Ugh. So I don’t really want to talk about this, but I think that I need to. Scratch that: I know that I need to.
My pants still don’t fit right. I’m five months postpartum with number two, and plain and simply, they don’t. If I’m even lucky enough to be able to pull them up all the way, half of them don’t button. The other half, I spend my day anticipating a sudden release of pressure only to realize that darn button has popped off, giving the world a show that it didn’t ask for nor desire.
And, to be honest, it makes me feel really uncomfortable. And frustrated. And confused.
I was never the person to “let myself go” when pregnant. I’ve had two beautifully healthy pregnancies, and finding myself in the position of stay-at-home-mom rather than exhausted teacher this second time around allowed me to workout regularly. As in five times a week of HIIT workouts. Until I was 38 weeks and felt like my son might just fall out during a workout, which was slightly uncomfortable. So then I called it quits.
Once sweet Jones arrived, I waited (im)patiently for a six-pack to unveil itself within a month’s time. Because that seemed utterly realistic considering the shape I was in when becoming pregnant plus the level of activity I maintained throughout my pregnancy. Okay, so maybe that was a bit improbable, but still. I thought recovery would be way easier than it was with my first son.
So I waited. And waited. And waited. And things were better, sure, but certainly not great. Realistically, things were still looking rather sketchy in my midsection.
You can bet your booty I beelined for those HIIT classes the moment Jones was old enough for our community center’s childcare, more than ready to feel like me again. Surely this was the missing link; as soon as I started working out regularly again, the pounds were bound to just melt off! There were only 8 of them left to lose, after all. It couldn’t be that hard.
But, surprise, surprise: it was. It has been. I’m still not quite there yet. And it’s not even the weight or flab or awkward pooch anymore. Because, first of all, scales are stupid. They just are. They fluctuate and are finicky and don’t tell the whole story.
At this point, it’s about the lack of confidence. It’s about the lies I’ve allowed myself to believe. It’s about the perception of perfection I’ve been fed (and not force-fed, mind you. I’m the one holding the fork here, folks.). It’s about the comparison. It’s about looking at her, then looking at me, and promptly thinking to myself: What the heck is wrong with me? Why did she lose weight so quickly after her baby? What did she do differently? Did she even try as hard as I am, or did she just hit the genetic jackpot?
And the answer to all of my quandaries? It simply doesn’t matter.
Of course I want to be healthy in order to be the best wife and mom that I can be, adventuring freely with my husband and sons to my heart’s content. But, when it comes down to it, what really happens when my pants don’t fit?
I’m still a wife and mom. I’m still a daughter and sister. I’m still cherished by the most high King. I still have a heart that’s strong yet tender. I still have a witty sense of humor that sometimes gets me in trouble. I still have a mind that’s capable of thinking at a likely greater capacity than I oftentimes demand of it. I still have the most incredible friends who I certainly don’t deserve. I still have my creativity, my passion, my goals, and my dreams.
So I have some extra flab? So what? That doesn’t change me at my innermost level; it has absolutely no impact upon the real me.
And same goes for you, friend. Maybe your pants fit just fine, yet there’s another circumstance, trait, or quality that you’ve placed your identity in. I dare you to take it back, knowing that you are worth infinitely more than where you’ve mistakenly placed your value.
As for this crazy lady, I’m still going to work hard at saying sayonara to my tiny mom pooch, but it will be because I want to for me. Not for my husband. Not for my bikini body (Let’s be real, bikinis ain’t happening anymore anyway. It’s in everyone’s best interest.). And certainly not for comparison’s sake.
But I’m not going to kid myself into thinking that my life will magically transform once I’ve finally shed the bulge. I am and always have been me. Even when the pants don’t fit.