It’s common for women to lose themselves in motherhood. Before I even had my first child, I had already read countless stories about women losing all of their interests and forgetting who they are after giving birth. Even though it was scary thinking about it, I was convinced this would never happen to me. A few years later, my son was born, and it was one of the best days of my life. I felt so much love for this child that it’s impossible to explain it. I still remember exactly what it felt like seeing him for the first time. I couldn’t wait to go home and spend every day with my child.
Being a mom is not easy. In the beginning, there were many sleepless nights, countless breast feedings and diaper changes, but I actually didn’t mind doing any of it even when it was exhausting. Sure, I would sometimes feel overwhelmed, but this is what I wanted. This was a time in my life when I got married to the man of my dreams and all I could think about was starting a family with him. Everything was going fine (or so I thought) until my son started going to kindergarten.
I was a stay-at-home mom, so this meant I would now have a lot of alone time every day. And this is when things actually became scary. I suddenly figured out that I had lost myself without even realizing it. During these few years, the only thing I thought about was my son. I completely forgot how to spend time alone. This realization had a very negative effect on my life, and I even became depressed.
I didn’t let this affect my parenting, but I was suddenly completely unhappy with my life. After seeing how miserable I was, my husband encouraged me to see a therapist. This ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. Had I known it was going to have such a powerful effect on my life, I would have done it sooner. Nevertheless, I wasn’t so sure therapy was going to solve my problems at the time.
My therapist suggested finding a new hobby, and since I wasn’t in such a great shape at the time I chose fitness. I decided to set up an Instagram account in hopes of motivating other moms to start exercising. To keep workouts interesting, I would often incorporate new exercises I found online. Soon after I started going to the gym on a regular basis, I also began cooking healthy. Preparing meals suddenly became fun because I was experimenting with at least one new recipe every week.
In just one year I managed to lose 50 pounds, which was a huge achievement to me. I completely reshaped my body, and started feeling very good about my appearance. Since I was often sharing fitness tips and photos showing my body transformation, my Instagram followers started growing. Moms would reach out to me and ask for advice or encouragement. Knowing I could have a positive effect on a stranger’s life made me incredibly happy.
After getting acquainted with some of the regulars at the gym, we started going to workouts together. In a few months, we began spending time together even when we weren’t exercising. This had a very positive effect on my life. Having a new group of people I can spend time with made me feel free and refreshed. These are the people who helped me stay motivated and continue working out. Since we shared the same goal (to get in better shape), we would often exchange tips and help each other come up with the perfect exercise plans. Although 12 years had passed since I started working out, we are still in regular contact, and I will be eternally grateful to this group of people who helped me redefine myself.