There are circumstances in life where pretty quickly I wonder what God is trying to tell me through it. Then there are others where it takes me way too long to realize that maybe He is using this struggle to grow me and teach me something.
I've mentioned before that I have some lingering postpartum issues that continue to stick around. I have been trying to workout more and I feel like there are lots of things working against me. One of the biggest being energy and motivation. Getting back into a workout routine is not coming easily to me.
I don't think I realized until now the value that I placed on working out and getting dressed and my overall appearance before I had a baby. While I was never super confident or always loved the way I looked, I felt strong, healthy and more put together regularly.
By no means was I this all star athlete, but I could pretty easily do a hard intense workout, or run many miles. Despite a busy schedule I worked out for 45 minutes to an hour just about every day for a few years. I felt like I was disciplined and would do whatever it took to get a workout in, but when I think about it I realize that it was a little obsessive. Or maybe a lot. I think in general I have a more obsessive personality. I tend to think about things and if I decide to do something, I'm going to follow through, and in this case meant making working out a huge priority. Which isn't bad, unless it starts to define you.
Which again, I didn't realize that it did until that was taken away. When I was pregnant and on bedrest I was really scared to work out and took it pretty easy most of my pregnancy. I'd walk a lot, but that was about it. But it didn't bother me as much because I feel like I wasn't expected to be in shape. I mean hello baby bump. Completely acceptable and necessary to take it easy when you're pregnant. I was still getting dressed up and felt put together most of the time when I was pregnant.
These days there isn't much use for cute shoes and dressy looks. While I still get dressed in something other than sweats a few days a week, it definitely isn't the same. I don't have the same time to pick out an outfit or blow dry my hair every day. I miss getting ready for work and having that feeling of being put together. I've started working out regularly and find myself getting frustrated. It's been uncomfortable and hard to run. I feel slow and weak and tired.
I didn't think about the value and self worth I put on my appearance and the confidence that working out regularly gave me. Those things made me feel good about myself, and while I think they are still important they shouldn't define me.
I think I have a hard time finding balance in life. Since starting to work out I find myself feeling like I should try to fit it in every day (which has yet to happen and probably won't and that is completely okay. And healthy.) I don't want to obsess over working out. I don't want to feel like I need to dress cute to feel good about myself.
I've felt a lot of pressure lately, feeling like I need to be in better shape. That I need to be watching what I eat and making healthier choices. That I should be making cute outfits out of all the clothes hanging in my closet. But I am ready to find a healthier balance. To work out because I need some "me" time and want to be healthy. To find a balance between healthy foods and enjoy things that taste to me too. To get dressed to make me feel like I'm ready for the day. But to not put my self worth in any of those things.
I know that God is using this transition in my life to show me that my value doesn't come from the outfits I wear, or what shape my body is in.
Going through pregnancy and motherhood is humbling. So much of your freedom and time and self esteem feels non existent at times. But that is not what defines me. I need to find my worth in being a good wife, a mom, a friend and most importantly a child of God.