When I first got pregnant, I remember a woman seeing a picture of me in a bikini from a few months prior and then telling me, "Say goodbye to THAT. You'll never look that good again after having kids."
Ummm, what? Why?
And it wasn't a one time comment. Apparently, these kind of negative comments are pretty commonplace, at least in my experience. That fitness was nearly impossible, that only a lucky few ever bounce back, that there's no time for anything for ourselves (PS, Can we stop these conversations because it's planting thoughts of quitting before even trying.)
And no one told me anything positive about how they felt about themselves after having kids. Many simply felt defeated and hateful towards what they saw and how they felt. Loved their kids, but not themselves.
There was a time that I, too, fell into that pattern. I kept noticing everything that had gone wrong with my body. And it didn't help that the the bullying and teasing comments were thrown around like cash at a nightclub. (Why do people think skinny shaming is okay? More on that another time.)
But once I started practicing yoga, I came to see my body as the vessel for creative expression that it is. I realized how much stronger I have become in every way than ever before, and I found a new appreciation for all the things my body is able to do that I never thought to be possible.
I began to notice all the things that have gone right
with my body and all the potential it held to do great things.
And I really came to understand that the destruction of the old is necessary in order to create the new
Becoming a mother wiped out everything I thougth I was and reconstructed not only my body, but also my mind and soul, into something so much greater, and I am finding myself being grateful every day for the changes that came along with this new chapter in my life. I learned that I am much more
than a body size, stretch marks, or whatever changes I see on my face from daily life.
And I've truly understood how important it is for me to love myself and be there for myself first
in order to fully love and be there for my kids.. or anyone else, for that matter.
I was never meant to be who I was or look like I did before any talk of babies came into the picture...heck, even if I didn't have kids, I find this to still ring true. Why wish to be like I was in the past when I'm meant to move forward and be better than before
The only thing that is constant is change. What I make of the changes is completely up to me.
Feature image taken by Mike Brochu