I couldn't tell if the audible crying in the bedroom was from my baby or me as I tried on my jeans, for the third time. I'm not even talking about my everyday jeans. I'm taking about the other ones.
I'm almost 8 weeks postpartum. Although I've come a long way from the moo-moo I wore home from the hospital, I still can't comfortably wear ANY of my old pants that have a button, snap, or zipper.
A few minutes into my pity party, however, I looked in the mirror. I starred at the reflection looking back at me. As I gazed at my reflection, I realized that I wasn’t actually feeling upset with myself at all—I was only reacting to how I thought I should feel after seeing a number on the scale that I haven’t seen since my “overweight” days. Once I really searched my heart, I realized I was quite at peace with my body and my weight, albeit larger than I would like. My body had carried yet another (praise the Lord!) precious life in it for nine months and now serves to feed and sustain that life. My body carries the marks of motherhood, and I’m so so grateful for them.
Although I am at peace with myself, I feel excited and ready to start getting back into shape for this next season—life with a baby, two older children, and a business. I'm ready to enjoy feeling strong and healthy again. With support from my family and friends, I'm ready to take this journey that I have coached so many people on.
I’ve made a plan for myself and I’ve decided to share it with you in hopes that you will spend time on this health quest with me.
Twice a month, I will post my ideas and tips to inspire you to get healthier-- whatever phase of life you’re in. I would love for us to make this a dialogue. Comment on this post below or on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and let me know what works for you, what doesn't, what your goals are. . . etc. Your ideas and stories may also inspire other readers to make healthy changes this season!
Statistics show that if we are on a health journey together, we are more likely to achieve our goals long term.
Here is my first healthy tip; remember, you can do it. You are worth more than mediocre health!
Mindfulness--Make the Mental Connection
When it comes to fitness and food choices, many factors can influence your attitude and behavior.
- Invite God into your journey. I often forget that God wants the best for me in ALL areas of my life, including my health. Every time I’m ready to make a change and let God in to some new area in my life, I drop to my knees and asked God to forgive me for my selfishness and to guide me as I make positive changes. God is so gentle and loving and he always gives me the strength I need for the journey. I believe God will also speak to you about your health if you ask and listen.
- Pay attention to your emotions to understand your behavior patterns. Keeping a mood-food/exercise journal (or just keep track on your phone) to help identify your personal triggers for overeating, attitudes around exercise, and situations that leave you particularly vulnerable. The more you know, the less your waistline will grow!
- In addition to knowing your triggers, be mindful about how you feel after you exercise and eat. Did that colorful salad make you feel good? Did your workout give you more energy the following day? Pay attention to what’s happening inside and out and let your successes (however large or small) motivate your progress. Living Wellness for Growth Groups is a fantastic tool to help you become more mindful and motivated. Pick up the book or the journal to accompany you on your journey. For more ideas on how to be mindful with eating, check out our blog post on Mindful Eating here.
- Chose to want to instead of have to. Our mind is so powerful. When we decide we want to honor our body with our food and exercise choices instead of feeling like we have to, we re-wire our brains to begin to enjoy our new habits. Tell yourself while you are eating better and exercising “I enjoy this!” and “This feels good.” And “I know I am getting stronger and healthier.” The brain also releases positive chemicals and hormones to leave you happier and healthier than when you started!
Despite the number on the scale or the pile of clothes staring at me from the closet, I feel pretty amazing knowing my worth does not come from those numbers or sizes. My worth is found in my identity as God’s child. I am mindful about eating and exercising because I want to honor God with my choices—the benefit of feeling so much better is just a bonus.
Blessings on your journey, friends!
© 2017 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.