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
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.