Learning to embrace, “Youer than You”!
Being the health centered woman that I am, I have lived most of my adult life chasing a life of health, wellness, and physical activity. Growing up as a competitive athlete, I have always been goal-oriented and strive to be the best at everything I set my mind to. Later in life, I still find myself chasing my addiction. Competition. I love maxing out my lifts, improving my numbers, running faster than last time, and seeing the direct results from this hard work in my body and overall health. At this point in my life, it is a competition against myself. Knowing that I am capable of doing it better than last time is what keeps me coming back for more.
Recently, I set out on a new “goal”. One that I was very unfamiliar with. Conceiving a baby with my husband. WAM, BAM, thank you ma’am! After our first month of trying, we were blessed with what we would soon find out, to be a sweet little girl. Pregnancy is a beautiful, amazing, unexplainable, weird, wonderful, awkward miracle. Something that is so hard to fathom, that even going into my 9th month of pregnancy, the kicks, jabs and sweet hiccups I feel blow my mind everyday.Unfathomable, really!
As my husband and I celebrated this amazing little life, the size of a ball point in my tummy, we both knew we wanted to be the “best” at this. Yes, you bet ya… The best at being prego! We figured out how we were going to prep for these next unknown 9 months and beyond. We instantly got all the popular pregnancy books out there, downloaded apps on our smartphones, Googled foods to avoid and foods to add-in, vitamins to take, certain exercises and movements to avoid, talked to other parents, and enrolled in several parenting classes! I felt like I was prepping for freshman year in college all over again!
This all sounds great. Tried for a baby. Got pregnant. Healthy pregnancy and baby. But there still was one thing missing…
No where in our “thorough” preparation did it prepare me on how to handle the changes that would soon be taking place in my body. Selfish, vain, egotistical, whatever you want to call it, I don’t see it as any of these things. More shocked than anything and scared of these changes that I had never experienced. As time goes on, our girl has stayed on track with growth, as have I. After feeling like Pamela, replacing my Lulu pants with “new” sizes, and packing away my “regular” daily clothes for now, I had to figure out how I would find the confidence I once had. How to embrace these truly extraordinary changes taking place, all while being up to my belly in hormones!
The pressures placed on not only women, but men as well, in our society are unrealistic and ridiculous. Your eyelashes aren’t long enough, your butt is too big, not big enough, your nose is too pointy…pushup bras, liposuction, permanent makeup, stretch marks, cellulite, thigh gap, too skinny, fat, hairy…where do we stop? The list is endless. Each of us are battling our own insecurities daily, that are unfortunately fostered by other people.
After going through these amazing changes it takes to grow a baby, I started to think of how I could relate to other people’s daily struggles with their own image. Although everyone’s are different, we have to figure out how to cope, and embrace our own body. AND be proud! Personally, I am the healthiest and happiest I have ever been. I have focused my time and energy on how to maintain the most healthy state I can for myself and daughter. Eating a healthy and balanced diet, being consistent with my exercise, getting an adequate amount of sleep every night, and staying hydrated every single day. I am the best form of “me” I can be. Knowing this, I am not scared anymore. Am I excited to pull out the good ol’ jeans? Of course! But right now, I am working on bigger and better things! Excuse me, while I build another human being inside of me!
Now I challenge you to ask yourself, are you being the best “you”, you can be, everyday? Providing your body with enough (healthy) fuel for the day, drinking enough water, getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, EXERCISING, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco, taking time to laugh? This should be your daily challenge. Not how skinny you can be, how many cups of coffee you can substitute for lost hours of sleep, putting the gym off until ” next time”, or how few calories you can function on to lose that pound of fat. SO much more comes to us when we choose a life of wellness and balance. Each person’s struggle(s) or insecurities are going to be different. It could be that you are battling a disease, you have certain physical restrictions, age, weight, time. Whatever your struggle looks like, when we focus on healthy habits, it becomes a lifestyle. With that lifestyle comes an abundance of positive outcomes like low blood pressure, low cholesterol, lower BMI, more restful sleep, muscle tone and definition, self confidence, less stress, weight loss…a happier and healthier “you”. All working on making those struggles less scary.
Stop allowing others to call the shots on your happiness. Don’t be influenced by the world on what “perfect” looks like for you. Make sure you are well and happy according to your OWN standards. Be proud of your own healthy lifestyle that you have created and work hard for. Let’s lead by example for our kids, friends, and families! Embrace your body, it is truly a miracle. Be proud of you, you should be!
As for me and this babe, bring it on pregnancy. I am growing what will soon be a beautiful, strong, and healthy young woman! Pregnancy isn’t forever and I don’t want to miss out on these sweet kicks and jabs while I worry about the changes taking place to bring this miracle into the world.
“Today You are You, that is truer than true. There is no one out there who is Youer than You.” -Dr.Seuss