I am SO HAPPY to have found this thread today! I have been looking for a place to find support around getting healthy and happy in my body again post-pregnancy, but focused on mindful eating and compassion, intuition, and natural measures rather than restriction, competition (ugh), and other things that just don't work for me. I read he entire thread, and so much of what you all have said resonates with me. How would everyone feel about having a regular check-in via this thread, a place to talk openly and regularly about how we are doing, what practices and foods and ideas/mantras/meditations are working for us? Would posting meal/snack ideas and meals we have found healthy and enjoyable be fun and encouraging to people? I know most of us don't have much free time, so I am looking for a one-stop-shop for sharing, encouragement, accountability, and just support and fun. You guys seem like a like-minded group of women and it is a comfortable vibe. I see that this thread has been inactive tor a few weeks, so just want to see if people are still around and interested.
My deal: first baby has just turned 5 months old, baby girl, healthy and happy pregnancy that was the first period in my life where I truly felt free from the shackles of an unhealthy/worrisome/obsessive relationship with my weight and eating (other than some time I spent living in Europe in my early 20's when my hubs and I were wooing and I was too happy and distanced from my baggage to obsess about my body
. I have a looooong history of disordered eating (my grandmother put me on my first diet when I was 3 and I finally kicked the binge eating and on again/off again bulimia at age 30, a few months before I got pregnant), and also a long hitory of on again/off again depression- big surprise
Pregnancy to me was pure bliss with myself as a woman, and for the first time i truly focused on health instead of weight because for the first time in my life, weight loss was NOT a desirable outcome- healthy weight gain was a necessity-the liberation!!! I ate beautifully during pregnancy, pulling on my extensive knowledge of what foods are good for me, but also did not restrict indulgences. It was marvelously not black and white for me for the first time ever- since I knew I was getting my needs met with beautiful nutrition, and since weight loss was not the goal, I saw no reason that I should deprive myself of anything- and because of that, there was no need to binge and feel guilty and start the restriction cycle again. It was truly a celebration of new found freedom, compassion, and healthy moderation for those 42 weeks, and I grew a healthy, strong, 9 lb 15 oz baby girl : D (I shoud mention I am over 6 feet tall he he).
Jump to now, when the realities of new motherhood have reeeeaaallly taken a toll on my time and energy for self-care. I haven't returned to my destructive habits of binging and purging, I do eat healthfully for the most part in terms of the what and I do get reasonable amounts of exercise, but the how and how much I eat has really taken a hit- I know I am eating when not really hungry- and a few weeks ago I started to feel the emotional eating coming back. The depression has also been a challenge as I have watched my "time for me" part of life slip away with the arrival of a new baby. Spiritual pursuits, yoga, meditation, journaling, cooking, and reflection time alone were all a HUGE part of the path that brought me in tune with loving myself and healing before I had a baby, and it is so difficult to find the time or energy for those practices with a new baby.....that really scared me, I feared I had lost my way of being ok in the world. A few weeks ago I had a breakdown that showed me and my husband that we need to focus on making sure that I am implementing self-care regularly, it is just not an option to go without. My husband in incredibly supportive of my needs and has helped a lot.
The first step for me was to commit to a regular yoga practice again- I am now going to classes a few times a week at a studio nearby in tne evenings or on weekends when my husband can be home with LO (he works, I am on extended maternity leave and am home with baby). The food and eating part has been harder, mainly because of not having/finding the energy to seek/make the foods that work best for me, so I grab a lesser substitute, which I then eat more of because it wasn't satisfying, and then there is the guilt/resignation/low energy that causes me to make that choice again the next time. I need to break that cycle, and I really think that a community of moms will help in terms of support and just a place to check in to share triumphs-revelations etc.
I don't know how much I gained with the pregnancy- my holistic leaning doc was happy to just do the weigh ins for her monitoring in terms of what was healthy, but she did not tell me the numbers at my request- another reason my pregnancy was happily stress-free about weight
. I also did not weigh myself for a while after having my LO. When I did weigh in, 8-10 weeks after birth I think, I was 50 pounds above where I was when I got married, which is what I want to get back to (my weight had fluctuated up and down some in the year and a half between marriage and conception). The first 10 pounds of baby-weight came off easily enough once I was paying attention, but more than half of that then crept back up over the course of a difficult period. I do want to lose weight, but feeling healthy and happy in my skin and feeling fit, energized (relatively-ha), and compassionate towards myself with my relationship to food is way more important.
Sorry or the super long post, I guess I really needed to talk! So are you mamas around and interested???