Is It Time To Start Again?

Last week, I talked about easing into this new year. Many of you shared your beautiful new year’s rituals and how you are also letting things unfold.

If you need some inspiration, come check out the comments over here.

Today, I want to talk about my journey with my postpartum body.

First, I want to share my word for the year.

It will anchor me.

Guide me.

Remind me.

And inspire me.

The word is Nourish.

After spending almost the whole last year pregnant, I now move into yet another phase in my life, motherhood. This is me dancing with my daughter 🙂

So while first and foremost, the word Nourish points to that which I want to bring to my baby girl and my family, it also points to what I want to bring to myself.

Pregnancy was not easy for me.

Well, I should say, I had a pretty easy pregnancy, clinically.

I had a few small complications in the beginning (will be sharing that next week), but aside from that, physically it wasn’t bad.

Mentally, I struggled at times.

Perhaps you saw my post where I shared about the first time I was in workout clothes, shooting my TV show Altar’d this summer. My bump was really starting to show and suddenly, I had become incredibly self-conscious of my body.

(Crazy, because compared to where I ended up a few months later, it was just a wee little bump!)

Everything about my body was expanding. And while I had moments of really enjoying it (and trust me, I did everything I could to get into the groove with it), it was harder than I thought it would be to embrace my ever changing body.

Plus, I was just uncomfortable due to carrying a pretty big baby! (8 lbs 9 oz!)

Flash forward to today, I am no longer pregnant and my body is yet in another incarnation of itself.

Only now, I feel like I have an incredibly opportunity.

I am soft and squishy in places I have not been soft and squishy before.

My core strength is practically non-existent. My legs feel rather weak.

If you asked me to do a push-up, I’m not sure I could. Maybe on my knees.

I don’t feel strong in places I was once strong.

I don’t feel sleak in ways I once was either.

This is a new version of what once was.

And… I am really ok with it.

I would even say I am enjoying this incarnation.

Not just because I made a human, though that is pretty miraculous. (It’s still really hard for me to wrap my head around that.)

But more so, because I feel like I get to start over from scratch.

In this new body.

A never before lived in body.

I get the opportunity to rebuild my strength from the ground up. Slowly and sweetly.

More importantly, I get the opportunity to rebuild my relationship with my body.

I get to choose how I want to talk to my body while we rebuild.

I get to decide how patient I want to be with my body.

I get to slowly progress towards a better, healthier version of myself than ever before.

I also get to release expectations, even my very own.

While I was pregnant, there was one thing I knew:

I was going to give myself time and space to come back home to myself. And I knew my home would look and feel different.

It will take time. It will take NOURISHING myself each and every day.

I am very much looking forward to this journey, because I expect it will be one of ups and downs, twists and turns. But isn’t that exciting?

While perhaps you have not just had a baby, what, if anything, do you want to rebuild?

What needs nourishing in your life?

What needs your sweet, slow and steady attention?

What is begging for you not to rush or push, but rather to step into daily with care and kindness?

Listen, it is nice to have the reason of ‘I just had a baby’ as a way to start again.

But you don’t need that.

You only need your own reason.

Is it time to start again?

Are you ready to build something new in your life from scratch?

Do you need to redo how you talk to yourself or how you evaluate yourself against unfair standards?

Are you ready to set out on your own path that will take place on your timeline and not anyone else’s?

Any time is a good time to start anew. Perhaps today is the day that YOU will take the opportunity to rebuild something in your life.

There ARE a few things I am doing to help me feel at home in my postpartum body.

Here are the main things I am doing at the moment to take nourishing care of myself:

  1. I am going for daily Soul Strolls either with or without the babe. I find simply getting fresh air and moving my legs makes a huge difference. And yes, even in the frigid temps, I bundle up and head out. Soon, I will start some slow and easy workouts if I am not too tired. But rest takes paramount.
  2. I bought myself some nice clothes that fit for right now. Not all my pre-baby clothes fit. Some do, some do not. Leggings, obviously. Every day for now. Rather than open my closet and feel like I have nothing to wear, I found a few good sales and bought some cute tops I feel really good in. This was really important.
  3. Shower and put on makeup. I am mostly home with the baby all day. We try to do one activity outside. I have no real need to “look good” but taking a shower and putting on makeup makes me feel good. Even if it is one of MY main activities for the day, I do it while she naps and it’s worth it.
  4. I invested in a good postpartum core rebuilding program. I am currently working through it. It’s super gentle and takes just a few minutes a day to connect to your body. After I get through it, I will share my results with you.

In the meantime, tell me in the comments what aspect of your life needs nourishing and rebuilding?

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

With love,
Erin

 

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25 Responses to Is It Time To Start Again?

  1. Congratulations again! I am so happy for you and I wish you and your sweet family all the best.
    I am going to be 53 and I am in the middle of building up a language coaching business and YouTube channel. I have spent years working my body too hard and it’s tired. I want to learn to love and nourish it. I am stiff and achy and I cannot move my right arm much. I want to learn to sleep more, move more, stretch more, drink more water, and eat more green raw stuff. (I have been vegan for the animals since March 2011 and now I want to be vegan for myself as well.) My darling boys are big now and one is going to move out this year. I am happy for him and yet I know it will be such a big thing to let my baby go. I can still feel in my body what it was like to hold him like you are holding Kwynnie …I am grateful for what I have and now I want to become really strong and healthy.

  2. Sheryle Salzman Woodruff says:

    Love the photos of you dancing with your baby. Mazel Tov!

    I had major post partum and your plan and attitude is super. Patience was my theme back then (my kids at 13 & 16 so long time ago). Now in 2018 my words are patience and self care while I go through this journey of weight loss. After putting my needs aside to take care of everyone else (like many moms do) I am focused on rebuilding my health this year. Thank you for being a catalyst for health and wellness physically and emotionally!!!

  3. Judit says:

    My story is a little sad but it is about rebuild.
    I have lost my dear mother just over Christmas. Her cancer won no matter how hard she tried to survive.

    The last 8 months were all about caring for her. Make it easier, be there for her.

    It was stess after stess eventho I knew she will go. A lot of tension within my family too.

    Today I sat down as I felt everything were done and organise in her house and I was thinking…. What can I do now??

    No more care or looking after,no more tidying organizing, sorting etc etc

    I have to rebuild my life with my family without my mum.

    I have to be gentle and patient with my emotions, feelings and with my body.

    Just like you Erin, I want to nourish myself too.
    I want to get back to some kind of routine.
    Want to build up my body strength and stamina again.
    It is a new beginning…..

    • Pam says:

      Oh my gosh, I read your post and strangely enough, it is exactly a post that I could have written.
      I lost my Dad in September to cancer.
      I feel lost and empty after the crazy busy life of trying to care and save him.

      I lost myself somehow. Goal s? Dreams? Hopes? Being kind to myself?

      Where to begin after all the tension?

      I am going to do some soul strolling and start trying to reach clarity.

      Best of luck to you. You are NOT alone!

    • Joe says:

      Dear Judit,
      I’m very sorry to learn about the loss of your Mum. I hope the memories if the lovely times you had together will keep you strong! Do take it easy though and be gentle with yourself.
      Lots and lots of love,
      Joe

      PS: Dear Erin, so great to have you back !! You look beautiful as usual ! Was our Baby singing along with the song!

    • erin says:

      Gentle is the way to go!

  4. Amanda says:

    Erin, thank you! You have such a beautiful perspective, not to mention family. Thank you for sharing this time in your life with us and honoring what you are experiencing.

    My baby is going to turn 4 next month. She changed my life. After having a clinically ok pregnancy (edema in my body to the point that walking hurt, lots of lymphatic work to maintain, anxiety attacks for no reason, pelvis issues that were sometimes debilitating, and my first migraines), I decided my aerospace engineering job needed to take a backseat to my health and my family.

    I decreased my hours, then last year in April I quit.

    Now that I’m in a groove with my own business, I can finally start focusing on recovering from birth.

    My word this year is Transformation. For my health, this means getting my core stabilized. I am taking the time daily to embrace my new body and fine tune it. And by embrace, I mean give it a hug and love it for the first time in a while.

    Up to this point after birth, I have just been ignoring it or shaming it or just “going with it” because nothing I did was working. I’ve been doing things to “fix it”. Thank you for the perspective of incarnation. I am finally there after almost 4 years.

    I’m excited to see your journey while embracing my own transformation/incarnation using Soul Strolls and Shrink Sessions and Pilates and Yoga. Namaste (I see you Soul Sister)

  5. theresa says:

    I loved reading this today and it instantly brought me back to the time I had my first child, a son (16 1/2yrs ago). I had struggled with an eating disorder in my 20’s and was mostly petrified about what would happen to my body, before, during and after pregnancy. I lived much of that in fear. After my son was born I feel completely in love with this unbelievably beautiful boy. I remember looking at my new body in the mirror and almost laughing at how unrecognizable it was. Then I made a decision, I decided that he was my priority and having to fit in my skinny jeans was no longer the goal that I wanted to aspire to, at that time. I wasn’t interested in being unhealthy or obese I just wanted to let go…I had “bigger fish to fry” It was perhaps one of the most beautiful times in my life, where my self talk became so incredibly kind. I could no longer to the shame and self loathing nor was I interested in living my life that way. Continue to enjoy this special time Erin, it is such a small moment in time that although difficult can be quite magical! xo

    • erin says:

      Incredible story. Truly. I am feeling quite the same. Falling in love with myself (and her) in a whole new way. Thank you for sharing this!

  6. Jesse says:

    Erin— I love every second of this!! I am due next week and feel the urge to claim a restart. This is super empowering and I’m so excited to be able to follow you in this journey only a few steps behind. A few questions a) when did you start your soul strolls? Also when did you start the postpartum core program and can you recommend the one you are using or others? So thankful for you and your generosity! Xo

    • erin says:

      Congratulations and good luck for an easy birth and delivery. I am using the Mutu Program. I started it when I got cleared for exercise around 7 weeks. But you can start sooner. I am only a few weeks in, so I will have to keep you posted on it!

  7. Jennifer S. says:

    Thirty days ago, my 15 year old daughter went into a residential treatment facility to help her treat her depression, suicide and self harm tendencies. This is our second attempt at this. It is heartbreakingly hard to do this, and anyone out there who thinks I’m not also the one doing “hard work” should change their mental path. Because, no doubt about it, this is the hardest thing I’ve done to date with any of my teenage girls – and two are going off to college this fall.

    Her absence from our home has created a weird void. We’ve had the void before, of course. She’s been in and out of the hospital before. A lot. But because I know she is gone for “a while”, and she is safe, and in the wise hands of professionals, it has created a “new me”. This new me is heartbroken, and sad and depressed and struggling. I have the space for that because I can, for a moment, focus on me. I feel that weight. I have to get better, too. I have to do something with all this pain I’ve stuffed down for so long.

    So, no – not pregnant, nor just had a child. But maybe a re-born me? I like the sound of that. I need that.

    • erin says:

      Dearest Jennifer, thank you for sharing. It certainly does not sound like an easy time. I commend you for taking time for yourself right now and am sending you and your family all the love in the world. You are stronger than you think and probably give yourself credit for. xo

  8. Emily says:

    Congrats on this beautiful phase of your life, Erin! I definitely needed to nourish and rebuild before my company launches in March so I came down to Mexico for a month to rest and recharge. Yes, I’m getting some work done, but also spending a lot of time in nature and it’s been great.

  9. What a beautiful conversation to open up Erin!! And all of you amazing women sharing your experiences, so courageous, beautiful and inspiring<3 Each of us have different points where we're at and different reasons for a refresh and I love how this post supports us in connecting to our own vision of where we desire a re-do. After losing our home, our belongings and a newborn bub March of last year after an epic flood, we've been busy rebuilding our lives in all ways & reminding our selves that this was "a clean slate, what do we want to create" was the Mantra that got us through it all. Now my 5 year old little miss is about to start school & we decided to try again for another bub. My word is flow, to remind myself that I don't have to struggle as I journey through this & to allow myself to approach everything with a sense of moving along with life rather than resisting the new ways in which life unfolds.
    To all you beautiful ladies, remember we're all here to lift, support & inspire and you deserve this re-do you've chosen<3

  10. Joanne Cleary says:

    As women, our bodies go through many transitions: childhood to puberty to womanhood to pregnancy to postpartum to other pregnancies to perimenopause to menopause and beyond. I think embracing our bodies in those moments is the most precious self-care we can give ourselves.
    So in my 60th year I choose to love my body in each moment and give it gratitude for the wonderful, amazing functional machine that it is…..it in itself is as miraculous as the babies it makes.

    Love this video of you and your baby….just beautiful…. I used to dance with my youngest in particular, but with both at that age.

    Enjoy.every.precious.moment. It is a gift.

  11. Van says:

    I am going to rebuild my self love, will love the baby I was the girl I was the pubert I was the young woman I was and the woman I am with patience and dedication as I deserve ❤️

  12. Shannon says:

    Hi Erin! So so much congratulations on your sweet baby! And I’m so glad everything went well..To answer your question, which I love, I am focusing on deeply nourishing my mind and my heart. I have recently been through an intense emotional trauma that will actually take years to heal from and that led to realizing that I have actually been put through 14 years of psychological and emotional abuse! I am rebuilding, or actually, truly building for the first time, trust in my thinking processes. Figuring things out for myself, doing things without asking for permission from my spouse or asking what others think about my thoughts…I was paralyzed mentally and emotionally for years and I am doing all I can to break out of this…So, I am building a strong, confident mind and trust in my feelings. I am building up my protection of my thoughts and feelings in a healthy way…so that I am not stonewalling others, but that I am not allowing others to influence me, sway me, talk me into or out of things…when I am completely capable and able to do things on my own.

  13. Amy Parkerson says:

    Congratulations on your brand new little one and a Happy New Year to you! Erin I’m happy for you and I enjoy the one soul stroll I own very much.

    I yearn to hear good news today at my husband’s oncologist appointment. If he is told his CAT scans were clear and he is in remission we plan to try to have a baby. We really do this time.

    I’ll stop birth control for two months and there’s plenty lifestyle adjustment I made so far but I know I need work. I’m 37 so there’s always risk factors. However the biggest risk is fear and that is gone!

    In 2015 we started trying but only one month after we happily started he was told his cancer from 2011 came back. Only thins time it’s was stage IV metastatic melanoma. Get your moles checked!!!!! The fear I felt at that moment when life charged it’s course for us was unbelievable. I found out he too was scared and he hurt even worse; we clearly couldn’t continue to try.

    I need to increase my exercise routine and I mustn’t forget to take my prenatal. I plan to treat it like a job I do. It’s a dream I though I’d never obtain again so I’m happy and fast forward to NOW….

    …..2:30pm EST our new year plan officially begins.

    Love Amy Lee

  14. Maiya says:

    Thank you Erin! I think we’re all in a constant place of needing to be gentle and encouraging with ourselves to feel new in changes that keep coming with our lives and bodies.
    The change I am now preparing for is moving in with my boyfriend and his son after living alone for 4 years and raising two kids after my divorce. I am feeding myself with positive affirmations for being able to keep up with my own nurturance and self-care and be able to integrate that (and my things) into an all male household. I do so well on my own but my boundaries for self care are not always so good around others!

  15. Lacy Mink says:

    Congratulations Erin! This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your word of intention for the year. After almost 4 years since my first baby was born, I too have decided to make a conscious effort to nourish my body by really putting focused attention into what I eat and how food makes me feel. I am on day 16 of the Whole30 program and am feeling so much better. My energy levels have stabilized and I feel less body aches, and overall less inflammation. But I must say, the amount of time I spend prepping food for the week, just does not feel like this will be a sustainable practice for me. I work full-time and have two kids now. Spending 3-5 hours on the weekends to prepare food for only myself to eat feels… selfish. I hope that this will become easier and more habitual, and that I can forgive myself for this sacred time and for this favor I am doing for myself, to nourish myself. It is hard to balance it all, for sure. Maybe my kids will become interested in the foods I am eating and will learn better eating habits. I can only hope…

    Your willingness to love your body as it is, and be patient with the recovery time is admirable. I think you have the right frame of mind, as it will certainly take time. I wish you all the best this year and beyond! Thank you for the inspiration!

  16. Jill Finan says:

    Hi, Erin, I’m finding your reflection applicable to me as well – although I’m not dealing with a postpartum body but an aging one. At 65+ I am learning to accept that my shape has changed and to compare my body to my 30-something one isn’t the thing to do. I am grateful for my health and my mobility, and now that I’m retired I’m grateful to have time to work on my strength. Your word “nourish” is a good one as I need to nourish soul, mind, AND body so I can enjoy these years. Thanks for your wisdom. Hug that baby for me!

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