Two nights ago I laid down beside my son to get him settled for bed and couldn’t seem to get comfortable. I realized that my waist beads I had been wearing since about February or March were a bit higher than where they had originally started. The smaller strands were definitely a bit tighter. Granted it was the end of the day and they were always a bit more snug around this time, I really felt uncomfortable beyond them just being a bit snug.
Shortly after finding out I was expecting I began thinking twice about what I was eating, how much weight I would gain, how much I already weighed compared to what I weighed before giving birth the first time around, and how this pregnancy would probably leave me with another version of a body I didn’t quite recognize and was not initially thrilled with.
I know this loss of wiggle room in regards to my waist beads was more closely related to the fact that I had finished off nearly an entire pie by myself over the Thanksgiving break versus the fact that I’m pregnant! I also recently put my fitness group membership on hold until the Spring. There’s something about cold, dark, workouts outside that just don’t get me pumped so I have been less active recently than I have been in months. I have managed to complete a couple of rounds of p90x over the last couple of weeks though, so I haven’t gone into complete hibernation mode just yet.
My waist beads were a subtle yet uncomfortable reminder of a few different things for me that night:
- Don’t eat all the pecan pie, just don’t do it! (That one’s pretty straight forward)
- I am currently in a time of transition. While I’m not 30 weeks pregnant yet, “eating for two”, or meeting the needs of a nursing 2 month old my body is still busy doing quite a lot. My body is maintaining a pregnancy. My body is still supplying milk to our 2-year-old son. My body is by far his most frequent resting place to stop, refuel emotionally, or seek comfort. My body is still managing to stay strong and healthy so that I am able to get up each day and keep going! It’s okay to show myself some grace and flexibility during this time, -and always!
- It’s not just about me. I could consider cutting back enough calories, and spending time in the gym like I used to in order to be back in my 2 piece string bikini and size 8 jeans. . . but right now my body, and my choices aren’t JUST about me. I fully understand that some of this is by choice, based on what works for me as an individual. What works for some won’t work for all and, that’s okay too. Maybe it is quite possible to nurse, and workout out, and count calories, and be a good mother, and be a fashionista, and a stellar wife who has dinner on the table by 6pm, and so on and so forth if that’s what works for you. It’s also okay to be okay with where you are at the moment without fear of not being able to be one million different things for one million different people, or rushing back to trying to be what you once were. I personally feel more nurturing, passionate, and intentional in ways that never even crossed my mind prior to becoming a mother with a stretch mark seared stomach, and a non-existent sleep schedule.
- There will be changes, and that’s okay. The jeans and waist beads from last year may not fit this year. The monthly essential oil delivery, and bi-weekly manicure and pedicure may come a little fewer and far between. Vacations overseas may become road trips and a take out dinner at home. Priorities may shift. This is where we are for now, but it doesn’t mean this is where we will be forever.
I cut my waistbeads that night for a different reason than I had originally tied them on for, but with the same level of intention. I cut them for the purpose of embracing this new pregnancy as a time of change and transition. I cut them for the sake of not trying to extend a season into a lifetime, for the purpose of not trying to stay where I am, and embracing where I’m heading.
“There is beauty to be found in the changing of the earth’s seasons, and an inner grace in honoring the cycles of life.”- Jack Kornfield