My Conflicted Motivation to Lose the Baby Weight (Or Not)

baby weight

I’m seven months postpartum with my second baby, and by now, I thought I’d be eager to lose the baby weight. Part of me is, and the other part of me isn’t.

This isn’t new territory for me. I felt a similar internal conflict after my first baby. As someone who has always loved to work out (and for much of my life worked in the fitness industry), I was counting down until my six-week appointment to be cleared to exercise after my first baby. At that appointment, I did get cleared—but I didn’t work out.

The six-week mark came and went, and I still wasn’t rushing to the gym. I didn’t return for several more weeks, and when I did, it was sporadic visits at best.

Pre-kids, I worked out a minimum of five days a week. It was a nonnegotiable in my life and I loved it. I was a group fitness instructor, so spending several hours at the gym was part of my job, but going to the gym was also a social event for me. In those first few months postpartum, I couldn’t quite figure out where the old me had gone. Where did my love of working out go? Where did my motivation go? Didn’t I care about those extra 15 pounds hanging around? And if I didn’t care, what did that say about me?

 

baby weight

 

My Priorities Have Shifted

There are a lot of things I cared more about pre-baby than I do now. Showering daily and dressing in something other than leggings might be on that list.

I’ve talked to other women and realize I’m not alone in these feelings. There’s a lot going on in a mom’s life and in her mind and it’s hard to find the motivation that some of us used to have. Priorities have shifted, and though I’d love to be as passionate as I once was about working out, once I became a mom, I couldn’t seem to muster the excitement. And to be honest, I’m now over two years into my motherhood journey and still can’t seem to find it most days.

One minute I’m thinking, OK, time to get it together, I can do this! Think about how much better I’ll feel once I’m back at my pre-baby weight. The next minute I’m thinking, eh, I’m feeling OK as is and maybe next week I’ll care more. 

I’ve gotten down on myself for this. I’m known to my friends and family as someone who loves to exercise, do races, and generally cares about health and wellness. So if I don’t have those passions at the moment, am I still the same me? If I haven’t lost the baby weight and gotten back to my pre-baby body, can I still call myself fit? Can I claim to be a person who loves health and wellness?

Even if you aren’t passionate about fitness, you may feel a similar internal conflict about being the person you are now as a mother and the person you were pre-kids.

And why is this?

 

baby weight

baby weight

 

I’m Making Peace With Where I Am Right Now

It’s a new season of life, and whether it’s your first baby or, like me, you’re onto your second (or more), it seems like finding motivation, time, or energy for our previous passions can greatly fluctuate. As our identities shift, it can sometimes feels like we are totally different people than we once were.

It’s not surprising that moms might feel this way. Our days are full and our minds are often even more full, constantly carrying the incredible weight of motherhood. While we know it’s important to take care for ourselves, that energy is often placed in other areas of our lives.

And though I feel conflicted over it, right now, I’m learning to be content with the discourse. So I will focus on myself for a few days, then a week later stop caring. I know weight is just a number and not something that defines me. I also know that at the heart of it, I do care about being healthy and, yes, it would feel good to fit into all my pre-baby clothes. I can live with both feelings at the same time. I also can accept that things I really cared about pre-kids might not be as important to me right now, even if I struggle to let go of the expectation that I should care just as much.

If you’re feeling a similar shift in motivation day to day, no matter where you are in your motherhood journey, you’re not alone and how you feel is perfectly acceptable. If you are a mom set on losing the baby weight and are working toward physical and health goals, I applaud you. But if you’re a mom who can’t quite lend the mental energy at the moment or simply do not care about that baby weight, I stand with you as well.

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