Six months after pregnancy two, I was struggling.
My new body felt foreign to me. I was disconnected, I had a lot of pain, and truthfully, I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.
I was carrying thirty pounds of extra weight, but it was the heaviness mentally and emotionally of that weight gain that really took a toll.
I felt a deep sense of overwhelming loss. I thought I’ll never look at myself and feel good again. I lived in this mentality for a little bit, until I decided I was ready to make a change not only physically, but also in my mentality and connection to how I feel about my body.
My old ways of fad dieting to quickly lose weight wasn't going to work this time. Pushing myself for hours at a gym- there was no time for that with two under two. Overextending myself in difficult yoga classes- my body couldn't handle that anymore.
So I had to rethink how I thought about my weight, about health, and about how I relate to myself through my body. I had to decide to try something different this time around.
I made a long term plan in my mind, not a get-thin-quick plan.
I decided that my health, energy, and agility were more important than how I looked in my jeans.
And I decided that I had to put food into my body that was right for me.
It was a process.
I had to be patient.
It took me one year from when my second child was born to lose the baby weight. Then without trying, I lost 10 more pounds of excess weight that I had gained from poor nutrition, grief, and stress.
I’ve kept it off for nine months now without supplements, while eating great food, and without the stress of staying at a certain size.
What’s really changed though is not the weight.
What’s really changed is the way I feel about my body.
The way I connect to it. The way I listen to it.
I know now when to push and when to nurture. I look at myself not by a size or a number on the scale, but how I feel when I wake up in the morning.
Now, I could dance circles around my 25-year-old body. Energy, vitality, zest, and health - emotionally, mentally, and physically - is better than I can ever remember in my adult life.
What’s the difference?
It’s that I decided to love who I am rather than just change who I am. When I love me, then I care for me in the right ways and my whole entire being responds.
When I told myself I love you as you are, my body responded back with a big, “Thank you! FINALLY!”
It was never about the weight.
It was always about loving myself beyond a scale.
Nicole is a yoga teacher, writer, wife, and mama. For more encouragement, shared stories, free yoga lessons and meditations follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theextraordinaryday/ and visit www.beextrayoga.com