It has been almost twenty two months now since I gave birth to my second daughter and I always believed that with time, when I finally got the chance to focus on my diet and do some exercise, that I would be able to lose the baby weight and regain my shape. But it hasn’t exactly happened yet. And it is only now that I am finally beginning to realise that my body may never go back to the way it used to be.
I always clung on to the hope and belief that once I had the time and energy to really get back into exercising that I would begin to slim down and tighten up all of those wobbly bits (and believe me there are plenty), and I would finally fit back into a lot of my clothes that are still sitting on hangers gathering dust. And then of course there are other items of clothing that I have which I can fit back into but I still don’t wear because they just don’t look the same on me anymore. They sit differently now because my shape has changed – my hips are wider and my chest is bigger so very few things look the way they used to. And I have to admit that it really does make me feel sad inside at times. I miss my old body.
Before I had my children I was always so body confident. I was a bit of a fitness fanatic who worked out five times a week. Whether it was strength training in the gym, running out on the road or heading to my spinning class, I had all the time in the world and a big chunk of it was spent on exercising. It was my absolute passion. I even did a fitness course to become a trained aerobic instructor and personal trainer. I was brimming with confidence and wasn’t afraid to wear anything. I wasn’t overly vain about it but I knew I could wear whatever I wanted because I had nothing to hide. In fact it was all there to be shown. I was proud of my body because I had worked darn hard for it.
Now today, five years and two babies later, my body tells a very different story. It has endured two pregnancies and as a result has now changed and looks pretty different. For one it has widened – yes, that whole pelvic area really took the brunt. Those muscles that were once firm and strong are now loose and weakened. Abdominal muscles that were flat and toned are now soft and jiggly.
And as much as I want my old body back, the truth is that most days once I have finished taking care of my two little ducklings and have done the other ten million things that need to be done each day, I don’t have the time or energy to squeeze in exercising. I would love to be able to think of myself as some sort of super-mum who can manage it all, but I can’t. Sometimes I am just plain tired.
Having said that I am not one to give up easily. I may have all the obstacles of motherhood going against me but I am still going to try and get out there. Get my runners on and get out there and get moving, even if it’s just for a walk. It may only be three times a week (or even less at times) but I will take whatever I can get. Because as much as I am beginning to see that my body may never look the way it did again, that doesn’t mean that I can’t be healthy and take care of it.
I know it’s time to stop grieving my old body and start embracing my new one, the one that worked so hard to carry and deliver my two beautiful girls. So I’m ready to move on and accept that things don’t always have to look perfect all of the time. I need to stop being so hard on myself and give my body a break. Ok so I may never fit into my skinny jeans again and I have a rack full of skin-tight dresses that may never see the light of day again, but really is it the worst thing in the world? I doubt it. I am here, I am happy and I am going to keep trying to take care of myself. Because right now I am a work in progress and both my body and I are ok with that.