During the first year of my daughter’s life, I found motherhood quite difficult. I felt swamped by my new role, and somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I felt I had been transformed into a breastfeeding, nappy-changing, baby-burping robot.
I had put on about 30 kilos while pregnant and although I lost 15 kilos in the first 8 months post-birth, the other 15 didn’t look like it was ever going to budge! This deeply saddened me, as I felt unattractive and self-conscious for the first time in my life. I knew I had to commit to losing the weight and maybe in doing that, I would find my happiness again.
So I began a program of calorie-counting, personal training, running and boot camp. I dedicated myself to an exercise regime that meant waking up at 5.20 am six mornings a week to do some form of exercise. I also kept my calorie intake to 1200 calories per day.
In the beginning, I felt I was a “bad mum” and a “bad wife” as I wasn’t there when my family awoke in the morning. But as time rolled on and my early morning wakeups became a habit, I realised a few things. My family doesn’t need me at 5.20 am.
My husband is fully capable of looking after his own child. Giving my husband this responsibility also gave him the opportunity to spend time with our daughter and helped me to learn that I can trust my husband to look after her without my constant supervision. Consequently, my husband and daughter love their daddy/daughter time in the morning!
The weight fell off me as I truly dedicated myself to my goal. Over three months, I lost the last 15 kilos. However, something more extraordinary than just weight loss had occurred. I had transformed into a new woman. I found that as I invested time in myself, I became a happier person.
At the beginning of my journey, I thought returning to a smaller size would bring about my personal fulfilment. Losing weight has improved my self-confidence, but what has really made me happy is finding ‘me’ in amongst looking after my family and dealing with my new role as a mother. Having a ‘life’ outside my kids has brought contentment back into my life.
This new season sees me excited to wake up and go by myself to training, to see my friends and challenge myself to be stronger and run further than the day before. This journey is no longer about weight loss — it is about investing in my happiness; after an injection of endorphins from an early morning workout, I AM HAPPY.
Originally published at Mum Daily. Photo by Creation Hill.