Pregnancy is an interesting thing…You go into it thinking you’ll be that woman who will continue to eat greens, keep exercising and defy all norms. You visualize what those months will look like and how your body will change, envision your birth (which of course has yet to happen), and as a fitness professional, think about what your body will be like after you give birth. I used to love reading blog posts and watching women’s bodies change from pre-baby to post-baby and always wondered what my before and after pictures would look like, and how I would approach my fitness. Over the years, before getting pregnant, I have veered away focusing on before and after photos (they don’t resonate with me anymore) and on this concept of getting your body “back” – after an injury or illness, a personal setback, a pregnancy.
After receiving our diagnosis of a 0% chance of being able to conceive, my mindset changed even more – I just didn’t think it would be possible to get pregnant. So when we did (praise God!), it really felt like a gift, and my physical body wasn’t even a consideration anymore. I was carrying a miracle; who cares about the weight gain (when it would come) and the body changes (which I hadn’t experienced yet). Along the way, it’s been fun to see how easy it’s been for me to embrace the changes in my body – I’ve simply watched in amazement and never felt like I went through an awkward phase of feeling thick or chubby before I “popped.” I loved my small belly and protruding belly button – which came out before I even had much of a belly! – and I think a big reason is because it’s something I didn’t anticipate being our reality. I’m grateful the transition has been mainly enjoyable, and now I’m in the “whoa-where-did-that-belly-come-from?! stage when I turn to the side and catch a glimpse of my body.
So that takes me to looking to the future – to postpartum and my body after baby. Can you guess where I’m going with this? Here’s my plan:
Be present over perfect.
That’s it. No workout plans (although I know I’ll be easing back into BirthFit slowly – emphasis on slowly! – when my body is ready), to timeline, no expectations. It’s my desire to be totally tuned into my body and focused on time with my babe and husband and practice being present. I am quite certain that “getting my body back” won’t be on the forefront of my mind considering how this pregnancy has gone thus far mentally and emotionally. My body will be different. I’ll be healing. Life will slow down (and I”m sure simultaneously speed up at the same time!). But focusing on simply being present in my new body and new reality is exactly where I need to be.
Justin McRoberts, on a recent Facebook video, phrased it this way: “Embracing my limitation means being able to enjoy the life I can live instead of being haunted by the things that I can’t do and the life that I can’t live.” There’s a lot of freedom that comes from embracing your limitations or current reality instead of focusing on what you can’t do or are missing out on, and I think we can all understand that whether we’re male or female, pregnant or infertile, striving in the gym or workplace, employed or unemployed, we can all practice being present over perfect.
(post inspired by Noelle’s recent Instagram thoughts!)
Any thoughts from your end from experience? Or thoughts if you were in my shoes? It’s interesting to think about how you think you’ll feel and then see where you really land! Thanks for letting me share my thoughts; live well & be well!