One of the MAJOR obstacles to feeling human again is this never-ending drive we feel to “fix” our mom bods.
The panic and anxiety we feel for anyone viewing us as less than drives us to go to extremes: we cut out foods we enjoy, follow diets and meal plans that don’t mesh with our chaotic lives, exercise in frenzied bursts for far too long because we want to burn calories. Because of this, food and exercise begins to feel like a chore we must do in order to lose weight rather than something kind we do for ourselves.
We might as well be scrubbing toilets.
And so resistance kicks in. We bounce on and off the wagon, or rather we let ourselves in and out of a self-imposed prison (because we hold the key). And if we’re able to stay on the wagon, the mental bandwidth it takes to stay on track is overwhelming. This is energy that is keeping us from living our best lives with our children.
Considering how many references most of us saw growing up to women’s looks in magazines, movies, tv shows, books, and in our peer groups, it’s no wonder we feel so much panic. We’ve been brainwashed into believing that much of our value sits upon the shape of our bodies.
And so we’re left with this anxiety-producing sense that if our body doesn’t look the way we think society wants it to, we have no value. We feel inferior and like people are judging our character.
So we diet. We join bootcamps. We do the most extreme thing we can think of because it will work the fastest, and we need this anxiety to go away RIGHT NOW.
But the diets are unsustainable, the workouts don’t work fast enough to keep us getting up early long-term, and we give up. Feeling like failures, we drown our sorrows in food until the entire cycle starts all over again. We lose trust in ourselves and believe we are broken, even though 97% of people can’t follow diets and programs strictly long-term.
And if you’re one of the few who can sustain the extremes, you STILL feel anxious all the time because you think one wrong move will bring it all crashing down, like a house of cards.
The worst part of all of this? As moms, we are TARGETED by the diet and fitness industry because they KNOW we are feeling insecure about our new bodies. They play on our insecurities and reel us in with promises to “get our bodies back”.
This is a mess, right? And SO MANY moms I know are living it, and believing that it’s their only choice!
How do we break out of this vicious cycle?
If you examine the cycle closely, it all starts with the belief that our bodies are not good enough, and this makes us unworthy. This is fear, and anytime we are driven by fear and not love, we are imprisoning ourselves. And no good decisions can be made when we are shackled, because our perspective is so warped.
What I had to do and what I train my clients to do is to shift that perspective away from “I need to fix my body because I’m not good enough” towards “I need to take care of my body because I deserve to feel good.”
This is the difference between being in a controlling, unhealthy relationship and being in a healthy, loving relationship with yourself.
Once you begin to operate from a loving place, you start to obsess less over perfection, which allows for CONSISTENCY. You develop a flexibility that allows you to approach self-care in a ways that actually works for you and is easy to sustain, rather than hopping on and off wagons all the time.
This is not an easy task. We are so used to beating ourselves up constantly as a means for motivation that it feels familiar and easy. But if you actually examine your track record, it probably hasn’t worked long-term (or you’d never be stuck) AND it feels like crap to live that way.
If it’s hard for you, try to imagine your child as an adult. How would you want them to speak to themselves? How would you want them to treat themselves? Practice it until it starts to feel second nature.
ACTION: What is your “why”? In a journal, really explore why you’re eating and exercising the way you are. Is it to lose weight and feel accepted, or is it to feel better? Or maybe a little bit of both? Really explore by digging deep until you get to the root of what is driving you: Love or fear?
If your why is rooted in fear, can you find a new reason that is rooted in love for yourself? Write this down and hang it up somewhere you will see it: your mirror, your refrigerator, your phone home screen, etc.
Comment below and let me know what you came up with!
Tomorrow we’re going to be talking about a REALLY important way I’ve found to feel human again as a mom – probably the most important tool you can have. I’ll also be announcing a special offer for the Strength In Mothers Retreat, so you won’t want to miss it!