Ads 468x60px

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trading in the running shoes for a yoga mat

If you knew me well, you would know this about me : I need to be in control. Seriously, I thrive on being in control. Whether it's in my family, in organizing events, in being on time, in the workplace. Sometimes this can be a huge also is one of my biggest weaknesses however.
Something else you might know about me is that I don't love being pregnant. I didn't enjoy my first pregnancy, and to be honest, I haven't been enjoying this one either.
One more tidbit - now this one is a bit more personal. And something you may or may not know about me - I struggle with self-image. Specifically body-image. Whether it's my pre-pregnancy normal size (which may seem ridiculas to most, as I'm not exactly huge...) or it's my pregnant body, I have a hard time accepting my body for how it is.
What I've recently uncovered, is how all three of those facts about me are so deeply intertwined. Let me explain.
I run.Prior to this pregnancy I had just completed my first half-marathon and it was amazing. I had many lofty goals of half-marathons I would be completing in the near future and was excited for my fitness level and how good I was feeling. Well, that didn't last long. Not even a month after finishing my first half did I discover (surprise!!) I'm pregnant!! I was determined to run as long into my pregnancy as I could - I had the goal of running up to my 30 week mark. Well, here I am...30 weeks pregnant and probably haven't gone for a run since early July. I struggled with my last pregnancy, and as well as this pregnancy with a lot of hip pain, and a lot of somewhat intense cramping. This cramping would get worse the more active I am. To my Dr's advice both times, I was forced to slow down. This meant cutting out my running. Mentally, this was very challenging for me. I run because I like it...and I like it because it helps me maintain control. Control of my body, my fitness level, my mental stamina and at times, anxiety. Not running made me feel like I was losing control of all of the above.

So this pregnancy I decided to try something different. I traded in my running shoes for a Yoga mat. While it doesn't give me the sense of control that running does - it's created something else for me. Mental clarity. Yes, I get that when I run, but it's in a completely different way. Yoga gives me time to feel my strength that I didn't know I had, to build my confidence, but really to process why I am feeling certain ways about myself or my pregnancy (is this getting too touchy feely yet?)
In my times of yoga pushing my pregnant body in ways that I didn't know I could, strictly by focusing on the strength I didn't know I had. I've discovered this:
I don't like being pregnant, because I completely lose control of my body.
Is it just me? Has anyone else felt this way? It seems to me that mom's I know "love" being pregnant. They bask in their pregnancy glow and the joy of birthing new life. Obviously, it's amazing and it's a miracle. But I just feel...well...pregnant. Big, uncomfortable, limited and extraordinarily self-conscious in my own skin.
I'm about to have a baby...a baby girl. I want to raise a girl that can feel strong and beautiful and confident while battling the pressures and images in the world around her that can make a girl feel so awful about herself. I want my girl to feel nothing like how I struggle with feeling about myself. I need to gain control of my view of myself, so my beautiful girl can seem her mommy's confidence and acceptance of herself, and in return, be able to fully accept herself. I'm not sure where to start, and I certainly know gaining mental control isn't an overnight process. But I do think I've started making steps in the right direction.
Am I going to turn into a post-pregnant Yogi? I don't think so. I'm pretty anxious to lace up my running shoes again. But I think my journey is going to look a little different now and I'm thankful for the time away to try something different...and get clarity on myself.




  1. This is a lovely reflection. I hope you can carve out some places of control to tide you over.

  2. My second pregnancy was very much like that. My first pregnancy? I loved it. I could have been pregnant forever. I liked how I could finally feel empowered by my body because it was doing such and incredible thing! But then, pregnancy started slipping out of my control when I had two miscarriages. And all of a sudden, my body couldn't even do the pregnant thing that I thought it did so well. That's the point I started running. Because I needed to control something about my body again. With my second pregnancy, I also had to give up running. I fainted early on and was light-headed for the rest of the pregnancy (along with bad hips and cramping which is pretty consistent for my pregnancies). It was hard to lose the body I had worked hard for ( is still hard that I don't have that back).

    I think though, through all of this, it has taught me how to let go of that control, and it has given me a healthier self-image. Running now is about accomplishment. I am trying to feel good at whatever size, with whichever stretch marks and extra wobbly skin. I appreciate that there are certain people close to me who find me beautiful and I have seen my body do seriously awesome things: (grow babies? check. Give birth? Check. Feed babies with my milk? Check. Run? Check).

    Long story short: I am glad you're starting to gain some clarity. Your body is stunning pregnant or not and you are strong, pregnant or not. xo

    1. Thanks Laura :) (and you can add me to the list of certain people that find you beautiful. beautiful and inspiring xo)


Please a comment - I would love to hear from you!!