I’m in the in-between. I feel lost. I feel squirmy. I feel very uncomfortable. I’m in-between my former, for lack of a better term “in shape” body, my pregnant body and my future body. For those of you not following me elsewhere (like Instagram & Facebook), you may not have yet heard the news that I had baby girl #2 in July!
This pregnancy was tough emotionally and physically. Due to my unhealed diastasis recti from my first pregnancy, by 7 months I had to drop the weights for anything lower body. By 8 months had to stop lower body entirely. Shortly after that I wasn’t even able to walk much more than a few blocks without serious hip and pelvic pain. And although I felt like she was ready to just fall out, I went a full 40 weeks. It took little to no activity to start contractions and have us headed to the hospital, only to have it all stop again. I’d think, “this is it!” and then nothing. It was miserable. I found myself in the in-between. I wasn’t in my blissful second trimester where I could keep up my workouts, skin and hair were glorious, and spirits were high. And I wasn’t yet snuggling my new baby and thinking about getting back to some sort of exercise routine. I felt in utter limbo. Fast forward 11 weeks (hard to believe she’s that old already!) and I’m in a new in-between. I am feeling good. I can exercise, but not the way I want to. I know what it takes to get a great metabolic workout that will attack these last 10 baby pounds, but my body isn’t ready. I have a lot of pelvic floor and core work to do before I’m ready for the heavy weights and sprints I’m so dearly missing. I want to skip the in-between. It’s agitating here. It’s not where I want my body to be…and that’s just plain frustrating. But there’s work to be done here in the in-between. Important work. Vital work that sets me up to be BETTER for the next phase. I skipped the in-between last time and paying for it now. Had I embraced the in-between before getting pregnant again, I would be in a lot BETTER place now. You may not be post baby or post injury, but I know you’ve been in the in-between. That place where your body is not quite where you want it to be – or may be far from where you want it to be. That place where you just know you’ll be happier when it’s different. You think it will all be OK when you’re where you think you want to be. We wish it away. We resist it. We waste a lot of energy complaining about it. In the in-between we must remember to: Be in it. The only way through it is through it. When we try to get around it we miss important stuff (rehab, perspective, or whatever that in-between is there for). It has a purpose, even if you can’t see it. Without it we cheat ourselves. Don’t try to skip it, skirt around it or ignore it. I has a purpose and it’s often a healing time – physically or emotionally.
And I’m not just talking about healing my abs. Whether we have 10 pounds or 100 pounds to lose, weight loss is a mental and emotional booty kicker. I’m at my highest non-pregnant weight – and even with a minimal pregnancy weight gain (20lbs this time), coming to grips with that can be a challenge. My body fat is probably at it’s all time high (I haven’t checked!) and I’m certainly at my weakest when it comes to exercise. I’ll be honest, that doesn’t feel good. But I say “thank you” to the in-between. It is giving me an opportunity to once more work on all the crap that comes up around how much we weigh or how out of shape we are. Our weight lights the fire of insecurity and makes it hard to see our worth beyond the scale. I’m BETTER in this area for sure, but there’s more healing to be done. So, thank you. Embrace the journey. When we are trying to lose weight we are so damn focused on the end goal, the destination , that we miss all we’re supposed to learn on the way. In the in-between we learn tools, strategies, that help us in the long haul. And we gain perspective. We grow. We heal. It’s important stuff. Don’t skip it. Embrace the work to be done. It’s very easy in the in-between to get totally freaked out about all the work yet to be done. Every time I look at my post pregnant belly I get a wave of dread about how far I still need to go. If I give into that, I’m doomed. If I instead have a moment of gratitude for that belly safely growing my beautiful little baby, take a deep breath and just accept the work, I can do that work. Yes there’s work to get out of the in-between – in some cases a lot of work. It has to be done, so no use doing it with resentment or resistance, that only makes more misery…and more work. In my case, I’m working away healing my core and floor, learning patience, grasping for grace and remembering to be grateful for all that I can do instead of focusing on what I can’t.
I can eat well. I can keep my head in a positive place. I can be grateful. I can be excited for the future and having a stronger, leaner body again. I can do as much as I can as often as I can. I can opt for BETTER in each little moment. I can be kind to myself. I can see this place I think I don’t want to be as an opportunity instead of an obstacle. And I had BETTER because in-between is the theme in my life right now! I’m learning to juggle work and two babies and it’s nothing if not un-perfect. Talk about a lesson in seizing the moment and learning to accomplish a lot in the moments in-between! I write in the moments in-between diaper changes, nursing and playing Play-doh. I sleep in-between nighttime feedings. I see patients in-between pumping milk. I workout in-between bath time and bed time.
The in-between can be really uncomfortable, it reminds us how un-perfect things are right now. But don’t fight it. The in-between gives the space to do the work. It is the lab where you experiment with more ways to be BETTER. **** Other than a case of the in-betweens I’ve had a few other exciting things going on. Like recently being named to the Girls Gone Strong Advisory Board. Thrilled and honored to be part of this group! You can read my profile here and those of the other awesome ladies I get to share this with such as Cassandra Forsythe, Jen Comas Keck and my core+floor healer, Jessie Mundell. The profiles Molly did on us were so great – you’ll get a great peek into our psyche, daily life and of course, our workout habits. I was recently a repeat guest on the Everyday Paleo Podcast. You can catch that here and my first podcast here. And finally, I’m speaking this upcoming weekend at the first ever Women’s Fitness Summit. I’ll be speaking on menopause and fat loss so stay tuned for more info on that topic right here. Aside from that, I am trying to enjoy this: