Jessica's recovery: Month 5
The human body is amazingly complicated. It is always astounding to me, how many factors can affect your workout and rehab. Stress, hormones, and where you are in your cycle can all make or break how workouts can go.
I have started to notice a pattern. Every month right before my cycle, I start getting really down on my progress and then a day or two after that workouts feel like they go terrible! Four months postpartum was the hardest. That’s when my period came back. I felt incredibly bloated, nothing seemed to be working right and I had a terrible time keeping a positive attitude about how well I was doing. I was starting to feel great before that - and feeling strong. Getting to the gym 3 times a week was helping my mental space so much and I was feeling amazing...then Aunt Flo decided to come back.
Thanks, mom for passing down the early postpartum period.
It's so much fun!...Not
I also happened to decide to move onto Momfit 3 at the same time. Arriving at the gym, nothing seemed to work. My abs tired out, upper traps hated me and I felt fat and bloated. Single leg squats felt terrible - my tailbone seemed to hate me during every movement especially those really hard single leg bridges
I thought “what in the world?! I did not feel this way last workout!”
Thank you, Period.
I also started picking apart everything I did and felt really down about my progress. I hated watching myself in videos. It was really hard not to think about what I looked like before this pregnancy and how lean I was. I found myself spiraling back into thoughts of “I am so fat - I look awful”. I have fought really hard to get rid of the lie that my weight and my appearance are tied to my worth but it still will come back. It can be hard to fight the darkness of my thoughts when PMS is also flowing through my veins.
I had to rein myself in - I find that telling myself the truth, whether or not I believe it can help calm the negative thoughts that threaten to overtake my brain. I started thinking about how different the recovery from this baby has been than my first. I was 20 lbs lighter then, also unhappy with how I looked, but the big difference was that I was also falling apart and utterly broken. Leaking every step and movement you make, can take you to a very hard place of anxiety and despair - This time is different. I don’t deal with leaking, I don’t feel like I am falling apart - instead, I am coming from a different place of strength. I am still healing from childbirth, pregnancy and my tailbone injury but I am coming to my rehab from 2 years of consistently building muscle and making brain-muscle connections. I am coming to my life from a place of strength vs. weakness.
I choose strong over skinny.
This setback was only going to be a phase. It's a big thing to get your first period postpartum. My body takes a couple of cycles to figure its new game plan out - The next month when I was down about my progress and watching my videos over and over I was able to stop and say -
“Nope, I am near my period, I don’t need to do this, I am choosing strong over skinny - my worth is not in my workouts or in how I look”
Turns out that I ended up being way stronger than my head was telling me. Five months postpartum was right around my birthday. I was able to make it to the gym, early in the morning before anyone was awake in the house - early morning alone time is my total happy place. I decided to try Momfit 4A. It felt amazing. The last exercise was side planks with a balloon.
This would have been an impossibility in my last postpartum recovery!
I decided to go for the side planks, with the balloon, from the ground. I was able to nail it! I needed to get out of my head, and just keep doing the work. - my body remembered and responded.
I choose strong over skinny.