Today is Emma's 9 month birthday! That means it's been 9 whole months since my body gave birth to that beautiful little human. What an amazing journey that's been! Watching my baby bump grow little by little and sometimes, seemingly over night by a lot! Then giving birth. And wow, not recognizing my new body in the mirror. Wondering if it would ever resemble something like the one I worked so hard to achieve before. Dealing with healing and around-the-clock care for a newborn. Then, slowly walking more and more everyday. Walking turning into running. Then tucking, shaking, pulsing, planking, dancing. Becoming stronger and stronger while my body slowly started resembling the one I once knew.
While I have a "goal weight" in mind, it's not really about the numbers. I hardly ever weigh myself, maybe once or twice a month. It's simply an easy way to measure my progress and relate it in terms to where I was before pregnancy, delivery day, postpartum until the now. It's very interesting to step back and look at it without emotion and take note of how my body responded to the pregnancy, to the food I have been eating and to my chosen fitness plans. Having said all of that, what does get me excited about this journey besides having the honor of raising, loving and cuddling another one of life's sweetest miracles is how awesome it feels to finally feel at home in my own body again! After 9 months, it no longer feels like a stranger anymore. I fit in my clothes almost exactly like I did before, minus a few more curves, but hey, I kinda like them :) There's more energy in this body, more flexibility and I'm more appreciative than ever of what it can do. So while I'm still a bit softer than I was, I'm still changing. I've not plateaued and it's exciting to see where I will level off.
But, having said all of this, I still have days where all of a sudden, my inner mean girl comes out and boy is she cruel. And the funny thing is, it often has little to do with what I look like, even though I pick myself apart! It really boils down to stress. When I'm stressed about something, I turn it into picking on myself. Maybe you can relate. How often are we beating ourselves up? Over critical of our perceived flaws, yet under complimentary of all our radiant loveliness. Just because we are having a bad day. When did we get like this? And better yet, how do we stop? Since I am guilty of the same things from time to time, I'll share some advice with you from one of my favorite bloggers, Melissa Ambrosini, who's all about shutting up your inner mean girl. Here's some tips from her post on flexing your self-love muscle:
"We go to the gym to work on our biceps, triceps, and glutes so that we can stay in shape, get toned and feel good, right? Well, in the exact same way that you can strengthen those muscles, you need to exercise your self-love muscle."
1. Be Grateful
The Universe recognizes gratitude. In return, it will give you more of the good stuff. Before jumping out of bed each morning or closing your eyes at night, rattle off as many things as you can that you are grateful for. You get extra points for jotting them down in your journal.
2. Use Mantras
Stand in front of the mirror. Stare into those big, beautiful eyes and repeat after me: “I love and accept myself unconditionally, exactly the way I am. Repeat, repeat, and repeat.
3. Quit Picking on Yourself!
We are going to stuff up, fall down and make mistakes. That’s life! Striving for perfection is neither realistic nor healthy. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and cut yourself some slack, sister!
4. Do Something for You
Every day, do ONE thing for YOU. Whether it’s going for a beautiful walk in nature, sitting and having a cup of tea, calling your bestie, or doing yoga, take the time to do something that YOU love. Remember: you are worth it.
5. Get Still
Sitting in silence is the best way to quiet down your Mean Girl. So much chatter goes on up there (usually thoughts from the previous day, that don’t even matter anymore). So sitting in stillness for just 10 minutes each day will do you the world of good.
6. Watch Your Mean Girl
Your ego (aka Mean Girl) is super clever. It will sneak into your mind and plant seeds of self-doubt whenever it can. Quickly! CATCH HER before it’s too late!
To continue reading more of Melissa's tips, click here.
I hope this post inspires you to be kinder to yourself. To be more gentle. To see yourself through the eyes of your children, your spouse, your best friend, your Pure Barre teacher :) We all see you as perfectly you. We don't see your "extra" 5 lbs. We don't see the pimple on your cheek. We see you. And you is so beautiful! xoxo