I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to write about this, and ultimately came to the conclusion that if it helps someone, I should do it.
Lately people have been asking me what I’ve done to ‘lose the baby weight’. The question actually threw me off the first time I heard it because I had to think about what helped me lose the weight-and in order to answer that question we have to journey a little bit further back-even before my pregnancy.
A lot of you know that I struggled with my weight throughout my childhood/teenage years. I had an unhealthy relationship with food, and hated the way I felt about my body. I tried a bunch of diets, working out all the time, a personal trainer, a body bug (the old school fit belt), and nothing seemed to work. I remember looking in the mirror and physically feeling sick with what I saw. I knew that God didn’t create me to feel that way about my body (His creation), but I just didn’t know what to do. And then it hit me. I needed to pray about it. I was used to praying about everything else, and for some reason just thought that this ‘tiny’ party of my life was something I could try to figure out on my own and didn’t have to bother God with. I told God that I was tired of feeling this way about myself, and that I wanted Him to help me overcome my struggle. The change wasn’t overnight, by any means. Looking back now I see all the little steps I started to take, and the small changes that started happening in me as a result.
I met Andrey at my cousins birthday party when I was 18, and we began dating shortly after. I remember feeling self conscious about my appearance. He had just finished up his modeling career and it was a bit intimidating to be dating a former model. Andrey never once made me feel uncomfortable about myself. His mom/sister were both overweight and I think that helped him gain a little bit of perspective. After we got engaged, I envisioned myself becoming this perfectly fit bride, and while I did lose some weight for my wedding, I still wasn’t 100% confident in my dress…nothing a body slimmer suit couldn’t fix. ;)
Marriage was (and still is) a whole lot of fun! Andrey was very active and encouraged me to be active with him. We loved to go on bike rides, small hikes, walks . A few years into our marriage I was complaining about my weight, and Andrey being the sensible man that he is encouraged me to do something about it. I did some research and decided to join Weight Watchers. I lost some weight, but more importantly I learned a lot about my eating habits. After doing the program for two months or so, I felt comfortable to try to maintain my weight and healthy habits on my own.
A little while later I discovered healthy living/food blogs and started reading a lot about how other people were able to maintain healthy lifestyles. I learned SO many things that I still practice today. I started eating more vegetables, and being more aware of what I put into my body. I began trying to make more conscious efforts to exercise more…and not only at the gym. I also learned that I needed to give myself some wiggle room in my diet. There are some things I am not willing to give up (ahem dessert!) because it’s something that I enjoy so much.
So going back to the baby weight…
When I got pregnant, my doctor told me to not use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. She said that losing pregnancy weight is difficult and the less weight I gain, the less I have to lose. I was a little bit thrown off by her comment at the time because I felt like pregnancy was the perfect time to justify eating copious amounts of whatever I wanted…hadn’t she seen the movies. ;)
I tried to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle while pregnant. I definitely wasn’t perfect, but I was motivated knowing that I was growing a little human. One thing that I did not keep track of was how much weight I gained during my pregnancy. A few years ago, I decided to stop weighing myself. I don’t want a number making me feel good or bad about my body. I believe that this made a huge difference in how much weight I gained. The doctor still checked and let me know if I was making good progress, she just didn’t share the number with me. A little much, you’re thinking? Maybe, but it helped me!
After I had Anatoly, I definitely noticed some changed in my body. My diet consisted of my mom’s delicious cooking and my short walks were my exercise. After getting cleared by my doctor, I bought a Groupon for group exercise classes near my house. I pushed myself too hard on my first workout, and felt nauseous. It was a humbling experience. J I did a few more weeks of classes and then the holidays came up. I kept up the walks, but that’s pretty much it. In January I went back to work and everything changed. but that’s another post for another day. Unfortunately I never was able to figure out a way that I could work out while still making time for my little one, but school is about to let out for the summer (3 more days!), so I’m hoping to make exercise more of a priority.
Woah, this has become a super long post! I guess that’s what happens when you try to compact a few years into a few paragraphs. J
To conclude, I just wanted to say that I am the happiest that I have ever been about my body. It’s far from perfect, and I still have negative thought about it sometimes (I don’t think those will ever go away in the society that we live in), but it helped me grow a beautiful little human, and it powers me to live, so I’m really thankful for that. I fully believe that God was the one who helped me evolve to where I am today. He has helped me to love my body, and to view it as not only a physical being but also as His vessel. To love on and serve my family, my students, my friends, and my community.
I hope that this post has encouraged you! I believe that God can help YOU love your bodies as well.
P.S. I know I still owe you guys a life update! Coming soon my friends!