Reclaim Your Evolving Body
I wasn’t taught how to do this.
No one modeled for me growing up how to accept and love my body. And definitely not how I was supposed to do this after I became a mom. I may have marveled at the adaptability of my body during my pregnancies, but I did not recognize my body postpartum. I remember getting to a point where the number on the scale was the same as it was pre-pregnancy, but things were not where they used to be on my body. This is when I started looking at and caring less about numbers and clothing sizes. I realized that I wasn’t actually seeking a number, I was seeking a feeling in my body. A feeling of energy and ease and strength and confidence.
At the time, I was trying to get back to something that felt more like me. As if who and what I was at that moment was not me! The focus was fuzzy, but the direction felt like I was trying to return to something I was before. Even as I was fully and happily committed to my new role as mother, I also felt like I was somehow losing touch with the woman I remember being.
Movement of all kinds (from yoga and strength training to walking and running) and journalling/reflection were what saved me day after day. They became what felt like my source of sanity as I found my way through the early years of motherhood and into a body that felt more familiar.
Several years postpartum when I discovered I had a handful of pelvic health issues (including urge incontinence, diastasis recti and pelvic organ prolapse), my relationship with my body changed again. Insert disbelief, shock, anger, frustration, guilt, depression, and generally feeling deflated. Here I was again having to face a new reality of how I was in the world. Even with my basket of knowledge and experience in pelvic health, I felt stuck not recognizing my body.
It hit me: we tend to resist and run from the pain and discomfort in our lives. We fight it, we ignore it, and we suffer because of it. I didn’t want my pelvic health issues to ruin my life. I knew there was more to it.
I thought to myself: what if I could do it differently? What if I could not bother with labeling things as good or bad, and just look at things for what they were. Gather all the information that was useful and take care of myself as I needed to.
Understanding how I got to where I was at that point was huge for me. I needed to learn that it wasn’t just one event that caused my pelvic health issues. The way my body is right now is an accumulation of everything I’ve done with my body up to now. Understanding my body made it easier to accept it, just as it is.
This is my body. It’s my life. I decided to take it back. I’m never staying the same. I’m never unbecoming or going back. My body is always changing, constantly responding to everything I do with it. My life is always changing, constantly responding to how I show up in the world. And there’s truly no other way that I want to be. I’m always evolving, and there is beauty, power, wisdom and resilience in that.
I reclaimed my evolving body and my evolving life.
This mantra - “Reclaim Your Evolving Body (TM)” - became a source of inspiration, perseverance, self-acceptance and self-love for me. Now I also share it in my work to remind others that change is constant and it brings us closer to trust and freedom when we lean into it rather than turn away.