This moment has been a long time coming... The welcoming of my beautiful baby, the much longed for postpartum relief, and the beginning of physical renewal. I'm so ready for this time of healing. So ready. Here is my beginning...
I'm 4 weeks postpartum.
Almost 40 years old with 8 kids.
I gained 35 pounds in pregnancy and am 15 pounds over my ideal weight.
I am weak as a baby.
And I continue to heal from chronic illness and injury.
Before I lay out my postpartum fitness plan, I want to acknowledge the gift of difficult pregnancy. I knew going into the pregnancy that it was going to be a doozy because I knew my body was tapped out, depleted, tired. The tears that flowed when I looked at that positive pregnancy test weren't all joy - some of them were the expression of fear. I cried out to God that I wasn't ready. And really, I wasn't. But what God allows, God also sustains. And the gift of this pregnancy was this:
That my body would not be ignored.
And for almost a year, I was forced to focus on my health and healing in order to function and provide the best care for my unborn child. The reality hit me like a brick...
I will be raising children for another 20 years. I can't afford to be sick if I don't have to be.
If you haven't read about my journey to wellness this year, you can find it here. For those of you who already know all about it and are ready to move on with me... let's do this.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FIT CATHOLIC MOM?
I'll borrow the words of my fitness trainer to tell you. Rebecca Dussault is a Catholic mom, an Olympian, an elite athlete, founder of Fit Catholic Mom, and a woman of deep faith and commitment to walking in the service of Christ. I write more about her later in this post but I'll let her speak here first...
What is a Fit Catholic Mom?
"A Fit Catholic Mom is active, obedient and faithful as a Daughter of the Church. She is disciplined in the daily regiment of physical training, proper nutrition, simple living, and nurturing her prayer life.
She is creative with her time and resources and is able to make these things happen because she understands and embraces the stewardship asked of her in these areas. She doesn't conform to the world, but informs it of the deeper Truths she believes and lives."
Preach, sister! Now... how am I going to live this?
MY POSTPARTUM FITNESS PLAN
RULE #1: This is not about rules. This is about a way of living that breathes principles of health. My "plan" is not so much about numbers as it is a mission to incorporate those principles to be the best person I was created to be. There are some organized details but I'm not "on a diet"... I'm changing my life. I have done it before but this is going another layer deeper still...
It all starts here and that's not an exaggeration. You can buy all the supplements, workout programs, and hire all the doctors in the world. But if you are feeding your God-designed body garbage day in and day out, you're shooting yourself in the foot... every step of the way. It's not about dieting but about taking care of the mind, body, and soul through nutrition. I wrote about it HERE and I am recommitting to living it!
What we eat, breathe, touch, smell, taste, feel... the places we inhabit, rest, play, dream... the products we apply, consume, spray, clean with... the anxiety or peace in which we are immersed... and the spiritual life which is at the heart of who we are.
It does matter. All of it. My plan was put into motion (fast track style) during early pregnancy HERE and I'm simply recommitting.
Pregnancy is a normal biological function and a great blessing, not a disease. Still, nine pregnancies have taken their toll and I am drained and a whole lot weaker than when I began. I don't regret any of it... but I wish that I would have paid more attention to self-care through those years. Oh, how I wish I had done it right from the beginning! It's so much easier to maintain a healthy body than to mend a broken one.
I've got one child heading to college seminary in a couple of months and a newborn nursing in my arms about once every 10 minutes! It's time for renewal... healing... strengthening... and replenishing. It is not time to fall apart.
The truth is that in spite of being a reasonable weight and having a solid knowledge of personal health and fitness, I'm about as strong as a cooked spaghetti noodle. NOW is the right time to recommit this body to the service to which I have been called.
I'm a steward of this body. It belongs to God. It is the tool which I have been given with which to serve. Today (and everyday) I commit to taking care of it so I can do that to which I have been called. If He allows sickness or injury, I try to accept it with peace but... I will take the best care of myself that I reasonably can. In His service. For His glory.
FIT CATHOLIC MOM
I will be writing more about my progress and about the Rebecca's mission at Fit Catholic Mom as well. I do know how to exercise (read more HERE)... but I need things kicked up a notch (or twenty) and I need accountability and a level of expertise beyond what I possess in this stage in life. She has what I'm missing.
If you aren't already familiar with Rebecca, I hope that you'll check out her website, her email newsletter, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, book her for a speaking engagement... and watch the video below! She will not only inspire you to get your body moving and make healthier lifestyle choices, but also to do so with your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. Oh, and she just gave birth to a gorgeous little baby last week. Thanks be to God!