These were two really great lessons in my life.
Interestingly enough, though, it wasn’t until the biggest life lesson, of pregnancy and postpartum, came to teach me something that I had not yet learned. The true depth of self-love.
Day after day, thousands of babies are being born, and moms are feeling the pressure. Feeling the pressure of needing to lose weight, of looking a certain way, of doing certain things to make sure they measured up.
But we don’t really want to lose weight in that time of our lives. We don’t want to focus on things that we should be superficially obsessed about. We want to focus on the love, connection and bonding with our babies.
But I, too, fell prey to our weight-obsessed culture, and I was worried after I had gained over 50 pounds in my pregnancy, worrying that, “What would people think of me if I was a trainer and I was overweight?”
And I had all these preconceived notions of things I had to do. What I needed to do to keep up. What I made sure that I should do so that I could tell others to do this.
And you know what I did? I gave myself a really, really, really horrible injury. I injured my back to the point where I ended up in the hospital twice in a single week.
My babies were just one and three at the time. I was not able to lift them. I was not able to bathe them. I was not able to care for them in the way that me, as a young new mom, would have loved to.
This brought up in me more than I ever could have bargained for. I didn’t even realize how much I often justified, “Well, sure, I’ll eat this, because then I can go work out and I’ll work it off.”
And I had all these weird stories and messages that I didn’t even realize were happening in my head. Not being able to exercise, not being able to work up a sweat, and even having pain just breathing allowed me to learn the true essence of what was necessary.
It’s the innercise, the inside work, that was absolutely necessary for me to rehabilitate from this experience of having babies. From the time that I hurt myself, I learned everything that I could about the core.
I wanted to understand exactly how I could rehab my own back, and through this, I learned about pelvic health, I learned about the deep versus the superficial core, I learned how to rehabilitate it and breathe in a way that was actually supportive to me.
And this, after years of training and teaching mom-and-baby bootcamp to new moms who now knowing — If I knew then what I knew now, that was the most contraindicated thing that these moms could have done. I actually put them in front of danger, as well as myself, without knowing it. This is the lesson I learned.
I was able to write a book called “The Love FitMama Way,” knowing that being a fit mama all starts with love. It’s not about all those superficial external things that you think you need to do, have to do all the time.
It’s all about slowing down, trusting your gut. This is our second brain right here. And after the trauma so many moms go through, we just shut it down.
We want to be in our heart space feeling love but instead, we’re in our heads feeling shame, regret, “I shouldn’t do that,” “I didn’t go to the gym,” “I’m horrible, oh my gosh” — it never ends.
This does not need to be the way. And I truly feel that we as a collective can transform the core of motherhood through education and through inspiration and through giving them a different alternative.
I specifically wanted to target our weight-obsessed culture. Weight loss, weight loss, weight loss. We judge people over and above what is necessary.
What if instead of weight loss, we did judgement loss? What about letting go of all that scarcity that we have, that feeling of unworthiness. That should never be up for debate. You are worthy.
You began that way. You will end that way. That never needs to change. Trust that. Trust that knowledge.
We have such ingrained patterns, neural pathways that we have created, formulated from all those stories we’ve told ourselves, all those experiences where we made ourselves the bad guy.
Did you know there is no survival adaptive benefit to being your own worst enemy? None, whatsoever. We can give it up. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but it will feel good as you lay down those new neural networks filled with self-love.
Once a symbol of loving, fun celebration, now a poster-child for words like guilt, shame, regret, cheating, bad!
I want to tell you about a study done with chocolate cake. They had two groups, and they asked them how they felt about eating chocolate cake. They divided them into two groups after that.
One group was the guilty group. “I’m guilty, I’m bad, I ate the chocolate cake.”
The other group that ate the chocolate cake did so in celebration and fun. That was their mindset. They didn’t put the mindset on them.
Those were the two groups that had those mindsets.
What they found when they later tested was that the guilty group was significantly higher in the stress hormone cortisol, which we all know is a sign that you are way stressed out, if your cortisol is shooting through the roof.