About six weeks ago I ran into the grocery store with Edie on my hip. I only needed to grab a couple of things, so I didn't bring a wrap or sling to wear her. I've spent the entire summer at home in running shorts with drawstrings, so I was shocked when my pre-pregnancy jean shorts kept sliding wayyy down as we walked through the aisles. I kept having to stop, put my basket down (because you can't put your baby down on the grocery store floor) and pull them up. I'm pretty sure quite a few innocent shoppers caught a glimpse or two of my underwear.
What was happening? Why could I suddenly pull my shorts down and off without unbuttoning them? I was sure it was just a fluke, maybe they had stretched out. When we got home, I changed into running shorts and reminded myself to dry the next load of laundry on high.
I'll be honest--since my babe came along, I don't get out much. Putting on something like jean shorts means I'm actually mustering up the energy to clothe Edie (which she hates) and strap her into her carseat (which she hates even more). So it was probably another week or two before I put on something other than athletic wear again--this time a different pair of shorts. And, WHAT THE? They fell off, too. I decided the next time I had free hands I'd try on all of my pants and shorts, including the dreaded pair of jeans I bought a few months before I got pregnant that didn't quite button but hopefully someday--you know the ones.
(Here's where I'll pause to say: My life pre-baby was kind of always a secret mission to lose weight. I always felt just a little yuck about my body but tried to carry myself as if that wasn't the case. Carrying and birthing a child completely changed the way I see myself physically, so for the first time in my life I genuinely wasn't even thinking about losing weight. My body is for her at this point. Before you hate me for claiming to lose weight without trying and stop reading, I did make several life changes I'd like to share with you--not for the sake of losing weight but for the overall health of my family and myself. The weight loss was an unexpected bonus, but it wasn't without effort and discipline. Also, talking about this is super uncomfortable and weird for me because, like I said, I've tried to hide my self-esteem struggle my entire life. So hang with me.)
That weekend I pulled on, buttoned, and pulled down without unbuttoning every pair of pants I owned--including the wayyy too tight pair mentioned above that now sagged in all the wrong places. I then threw them all into a donation box and told Daniel I was going to take advantage of Gap's almost-everyday 40% off sale and order some shorts. I decided to take a risk and go TWO sizes down because after the discount, they were only like $12.
I was nervous when my new shorts came in a week later--what if I'd overestimated this new confusing body of mine and bought a size that was way too small? I waited until Daniel wasn't around to try them on because have you seen my husband? He's never had a muffin top moment in his life.
The shorts were too big.
I have no idea what size clothes I wear anymore.
In that moment I felt the weight of how bizarre and refreshing it was to go nine months without caring about what my body looked like, because I was too busy caring about what it could do: nourish my child with milk, carry her around in one arm while cooking/cleaning with the other, eat healthy enough to be around longterm to take care of her. These were my concerns.
I weighed myself, too, which I hadn't done in a couple of months. I'm 17 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight.
Sure, I still work out when I get the chance, but not for hours at a time like I used to. More like 10 to 20 minutes here and there, and a babywearing walk when it's not too hot out. Exercise is more for my mental health and energy now than for weight loss.
I think the biggest factor is one that was mostly out of our control but that still takes daily discipline.
I haven't talked about it on here, but those 40 hours of antibiotics I received during labor for group b strep? Yeah, they completely wiped out my good gut flora, and baby girl and I have been passing thrush back and forth ever since. About four months ago in an effort to get rid of it, I took all sugars, grains, and dairy out of my diet because they feed the yeast. Basically, I've been eating a paleo diet, minus the fruit. And because I'm doing it for my daughter, it hasn't been that bad. I'm feeling like my body does better without grains and dairy, and quitting gluten two years ago probably made it even easier to give up grains altogether.
So that's where I am--in an unknown pant size occasionally missing my lavender lattes but mostly feeling pretty strong in my skin.
Taking more control of our health through diet has inspired us to do so in other areas of our lives, too, like removing harsh cleaners from our home, getting plenty of vitamin d, etc. If you're interested in learning more about sugar detoxing or green cleaning, please reach out!
Either way, please enjoy this super embarrassing photo of me/super cute photo of my girl.