Hello Fit Fam,
Today's post has been a topic I have steered away from due to sensitivity or how it can often be received in the fitness industry. I want to dive into the world of body positivity. I have been thinking a lot about this topic since deciding to start my online personal training business. I have always been into fitness, physical performance, sports, and exercise. When I was young I started playing sports which grew into a passion for the weight room and then became an interest in how the human body works in college which finally led to my career path of personal training. The images I saw from the beginning of my sports days, college academics, and working in many fitness facilities led me to believe that physically fit people looked a certain way; skinny/slim, muscular, a certain clothing size, and absolutely not flabby skin anywhere! I believed this bias for many years and often found myself judging others who did not fit the mold. Needless to say, I have changed my mind and I have seen so many amazing professionals who don't fit in the stupid mold that my younger self thought to be the truth!
This same mentality followed me into my pregnancy where of course you gain weight for a very valid reason. I thought based on my textbook research I will gain 25 lbs max during my pregnancy and lose it all within 6 months, easy right? Boy was I wrong! I gained a total of 60 lbs and I hated every pound of it. Not only was I unhappy with the weight gain but I felt bad too. I had very normal symptoms during my pregnancy that caused a lot of fatigue or pain so physical activity became less frequent than I anticipated. So in my eyes, the weight gain was me being lazy!
In postpartum life, my disappointment continued. I had these amazing plans to run my first ever half ironman 7 months postpartum while still breastfeeding. Let's just say that did not happen, not even close! I could barely run 2 miles a few months postpartum let alone 13.1 miles plus the swim and cycle on top of that! I had a very big reality check that my body had changed and I wasn't going back to prepartum Liz anytime soon. I can say that now being at a comfortable body weight for myself and gaining my physical fitness abilities slowly but steadily. I also am happy I was able to finally race that half ironman this past Fall and I loved every minute of it at my own pace!
I had to redefine what I wanted from my body because it wasn't ever going to be the same as it was before. Not only has pregnancy changed my body but aging is starting to set in as well! Nothing serious but I notice a creek or two in my joints every now and then. I am happy for what my body has gone through but I constantly have to check in and say I am where I am and I can get where I want to go! But throughout this whole process, I am going to continue to love my body and what it is capable of no matter what phase or condition it is in. So I challenge you to love your body no matter what shape, size or condition it's in. And if you don't like the current shape, size or condition make and plan and work to change it!
As always if you need help with a plan to get your body into shape, let me know and I would be happy to help you write a plan!
Stay Calm and Exercise On
~ Liz ~