eat with one hand: a package of pop tarts.

Cue the self-loathing.

I spent the remainder of the day beating myself up for having “cheated” on the program I had committed to long before the baby had even arrived.  Before life happened and a sensitive tummy derailed my plans of shedding baby weight through the magic of breastfeeding, before I was hit with the reality that sometimes newborns just won’t sleep through the night, before I remembered how tired I could be, I had planned to be thin before the pool opened at the end of May.

That gave me 7.5 weeks to undo what 10 months had done to my body.

Super reasonable.

The morning following my fall from 21 Day Fix grace, I woke up determined to do better this time around.  And because I wanted to do better and be better than I had ever done or been before, I made the decision to quit my postpartum fitness journey.  Just end it.  Dead in it’s tracks.  Because in those hours of holding a fussy baby who could not manage to stay asleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time, who would not agree with me about how comfortable and cozy her swing was, who refused to accept anything less than her mama’s arms while she battled the confusing pain going on inside of her belly, God lifted the veil to something I’ve known, but have refused to face, for a long time: the Fix wouldn’t fix a thing.

Why the pressure, Mama?

God presented His case while I was journaling that morning after the hardest day yet, and I had to admit, as I read the words back to myself, that it was a valid argument.  Turns out the Big Man Upstairs is pretty good at getting His points across if we would only open ourselves up to receiving them.

32623051_2430094213671010_6568586157729251328_n

I sat down to explore exactly why I was so anxious to shrink back down to size, and bullet point after bullet point pointed to one truth: insecurity.  My “job” doesn’t depend on me being in exceptional physical shape.  My every day activities don’t require me to be radically ripped.  My lifestyle is not centered around how much I can lift or how long I can run.  The fact is, there is nothing and no one in my life demanding that I look a certain way by a certain time other than myself.  And the only reason myself is putting all that unnecessary pressure on the cause, is because myself is worried about how I’ll look in a bathing suit and whether or not it will be good enough.

The problem with approaching a postpartum fitness journey with the sole intention of being attractive in a piece of material that happily showcases every square inch of you that no amount of Fixing can undo, is that it isn’t enough to sustain you.  Sure, the promise of an after picture can inspire you to show up for three weeks… but if you’re going after thin for thin’s sake, you’ll end up thicker than thin enough to satisfy yourself.  I weighed thirty pounds less than I currently weigh, when I was a young adult, and I still struggled to see myself as worthy in any capacity.  There was always someone thinner, prettier, fitter, “better”…and there still is.  You will always find what you’re looking for, and I spent my yo-yo dieting life looking for someone else to prove me right: I was not anything enough.

But God says otherwise.

This time, those feelings just wouldn’t settle into my spirit the way they always had.  This time around, God was speaking straight to my heart and demanding I start a new postpartum journey.  Instead of relying on the Fix to solve my problems, I would lean into my problems and allow God to fix them.

“You’re trying to solve root deep problems with a surface level solution.  You can pick the bad fruit off the vine or trim back the wayward branches, but you’ll never be free of the burden until you dig the whole tree up from the ground.”  God whispered these life giving, chain breaking words and suddenly I was released.

“He {Jesus} replied, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.'”  – Matthew 15:13

It has to come from inside.

I was not approaching my postpartum fitness journey from a place of love and respect for my body and all that it just endured physically.  It was not out of my desire to be healthy and full of energy for my family.  Fear of inadequacy, vulnerability, and unworthiness was the fuel to my “get back in shape” fire.  It was a desperate attempt to tame my low-self esteem, as it pertains to beachwear, and to feel slightly less “less than” as compared to other women on the beach.

God has made it abundantly clear that until I master all of those feelings that link the circumference of my stomach to the value of my being, I have no business embarking on a postpartum fitness journey.  That’s not to say that I will sit around like a lump on a log, meditating on the truth that I am the daughter of a King, and eating frosted mini wheats, dry and by the handful.  It’s simply my permission slip to be excused from the rat race of the fourth trimester, it’s my peace sign emoji to any mom shaming posts begrudging me my “me time” because it doesn’t involve pushing play, it’s my fare thee well letter to my life long mistress, whom I lovingly refer to as “need for approval”.

32743366_2430091680337930_6033095566613807104_n 

Quitting my postpartum fitness journey is the first sentence to beginning my lifelong mindset story.

I will exercise because I like to and I like how I feel when I do.  Or I will not because I chose not to.  I will eat right because I like the food and I like the way I feel when I eat it.  Or I will not because I also like that food.  I will fit into my old jeans because I have a lot of clothes and I cannot afford to replace my entire wardrobe.  Or I will not and finally give into the lularoe craze.

Just kidding, that last sentence was a lie.  I am not going to end up in crazy patterned leggings.  Rock em if you’ve got em, but I just don’t want em. 😉

32491980_2428940010453097_2034283028930363392_n

You heard it here first: I officially quit my postpartum fitness journey, and I really believe you should, too!  Can you relate to the struggle?  Share your thoughts! 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s