A few weeks ago I wrote a post called Will I ever wear regular jeans again?
Then I embarked on a "get fit" training schedule, walking almost every day up and down some decent hills, HIIT sessions, and some yoga - that was more aimed at getting strong and toned,and skinny and much less about what yoga's really about.
I measured myself EVERYDAY.
I knew exactly how much I weighed.
I called my amazing friend, who's a homeopath and a nutritionist for some remedies and advice.
I tried to pull my jeans on - they wouldn't get past my knees.
And I TORMENTED myself with images of myself 6 years ago, post baby #1, skinnier than a skinny thing.
Every night I would do my Lousie Hay "I love you" routine in the mirror, but it was falling flat.
So I went back to basics.
I began observing myself, my actions, my thoughts, my beliefs - watching myself and how I was moving through the world.
What I noticed shocked me.
I found myself constantly in discussions related to my weight, telling people about how I was so frustrated that I wasn't "there" yet, and what I was doing and trying to get "there". And I began to notice something really sad - my beliefs about myself - I thought people wouldn't like me, wouldn't take me seriously, wouldn't think I was professional, wouldn't want to work with me, wouldn't think I was beautiful, would think I was a failure - if I wasn't back to my old size. I felt completely inadequate all of the time.
This made me feel so sad, because I realised I didn't love myself. I was being SO mean to myself in my head - and here's the problem with that - Our thoughts carry a vibration which resonates throughout our bodies and creates our reality - life kind of sucks if we don't love ourselves unconditionally, not to mention how difficult it is for our bodies to thrive, and feel and look amazing with all that meanness going on.
Equating my value with the number on the scales or the size of my jeans - believing there was something wrong with my body - those beliefs were creating the exact opposite of what I wanted.
So here's what I did to change that.........
- I G O T mum to send me a picture of myself as a little kid, in the picture (yes the one at the top of the post) I'm about 6, teeth missing, funny hair, and cute as a button. I took a photo of the picture and made it my screensaver on my phone. Then I put the picture up on my mirror too. Everytime I see that little girl looking back at me, I remember how she felt, and what she dreamed of becoming - she was pretty damn amazing and sweet, and she knew she was awesome, she pranced around naked and totally loved herself. Looking into her eyes each and everyday, seeing how beautiful she was, reminded me of who I am. I would say to her - I'm here, I've got you, you're beautiful, I love you. And it was true. I started to love myself again.
- I S T O P P E D doing all my intense workouts. I stopped doing "strengthen and tone" Yoga and switched to Yin Yoga instead. I felt a pull to slow down and create a strong foundation from within, not just for my body, but for my mind and spirit as well. I felt the need to nurture and nourish myself - stop pushing.
- On T H E advice of a friend of mine who's a nutritionist (and superwoman) - I changed one simple thing about my diet - I stopped eating toast loaded up with butter and jam for breakfast and switched to eggs (please don't take this as dietary advice - it's what works for me). Her advice was to change one thing that felt really easy to change and do it for 30 days. You can watch a video of hers here. It was super helpful to me!
- I M A D E a list of things that would feel amazing, things that would make me happy............
- Having a consistent yoga practice
- Having time to play with horses
- Being with my friends
- Learning to dance
- Doing more coaching
- Cleaning out the clutter in our home and garage
- Having a wardrobe that I love
- Going on family adventures (big and small)
- Being more organised
Once I'd made my list - I found ways to start doing these things.
I'm ashamed to say, I'd been putting my life on pause - waiting till I was skinny enough. OMG. Really?? Yup. I know.
- I F O U N D an amazing physio who is supporting my post-baby-body-recovery. I'll be talking a LOT more about her in a future post. Internal physio and pelvic floor strength is something I am passionate about for a lot of reasons.
- I S T O P P E D comparing myself to my past-self, and all the other skinny post-natal mamas out there, who dropped the weight in 5 minutes flat. Compare and despair. Not cool. As my friend Wal reminded me "Don't compare your backstage to somebody else's front stage".
- I W E N T out and bought some new clothes - the maternity clothes were swimming on me, but my jeans were a way off.
It felt so good.
Basically I stopped worrying about my weight, and got on with living, finding ways to bring more happiness into my life and loving myself - And you know what? The other day, I put on my jeans - and magically, they f-ing fit me! Yes, they are my biggest, stretchy-est pair, but I'm thrilled.
It feels good to love yourself skinny........and skinny kind of stops being the objective anyway!
The reason I'm telling you all of this is to inspire you.
I'm SICK of reading blogs and articles that have before and after photos, detailing meals and workouts, weights and measurements. That stuff makes me feel totally inadequate in almost every way - it's not that I can't do it that way, it's just that it doesn't feel good, and I don't know about you, but it sucks me into the shame spiral of I'm not "there" yet, there's something wrong with me.
If you want to look hot after having a baby - LOVE YOURSELF, and do things that bring you a feeling of freedom, happiness and peace, you'll soon feel amazing, and begin noticing changes in yourself, your body, your relationships and your life. When your inner world is nurtured and beautiful - so is your outer world.
O V E R T O Y O U
- What could you do this week, this month, or today - that feels loving to you? It might be drinking more water, or going to be earlier, or taking a bath, or spending time with a girlfriend - maybe you drink your tea quietly overlooking something beautiful, or buy a book you've been wanting to read.
- What could you do today or tomorrow that would make you feel happy? Go ahead and write you own list, and then find a way to incorporate something, or many things on it, into your life. It might be that you do yoga online in your living room like me, because I don't have the time to get to a studio - or maybe getting to a studio is what would make you really happy. Or maybe you begin writing a book? Growing a garden? Start a business? What would make YOU happy? For a friend of mine, it was buying a double pushchair so she could easily take both the kids out for a walk, and get some exercise at the same time - exercise and being outside made her happy.
If you want to really push the boat out.......
- Find an image of your very young self, and notice how you would treat her, what you'd whisper to her, what you'd want her to know - my guess is, you'd be a lot kinder and gentler with your younger self than you are to the woman you are now? Put that image of your young self somewhere you'll see it, on the mirror, on your phone, on your desktop - smile at her, talk to her - || L O V E H E R || She is you.
P.S. I have room for O N E more gorgeous woman to jump into my Beautiful Birth 1:1 Coaching Package, we'll be starting in August - if that's you or someone you know, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org