Y’all, I had big plans for my postpartum body. I planned out a year of workouts to get my body back to a state it’s never been in – super fit, toned and in single-digit pants. I was going to be a hot mama and I was going to be the fittest bitch on the block.
This wasn’t my first go round. I should have known better.
But, I didn’t realize that I would need a c-section and a longer recovery. I didn’t account for the fact that I’d be home alone with a newborn in a house full of toddler snacks. Side bar: why the hell are fruit snacks so addictingly delicious.
So, here I am, almost 6 months postpartum and back up to my pregnancy weight (give or take a few pounds). I’m miserable. Not just because my pants don’t fit and my asthma is acting up. No, I’m also really freaking tired. Like, even quad venti lattes don’t keep me going. Two o’clock rolls around and I’m ready for a nap, a pound of chocolate and a caffeine IV.
I so want to love my body where it is now. It grew two humans. It’s still feeding one. It’s accomplished a lot. But, I can’t. I don’t want to look in the mirror. I don’t want to button my pants … if maternity jeans had pockets, I’d still be living in them. I miss being a shape rather than a blob.
I’ve never had self control when it comes to food. If I want it, I eat it. All of it.
My husband loves to say to me, “just don’t eat it, save it.” As if I have a choice. That’s not how my brain works and I want to throat punch him every time he says it. Like, dude, I get it, you are the king of willpower, so it must be that way for everyone, right? Wrong.
My tendency to obsess when I do start controlling my diet leads to a whole slew of other problems. Restriction does not work for me. Period.
So, I have no willpower and will overindulge all day, every day and when I restrict, it becomes an obsession. How do I find balance?
This is the part where I should reveal my secret weapon. The mantra I repeat when I want to eat my weight in Welch’s fruit snacks (“nothing tastes as good as skinny/fit feels” or “fuel your body” or “bullshit, bullshit, bullshit”). The magic bullet. The switch I flip.
But, I don’t have any of these. At least none that stuck.
I’ve tried all of them. More than once. Nothing became permanent.
You know what I haven’t tried? Being happy.
That was weird to write. It was weird to think too, but the second I did, I felt better. Not quite an “A-HA!” moment, but maybe a “hmm, that’s interesting” moment.
It is true, though. I’m always focused on the “when.” I’ll be happy when … I’m skinny, my hair is long, I stop biting my nails, my husband does x, y and z or my kids sleep through the night. Why does happiness have to be centered on attaining something other than what you have now or on becoming someone other than who you are now?
There is always something else to work towards, some way to change something about myself.
If I am not happy now, why do I think a dress size or other external factor will suddenly fix it all. Why is my happiness tied to how I look? Why does my fitness level or body fat percentage define my self worth?
Truth be told, I don’t know the answer to that any more than the answer to why I can’t just not eat something.
What I do know is that I have to change the way I think about myself. I have to learn how to stop letting my decisions be driven by desire for short term happiness or satisfaction.
I need to focus on finding my happy in who I am now because changing the outside will never fix the inside. No matter how big the plans are.