I have been on this postpartum journey for almost a year now and even though this is not my first time around I have learned so much more about myself. One major theme that keeps coming up is, who is my best self? Each month I was intentional about learning something new to help me achieve my best self. The postpartum portion of life is tough and if I hadn’t been intentional I don’t know that I would have learned half the lessons I did. Hormones are just as present as they are during pregnancy and everything still continues to change. There are physical changes, emotional changes, relational changes, and hormonal changes. Postpartum weight loss part 10 will be my last postpartum update. I am going to share with you the lessons I am learning about becoming my best self and how it applies to you.
WHO IS MY BEST SELF?
This is really an easy question to answer. My best self is stress-free and happy. Feeling great about myself physically, emotionally, mentally and relationally. Making good choices and loving every aspect of my life. That is a pipe dream. There is always one thing that I don’t like about myself or something I want to change in my life. It is definitely a good goal to have, I do believe striving for contentment is needed. The mentality to want more or change something is a vicious cycle and contentment is the biggest part in defeating that.
So how does that apply to you? You need to identify the things that make you better and the things that make you worse. When there are things in your life that brings you down and cause the negative side of you to appear then that thing/person needs to be removed from your life. If you do not make wise food choices then a change would need to happen in that area. If you are not happy with your job, it stresses you out or is not something you want to do any more than you need to re-evaluate. Find the things in your life that cause you strife and work through them. However, not all things need to be dumped. For example, if you are struggling in your marriage then you need to work together with your spouse on how to fix the problem areas. (That is a very broad solution and some issues are more complicated.)
This portion of the postpartum journey has been very difficult for me. I have this ideal body image in mind for myself and the fact that I haven’t reached it yet is hard. On my bad days, I feel like I have failed. I know that is not true and I will always be a work in progress. The important thing is to continue to stay healthy and make smart food choices. I recently had a revelation when it comes to my physical state – I need to truly love myself in every physical state in order to love myself. So when I am nine months pregnant and feel like a whale, I need to love my physical state. When I am a couple of months post pregnancy and still have a bunch of baby weight, I need to love myself. The same thing goes for now when I am so close to my goal, I need to love myself. If all I do is pick-apart my body I will not only never be satisfied but I am setting a terrible example for my children.
How does this apply to you? I want to challenge you to love yourself no matter your physical state. It is completely ok to strive for a more healthy and trim version of yourself but love you. It seems like a conflicting notion – love yourself no matter what you look like AND it is ok to desire a trimmer version of yourself. I believe that we are meant to take care of and love our bodies in every way. When it comes to the physical aspect that would mean working out. Your body needs to move and be active, we were not created to be sedentary.
Striving for more is not bad. As long as the motivation and goals are healthy then go for it!
If you do not know the emotional side of the postpartum journey is a doozy. One moment my emotions will be balanced and the next I will be crying looking at a pile of clean laundry. It doesn’t make sense. My hormones are all constantly changing, which is normal. However, the frustrating thing about constantly changing hormones is you don’t know they have changed until I see the results. So I won’t know that my hormones have changed until I find myself crying at a load of clean laundry.
How do I navigate the ever-changing hormonal waters? I put myself in the position of the other person. When I feel like yelling at my husband for something he didn’t do but was an easy target, I think about what if I were in his shoes? I would hate it if I was someone’s easy target. Keeping this in mind, it really helps me keep my mood swings at a minimum.
How does this apply to you? When you find yourself in a position of emotional turmoil, just remember you are not the only one affected. Everyone has emotional needs and yes your needs matter but you are not the only one. Talk through your emotions with someone you trust. Preferably your spouse. Talk about your struggles and remember to breathe. I have found when I take a breath before reacting I can think more clearly. Emotions are tough to navigate so take it one day at a time.
When I am my best self relationally, my relationships, of course, run smoothly. My relationship with my husband, my children, my family and friends. And there are a couple of truths that I have to put into practice in order for me to be my best self in this area. The first one being, pride has no pedestal. If my pride is the most important thing then all of my relationships would be dysfunctional. My pride has to take a back seat. The second truth is, a large portion of the time it is not about me. I have to be willing to give, much more of the time, than I receive. “Me time” is most certainly a big part of staying balanced, however, when both people are focused on giving the partnership works.
How does this apply to you? Always keep in mind that pride has no place in your relationships. If you struggle with pride, ask yourself, “Is being right more important than this relationship?” Hopefully, the answer is no. Also, give, give, give. You may be surprised how much it will fuel you. When you need “me time” be sure to ask/go about it in a graceful way and I am sure the people in your life will be more than happy to give it to you.
Here is an update on my postpartum measurements.
Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Weight: 140 pounds
Waist: 28.5 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches
Right Bicep: 10.75 inches
Left Bicep: 10.75 inches
Right Thigh: 22.25 inches
Left Thigh: 22.5 inches
I know I will continue to learn a lot about myself and relationships during my lifetime. These are the main areas that I noticed where I could really focus on becoming my best self. One important thing to keep in mind that my best self-today will not be my best self-tomorrow. Life and people change which means I too need to change.
Have you ever gone through a life-changing period? Or go through a journey to discover your “best self”? I’d love to chat with you about it!
SAVE FOR LATER!
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