“Before”

4-and-7-week-front

4-and-7-week-side

Subtle improvements in these 3 weeks

So here I am!  It isn’t pretty, but it’s the truth!!  I am considering both of these as “before” photos as I have not been cleared to really begin a workout routine yet.  I am still “listening to my body” and it keeps telling me to continue baby steps.

There have been so many times in the last year that I have been frustrated by the differences between expectations and reality:

I expected to run a half marathon at four months pregnant and to continue running through my pregnancy – sidelined by painful pelvic separation less than halfway in.  I expected to carry my son to term – experienced pre-term labor forcing bedrest as of week 36 and then delivered him at week 38.  I expected to have a complication free delivery of my son – went to the hospital requiring a blood transfusion from postpartum hemorrhaging.  I expected a speedy postpartum recovery allowing me to begin walking and lifting light weights within weeks from delivery – was unable to perform even light house work for the first three to four weeks, let alone attempting any meaningful workout routine. Even now at 7 weeks postpartum I struggle to walk less than a mile without feeling tired and sore when I am done.

It is important to establish goals for yourself. What I am learning is that it’s also important to listen to your body, especially if you are recovering from illness or other medical condition or if it’s been a while (or never) since you’ve exercised. Do not listen to the excuses created by fear!  It would be so easy to give into fear and give up – to allow the frustration at the discrepancies between expectation and reality take control.   Push yourself as far as your body will truly allow.  Do not allow fear to hold you back or to make you feel that you can’t do it just because your reality hasn’t caught up with your expectations yet. Expectations and reality may never completely align, but if you honestly listen to your body and do not give onto fear, you will allow the recovery necessary to reach your goals!

I did not want to post those pictures…arm flap hanging down, double chin(s), stretch marks, etc…however, I feel it is important to do so not only to hold myself accountable to my commitment, but to allow myself that vulnerability.  I joke that these pictures aren’t pretty, but I must remind myself that this belly grew and stretched in the process of creating life…TWICE!…and that is beautiful.  It was worth it -just look at my beautiful babes (⤵)! They may have done this to me 😉 but they are also my motivation and inspiration to live the best life possible!

babies

T, 5 years old. Q, 7 weeks old (4 weeks in this picture)

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