[[ Thoughts on health as my second entry for the Sling Diaries Project with Sakura Bloom. You can find my previous entries in the tag above, and the other sweet mom’s posts/entries from our VI volume here ]]
Paityn and I sit cross-legged on the floor in the morning, bowls in our laps eating breakfast as we sleepily wake up. “I’m happy” she tells me, convinced that happy is the opposite of tired. The bowls contain greek yogurt with bran cereal sprinkled on top because I’m trying to be more mindful of my macros and nutrition again. So this is me trying to be better about hitting my protein and fiber goal. Because let’s be honest, carbs and fats are easy peasy. You’ll never catch me saying, “oh geez, this sure is hard to eat x amount of fats or carbs today!”
But protein and fiber are a struggle every time. And while I’m in the awkward stages of postpartum, both aesthetically and functionally, turns out hitting those numbers make life easier. So I’ll add a few fiji apples and bag of light popcorn to my day later, resolving to find ways to branch out with fiber sources tomorrow.
This postpartum journey is completely different from last time. I’m kinder and more patient with myself this go-round.
After I had Paityn, every day was a celebration. I had no idea what to expect from my body, so when the numbers dropped week after week I literally could not believe it. The message I had seen from the media and family alike is that the body is never the same after becoming a mom. That you’ll love your children and that it’ll all be worth it, but that you’ll never be the same.
I am not the same as I was before children.
I am hands down, a million times better off.
Experiencing birth twice gave me a confidence in myself that would’ve taken years to find. It’s like I hopped on the fast track to all the peaceful vibes. And I give birth all of the credit. Looking back, and if we’re being completely honest, pregnancy sucks. I tried to lean into it both times, and celebrate all the sweet moments. But it was those two births that offered me all the healing. Gone were all of the years of loathing this vessel I’d been given.
It gave me a fresh start.
With this fresh start I’ve discovered a sense of balance like you wouldn’t believe. And I’m not talking on the surface, day in the life of a nutrition nerd balance. The amount of chocolate that goes down in my life might stress some of you out for example. I mean the true-to-the-core balance.
A few nights a week Landon and the girls go to the track with me and cheer me on/play on social media while I jog 8 laps. My first postpartum run a few weeks ago I discovered this was my base, so I made a rule that I’d always do at least what I did that first day.
On other evenings he and I make use of the daycare at our gym and lift weights. I dream of having boulder shoulders and impressive biceps, but know that it takes time. So we go back and forth on sets, laughing about our faces during certain lifts and pushing each other and help with form on others.
Nightly we visit our little raised bed garden in a community garden, water the soil, and watch our seeds turn into plants.
Adding these things to our day takes a bit of extra effort. It requires turning off HGTV and dreaming about owning a tiny house and making a concerted effort to live in the present. There’s nothing Landon and I can do about our hardwood floor, large window and tall ceiling tiny home dreams, but there are things that we can do daily for our health. And those little things add so much joy to our day, and to our relationship.
Running a few miles, lifting weights, upping my fiber and protein, learning about square foot gardening, reading the scriptures and cutting out caffeine. These are the little things that have added so much joy and balance to my life. The process of pregnancy and birth taught me volumes about learning to listen to my body/soul and what it’s quietly begging for. At the end of the day I wholeheartedly believe that we all know a few things that we can do to better our health. We just need to turn off the insistent and ever-changing flow of health news for a second, and listen.