As mothers, our bodies have gone through a lot. Let’s face it, despite the happy smiling faces that are typically depicted in ads of pregnant women, the truth is, pregnancy can be brutal. As if that journey wasn’t challenging enough, we have one final challenge to conquer before we get to hold our beautiful babies. Mother nature is a bitch because some how she lets us forget it all and then coerces some of us into doing it all again. Pregnancy and childbirth are an Iron Man Marathon that I know no man could complete!
I’m closing in on my 49th birthday and lately, I live most days managing some sort of pain. My once lean 150 lbs. body has morphed into a soft mom-bod that is creeping up to a number I’m embarrassed to share.
As mothers, we pour ourselves into our families and our homes. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with our kids when they were little, days would start at 6 am and end 14 or 15 hours later. I didn’t have to think about moving my body because two little boys kept me moving. Some days I felt like I deserved a gold medal just for getting two kids dressed and fed in the morning.
Back then, it was a miracle that I was able to make it to the gym three times a week, but it was my escape. A precious hour or two focusing on myself was what I needed to fill my cup and keep up with the demands of motherhood.
Eventually, as the kids got older, I went back to work full-time, and the hours spent running around after kids was traded for hours sitting in front of a computer or commuting. The days still began at 6 am and lasted just as long but my time was spent differently, and my trips to the gym became a distant memory.
Over the years, I began to see the pounds pile on, I kept promising my self that I would get back to the gym. For short bursts, I’d exercise in the morning before work, but it was becoming harder and harder to shed the pounds. Eventually, I just gave up, I gave up on myself and the years passed.
Now, I feel like my body has given up on me, I can blame it. After years of neglect and abuse, I’d say f*ck you I’m outta here! But, unless my days are over this is the body I have to live with. What scares me, is that at the age of 49, I’m afraid that I’ll spend the next 30 years living with pain.
When you neglect something, it wears down, things stops working properly. For me, this means chronic pain in my lower back likely caused by a combination of weak muscles and nerve damage. Some days, it feels like a miracle that I can walk. Moving is painful, I have to think about how I’m going to get out of bed in the morning because one wrong move will cripple me with pain.
Isn’t it funny that once something is gone how we’ll bargain to try and get it back? I’ve tried it, pleaded with the universe to take away my pain and I would promise to exercise every day and be super healthy. Nice try Lucie!
WTF do I do from here? Am I destined to live a sedentary life and just manage my pain? I’m too stubborn for that but I am also clueless on how to start to move my body without risking pain. Yoga is supposed to be a gentle form of exercise. Who gets hurt doing a simple cat and cow pose? You guessed it, that award ladies, is mine.
Every day I quietly promise myself that I’ll move more, and I when I do, I end up on the floor, with a spasm in my back, calling to my husband to rescue me. I try to be compassionate, reminding myself that I have a strong and health body that brought two amazing children into this world. But there’s a louder voice in my head, that voice is reminding me of all the things that I didn’t do and that it’s my own damn fault that I’m here.
I don’t have any answers, but I also know that I am not alone. Your pain may be different but your story likely similar. I’m sharing my story today, crying and snotting all over myself, because someone else feels like this. Maybe you’ve been where I am and have a path that I could follow. Maybe you just need to hear that someone else gets it.
Most day I am resilient, and I don’t let this bother me too much. Today is a bad day, pain mixed with hormones is never a fun ride and I remind myself that this too shall pass. I am, however, left with the same question rattling around in my brain – Is this all my body has left for me?
On days like this, I rely heavily on the good habits that I have built, including journaling, something that I am passionate about. If you’re curious about starting a journaling practice, I invite you to grab a copy of my Empowered Midlife Mom Journal. It is the first, teeny tiny step you can take towards building a journaling practice. You’ll also be the first to learn about my journaling formula, something that I created when I hit rock bottom (yes, I’ve had days worse that this).
Download your FREE copy here: https://www.therollercoasterpodcast.com/midlifemomjournal
Journaling is like exercise, you’re told that it is important but if you’ve never really done it, then starting is both confusing and frustrating. This is one problem that I have a solution to, and I can’t wait to share it with you. You can also check out my podcast, The Roller Coaster, available on all the major platforms.