The Road to Self-Acceptance

It has been nearly a month since I gave birth to Kylie. Time sure flies with little sleep. You know the kind, where the days blend together and you can’t remember the day of the week or the date for that matter. This morning, we had to take Isabel to the dentist for a check up and when it came to filling out the date for that COVID-19 form asking questions like “Have you traveled outside the U.S. in the last month” and so on. I could not remember the date, even though I knew the answer prior to walking through the door. Does forgetfulness continue post pregnancy?

The hardest part about post pregnancy is the comparison I make towards the old me. You know, the one who would be running a lot or at the gym every day. Not that there is anything wrong with staying in shape, but I tend to be an extremist at times. It is something I’m working on not repeating. I would spend a few hours at the gym, have enough time for a short nap before working for nine and a half hours staring at a computer screen inputting data for a title company. Underpaid and unhappy I took my frustrations to the gym or running. Being fit and unhappy wasn’t the balance I promoted on my old Instagram account, but it sure looked good. I realize that I am my worst critic and I have to constantly give myself permission that I’m doing well where I’m at. Self acceptance is a hard pill for me swallow, it always has been.

The break I took from social media has brought to my attention the lengths I would go to make things look better than it seemed. Going from fit to not fit in a matter of months was a huge blow to my ego. There are days where I struggle with looking at my own reflection. I try not to be self critical around my kids, because I don’t want them to have the same sort of hangups.

I want to be fit again and I want it now. I am like a kid waiting for the tooth fairy to come. I really can’t think of a better simile. There is the pain and then the pay off. (Side note: I thought I was doing well when I would find $.25 under my pillow. Can you believe the tooth fairy is giving $3 per tooth these days? At least that’s what the tooth fairy’s assistant is telling me, aka, my husband.

I’m not one to dwell on a problem without creating a solution. A week after Kylie’s birth, Anthony and I started walking. I have also started a weight lifting and calisthenics regiment. The walking hasn’t been tough and I even started running a few days ago. Losing the weight could have been much easier post baby, but my motivation to run while pregnant dwindled fairly quickly when the nausea set in as did working out at all. The cycle of giving into cravings and eating healthy was also a constant battle. Even after the nausea subsided, I still didn’t like the idea of running. Of course, by the end of the pregnancy I anxiously waited for the moment I could put on my running shoes without having to struggle around my preggo belly.

The road to getting back into shape is the same. There is no quick pill or shortcut. I have learned over and over again that consistency and determination is the key. Getting back into ultrarunning is not about who I can impress, it has more to do with proving to myself that I can and will be able to do it again. When I told my friend, Nancy, that I wanted to run Azalea 12/24 Hour in November (possibly the 50), she told me to take it slow. Wise words that I will heed to. I don’t plan on running 100 miles this year, but I’d sure love to do another epic run when I am ready. There are times when Badwater 135 and The Vol State call my name, but I have learned that establishing a hard date when I’m not ready, makes the process even more frustrating. The lesson that I continually revisit is to take the scenic route and enjoy the journey.