Alisa Hope Wagner's, 5lbs of Grace, inspired me to write about my own set of pounds I've been toiling with and surrendering over.
I heard someone once say, “It took a year to go on, give it a year to come off.” A year? I was thinking about giving it six weeks, maybe three months at the most! I mean, practically speaking, I can’t wear maternity pants forever. Yet, here I sit in my elastic band maternity shorts with my 11 week old baby, Madeline, about 10 lbs over my normal weight - where I seem to have plateaued.
I had thought that summertime after giving birth would be perfect timing for getting back into shape. Instead, I am contending with a lack of time and discipline to exercise and eat better.
This all has come easier to me in the past with three previous births. I've been a little spoiled. Not this time. It's dead middle of the summer and I am in no shape to be sporting around summer gear - certainly not in the size 4, tailored clothing, gathering dust in my closet.
10lbs, I realize, may seem like nothing to some who have carried more weight for a longer period of time after giving birth. The point, however, is not the quantity of weight, but the quality of the mindset and of life, despite the imperfections.
Exercise, eating well, and a healthy weight have contributed to much of the balance I have attained in life. I do aspire to that lifestyle again, however, my spirit is warned against the danger of obsessing.
First of all, nobody cares! People don't look at me the way I look at myself. If nothing else, those who know me must be relieved that my body handles pregnancy and extra uncomfortable pounds like most everybody else. "Phew, she's normal!" they must say.
Second of all, I could put so much of my energy into changing myself right now that I would miss the beauty of what is right now. I know I will get back to an ideal weight sooner or later and when I do, will I look at my growing baby with vague recollections, wondering where the time has gone - even willing to sport 10 extra pounds again to embrace those fading moments with her, unhindered by an inner-dissatisfaction with myself?
Or will I look at her and know that I embraced every moment because I've taken an attitude that I am okay with what is? What is - is beautiful! Madeline nestled in my arms is beautiful. Enjoying my children in the midst of chaos is beautiful. Loving my husband when I’d rather collapse by the end of the day is beautiful.
I believe God desires for us to embrace the moments of imperfection so he can show us His perfection.
I may not like the love handles threatening to rest over the elastic band of my wish-to-be retired maternity shorts if I dare to eat one more bowl of ice cream but, my children will know how to live in the moment and we’ll have beautiful memories to show for it.
When I look back, months or years from now, on Madeline as an infant that has grown all too fast; I want to be able to say, "Those were the best 10 lbs. of my life!"