I used to think that the saying strong is the new skinny meant when your muscles show right? So instead of size 0 seek defined muscle.
I was wrong. You see post pregnancy has taught me a thing or two.
Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE when my muscles show. When I’m leaned out and can watch them grow it makes me head over heels. I think muscles on any human are down right good looking. The human body is an amazing machine.
I STRUGGLED the past few weeks. I mean weeks 1-5 were hard because I had a c-section and couldn’t do anything but honestly I was too exhausted to care much. Then weeks 5-7 hit and I was caving inside. My garage workouts had sufficed to start me but they weren’t the same. Why was that? I was still building muscle and being actively healthy, yet I craved the gym.
It’s like my reset, my socialization even if I don’t talk to anyone. It’s my happy place. Good day or bad you leave it at the door, sling some weights and leave feeling accomplished and better than before.
Thankfully my sister started coming each evening after the baby is in bed and let’s me go get a workout in at an actual gym. She works 40+ hours a week and at the end of the day chooses to bless me instead of climbing in bed.
Until a few years ago I used to count myself by how skinny I looked in the mirror. If I could fit through two cars without touching them or wrapping my fingers around my wrist. I valued myself that way. I counted skinny as healthy pretty much. It was very skewed coming from obese to fit and I had a lot of learning to do.
It’s different now. Of course I want to be lean and have a 6 pack like I did before pregnancy but it isn’t about pre pregnancy clothes or pounds.
These past few weeks taught me that it’s about strength for me. Being strong in the gym and pushing my body hard, trying new things and feeding it good foods. That makes me happy because I know it is healthy.
The gym used to be punishment for me. I used to punish my body with exercise for whatever good choices I deemed “wrong”. ( insert Orthorexia link here )
Strong IS my new skinny. Whether I am leaned out or not I know I’m being strong. My bones are becoming stronger, my organs are becoming healthier with less visceral fat around them, my body is getting nutrients running like a fine tuned machine.
I still have rough days in the mirror, No doubt about that, but I have MORE days that are better than aren’t. I love strength. It is so much better than starving myself or stressing over every morsel and if I burned off enough in cardio. I have FUN lifting. My gosh I have fun lifting!
And if for no other reason than this, my mindset has to stay changed for my daughter. I can teach strong to my daughter and it be a positive impact. Strong in body, strong in health , strong in balance and strong in the Lord.
I will for sure get back into my pre pregnancy clothes. No doubt about that. But I honestly like those clothes and have no desire to buy a whole new wardrobe.
It would be 0 fun or positivity if that was my only mindset. ” Must get back to size 4. ” “Must be 136 pounds” “Must be 18% body fat” “Must be this.” “Must be that!”
How daunting and overwhelming! How bleak of an existence.
How much more fun for me to be making muscle gains, to be getting strong . I feel so much more sexy than I did 3 weeks ago, and my body doesn’t even look real different yet. The rest will come. The leaning out will come & the clothes will come. While I enjoy eating clean again and challenging my strength in the gym. I still have goals and those will come.
So no settling here because I’ll be there one day soon. But I’ll enjoy the process. A process I dreaded for 9 months. A process that seemed so daunting it stole joy from me.
Let’s change our discussion on post pregnancy. Let’s not stress that we don’t fit into pre-pregnancy jeans, it’s okay to celebrate when we do but let’s not make post pregnancy about only that. Let’s make it about feeling healthy, feeling strong, setting a great example and having new energy.
I’ve been working on a piece that explains how my journey in pregnancy was the hardest and such a mental battle from my ED. Hope to have that up soon. Can’t wait!
Strong is my new skinny, being healthy is my strong, balance is my fun.