Why I Choose to Adapt to My Identity After Baby

Going into my pregnancy with my daughter I was a solid 110 lbs. I always struggled with my weight, and always felt the need to “put on more”. Quite on the petite side, some would say, so naturally when weighed in at 160lbs at my final midwife appointment – I was shocked, to say the least. While I shed the majority of the weight, that came with a lot of changes to my body for which I was not prepared for. After all, when you become a mother your whole world changes. Some changes you could have seen coming, others totally unexpected and really makes you question your identity overall. From stretch marks to breast weight gain – you name it I’ve experienced it.

Fast forward to my second pregnancy, I was mentally prepared because I had already been through the body changes, so I thought how much more different can this be? First off let me be the first to say this, never compare pregnancies because I am a firm believer that no two pregnancies are the exact same, and if they are, how you manage it can vary. Being pregnant with my son was completely opposite of what I had experienced while pregnant with my daughter, and it really opened up my eyes to the significance of the fourth trimester. The most overlooked and undervalued, the fourth trimester really is about processing physical and emotional change as your baby adjusts to being outside the womb, and you adjust to your new life as a new mother. As if the physical changes weren’t enough, the hormonal changes are rarely discussed because I feel like there is this preconceived idea of what motherhood should look like. Timeline flooded with snap-back pics, flat tummy teas, and new outfits of the day, was far from my reality.

Here I was preparing for the drastic weight change, and adjusting eating habits when in actuality it was much more than that. Postpartum recovery is a complex process that is influenced by many factors and processes. When the latter occurs smoothly and harmoniously, recovery is optimal and can be completed in weeks. Many factors, however, can inhibit or prolong recovery and in my case, it was coming to terms of the priorities shift and thinking more about the needs/wants of my children before my own. To be transparent, I put myself on the back burner.

Battling with the image of motherhood and postpartum recovery, I began to feel lost. The weight gain or constantly snacking at night was the least of my worries because I truly did not feel like myself. I knew change was needed, and with the right support system/mindset, I was determined to find me again.

For all the mothers out there, or for anybody going through life-changing experiences for that matter, it really does start by putting yourself first. You have to be committed to doing the work and overtime you will reconnect to your identity. What that looks like for you can depend, but for myself, I decided I want to push myself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable for 21 days. There is no particular reason why 21 days, and there is no guideline on what activities deem as “uncomfortable” but the concept is to challenge and give myself the permission to evolve into a new being. For me, that was developing new habits that would make me feel great about myself. Journaling, affirmations, and daily movements only to name a few, but I already can tell the difference nurturing oneself can make. Initially, I started this challenge by dedicating myself to get some daily movement in because I was concerned with physical appearance, but I quickly realized health over an image will produce greater results. Once I start feeling good about myself from the inside, I now know that it will translate to the outside.

Right now I am embracing my body, and simply working on loving me in all aspects in order to GROW. Don’t get me wrong, some days are hard and feel impossible – but I’m doing this for me and my only choice is to keep going. While I speak to motherhood, I think the message is the same across the board – you are your only competition. On days when you need to rest, do just that, and then rise and get back to the grind. You owe it to yourself to be consistent, disciplined, and focused to elevate into the higher version of yourself. Yes, your life may look a little different now that you’re a mother, and that’s the best part – embrace it and enjoy the new you.

Love & Light,